Walking into a liquor store to buy premium alcohol has never been considered an experience as such, until now. Navi Mumbai’s new hotspot The Liquor Store — TLS, has a mission — to change the liquor buying experience. A high-end liquor gallery and tasting facility in Belapur, TLS has innovated upon the liquor buying experience, right from digital displays for independent walk-throughs to projecting an AR immersive catalogue of a label. Apart from the unique experience, they offer samplings, cuisine pairings, and high-energy events at the venue.
Tasting rooms are steadily becoming more popular in India. Liquor distributors feel it prompts conversations with customers, and turns mundane liquor store visits into one that is memorable.
The idea for TLS was conceptualised by third-generation owners of VK Group and brothers – Dinesh, Jayesh and Pritesh Kathuria. One of TLS’ biggest highlights is its strategic location. Sitting between Mumbai and Pune, TLS offers an enormous selection of rare, handpicked labels across liquors.
The store itself is huge, with 10,000-feet of space divided across two storeys and four sections. The Superlative Catalog awaits customers at the upper level with a library of rare and handpicked labels, mostly hard liquor. Wine enthusiasts may take a walk through an adjacent doorway leading into a wine cellar. Here you will find a variety of some of the best wines from India, Australia, America, Argentina, Chile, Spain, Italy and France. With 1,000 spirits, 1500 plus wines, 250 champagnes and over 100 beer options, The Liquor Store offers the largest collection of liquors under one roof in all of Maharashtra.
While TLS has several aspects, its AI technology used for information on the liquor, is by far the most interesting, and here’s how it works. You take any bottle you like and place it on an Artificial Reality-enabled counter. Within seconds, all of the information on the bottle’s label — its ingredients, the region it belongs to, the process of creation — will be displayed on the screen in front of you. This is perfect for those who wish to browse the liquor without assistance from employees. In addition to liquor, TLS also has an impressive collection of cigars. These include Bolivar no 2, Guantanamera Cristale, Romeo y Julieta, Don Tomas and Coronation, among others.
Our sojourn at TLS culminated with a meal at The Tavern’s gallery. A British-style resto-bar, The Tavern is decked in black marble and gold finishes, very contemporary art deco in its staging, a perfect place to unwind after shopping.
The Tavern is designed to serve all-day selections from breakfast options to lunch meals including Buddha bowls, poached pear salads and lemon mustard chicken salad, pizzas and Mexican chimichangas, special cheese boards, and blue cheese chicken tikka, chermoula prawns and katsu baos.
Like the food menu, the drinks menu too has a selection of breakfast cocktails. Tavern After Party is a special concoction on the menu prepared with coconut and herbs. This drink is supposed to be a great cure for hangovers. And even if you don’t have a hangover, it’s a great way to start your weekend morning, bright and fresh. Matchoman is the bar chef’s recipe of a smokey Indian whiskey flavoured with herbs and matcha tea. If you’re a health aficionado, then a Brocotini made with vodka, farm-fresh veggies, and flowers and finished with citrus flavours, is a healthy approach.
But it doesn’t just end there. The Tavern claims to have several wine and food pairings and whiskey and cigar gatherings along with a special line-up of sensory indulgences for customers to not only have a fun evening, but also an immersive and memorable one.