CRESTVIEW — Sunset Liquors’ newest location has opened at 297B James Lee Boulevard West, next to Anything Pawn, and brings a full range of wines, craft beers, imported beer and liquors to the area.


CRESTVIEW — Sunset Liquors’ newest location has opened at 297B James Lee Boulevard West, next to Anything Pawn, and brings a full range of wines, craft beers, imported beer and liquors to the area.



“This is our ninth store,” General Manager Donald Swandby said. “We’re all through the Panhandle,” with stores in Panama City, Niceville, Mary Esther and Pensacola, among other communities.



The warm glow of varnished wood walls and a hardwood floor contrast Sunset with other beverage stores — “Nobody wants to shop in a dirty store,” Swandby said — but what really sets the new store apart is its employees.



“Our staff is trained to answer our customers’ questions,” Swandby said, adding some people aren’t sure how to choose a wine to complement a specific food, how to select a particular liquor, or understand beverage terminology such as vintages or proofs.



SELECTION



Familiar brands line Sunset Liquors’ shelves, their names tripping exotically over the tongue as they represent some of the world’s most renowned and distinguished distillers.



Customers find labels bearing distinctive names such as Jägermeister, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Kahlúa, Pimm’s, Finlandia, Hennessy, Jose Cuervo, Glenlivet, Smirnoff and Chivas Regal.



High-end liquors include Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky, sold in a silk-lined gift box, serially numbered and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.



But overall, “compared to the other liquor stores, we’re a little cheaper,” Swandby said. “And we’re in the wine business, too. We have a little better selection, from Opus One to the popular Meiomi Pinot Noir.”



For those who’d like to sample a liquor before purchasing a full bottle, a selection of nearly two dozen mini-bottles is available.



“The majority are 99 cents,” store manager Melissa Alexander said. “If there’s something you’ve never had, you can try it. If you’re not sure, give it a try and if you like it, then you can get the bigger bottle.”



Chilled wines and cold beers are available in the rear coolers, and for those who want larger cartons, a well stocked “beer cave” is adjacent to the coolers.



“We have about a hundred craft and imported varieties of beer,” Swandby said. “The military members love it.”



GRAND OPENING



Sunset Liquors invites residents to the Crestview store’s grand opening this weekend, 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 7 and noon until 4 p.m. Nov. 8.



The event will include wine and liquor tastings and a raffle to win a new barbecue grill and Thanksgiving turkeys. Complimentary Bourbon-infused Boston butt will be served.



Swandby said he hopes residents will discover the Sunset Liquors difference, quality, diversity and lower cost.



“We’re kind of the neighborhood store that has a larger selection than the average neighborhood store,” he said. “We have a much wider range.



“We tell people, ‘Come and see where your neighbors shop,’” Swandby said.



Email News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes, follow him on Twitter or call 850-682-6524.



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