Adam Fleischman, Sommelier and Owner of Culver City’s new hit: BottleRock, a combination retail store and wine bar. The store is co-owned by Fred Hakim of Fireside Cellars.
Adam Fleischman wasn’t born into the retail business, and that’s a good thing. With no influence of anyone overshadowing him on the rules of how shelves should be stocked or wines selected for on-sale, the former food and wine journalist goes for a no-pretense approach with his wine store and wine bar: BottleRock.
“Culver City is starved for a wine bar and retail outlet that offers accessible wines at reasonable prices,” Fleischman told Patterson’s. “We don’t just offer a list of wines by the glass – we offer EVERY bottle of wine by the glass.”
Whether this be genius or madness, the theory is to open up a world of high end, hand-picked labels for his growing number of local customers and create a following that includes plans to become even more widespread.
“Customers work their way through the shelves and if they order two or more glasses, we open up the bottle.”
Based on selling each glass for a third of the price of a bottle, Fleischman creates more volume sales, which leads to a more interesting turnover of wines. Clientele who frequent the store/bar can anticipate seeing some unique selections over the months with this concept.
Signs of the Times
Sectioned by style, profiles or just sectioned, BottleRock’s “Effin’ Merlot” and “No Champagne No Gain” signs are levity for the wine-learned and an unpretentious turn from tired shelf talkers
Unlike some wine bars that steer their customers towards the restaurant end of the business, Fleischman and his three Sommeliers chose a full retail environment with a wine bar as the afterthought – that leaves a no-ambiguity sense that wine is No.1 at BottleRock, and the food, although some delicious choices, comes in second.
Fleischman walks over to the counter and points out Italian salamis and his large array of cheeses. He pours us a glass of Achaval Ferrer’s “Quimera” from Argentina and a glass of Staglin Family Vineyard Rutherford Cab.
“We’re packed at night, and surprisingly our guests are 70% female. We knew the retail was going to be important, but we didn’t realize the wine bar would be the main focus.”
Chrome chairs and tables allow for a steady social scene as does the outdoor patio. Will this be the coffee crowd’s next scene-stealer? Will BottleRock-et its way to championing for the legal-age-drinker’s introduction to tomorrow’s vinous watering hole?
The prognosis is good, and Fleischman desires his youth-oriented rock-music themed environment as a chain in the making.
“Bottle Rock is not about selling wine,” adds Fleischman, “it’s about experiencing wine.”