Specs Wine Spirits Finer FoodsThe drop-off box at the tax office was so efficient, that after I paid my taxes last Tuesday, I had 45 minutes left before my lunch date. I drove up Airport Blvd with an eye toward browsing at Pier 1. It was gone but I sighted a huge sign for a new store. “Spec’s Wines, Spirits, & Finer Food.” You’ll not find me shy about wandering through a liquor store even if it is before noon on a weekday.

In size and scope, Houston-based Spec’s is built along the lines of Grapevine Market. Like Grapevine Market, in additition to wine, beer, and liquor, it carries cheese, gourmet snacks, and cigars. But, my! The prices are reasonable. I quickly looked over some of the wines I generally pick up at Central Market or Whole Food Market. A vino verde that sells for $6.99 at CM and $7.99 at P&K Grocery was $5.49 at Spec’s. A zinfandel that I’ve seen at Whole Food Markets for $14.99, I picked up for $10.99. Maredsous beer was $1.50 off the Central Market or Whole Food Market prices. And if you pay cash, you get an additional 5% discount.

The Spec’s on Airport Blvd opened a couple of months ago. Two more locations are planned for Austin. One in the new Shops at Arbor Walk up near 360 and the MoPac. The other down south near 290 and Brodie.

I have a feeling that I’m going to be making a detour to Spec’s every Tuesday after my lunch date.

4 Comments so far

  1. ttrentham (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 11:15 am

    I’m going to check them out as soon as the Arbor Walk location opens. Looks like that’ll be a few more weeks at least.

    A friend told me that the prices were great to start with, but there’s also some sort of frequent buyer program or something and then if you pay a particular way (cash maybe), they discount it even more.

  2. mss (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 12:11 pm

    Yep. As I mentioned you get an additional 5% off their already low prices if you pay in cash. (Gee. I sound just like a commercial. I’m in no way affiliated with Spec’s. I just like cheap liquor.)

    They also have a frequent buyer card. I signed up for one on my second trip there, yesterday. It’s free. I don’t know what kind of discounts I might get as a result.

  3. Annie In Austin (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

    We found Spec’s right after Christmas, on the way home from Fiesta Mart, and they have an okay price on Southern Comfort, too. If we’d found it earlier, I’d have bought Spec’s less expensive amaretto to make the sauce for Amaretto Bread Pudding for the Divas of the Dirt. I spent way too much at another store for what was essentially a baking ingredient.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  4. M2 (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 10:55 pm

    Back when my folks lived in East Texas and liked non-standard beers and wines, they’d “stock up” at Spec’s in Houston. A friend once saw them unload an entire Ford trunk’s worth of booze and decided my parents were serious power-lushes.

    I’ve always had a fondness for Spec’s since that story.

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