Best Liquor Store - 2001
Readers' Choice: Dirt Cheap Cigarettes & Beer
Pat McGlynn remembers the time Mickey Mantle came in for a bottle of scotch. "He was in town for an autograph show. That was before he quit drinking," explains McGlynn, 38. Other celebs have found their way to the unassuming liquor store just south of -- what else? -- Busch Stadium. Eddie Van Halen stopped by for a case of Jack Daniel's, and Blues players Curtis Joseph and Brendan Shanahan once pulled up in a limo to grab a couple cold sixes of Labatt's. Happily, there was a place to quench those thirsts. Open daily, Stadium is the only late-night liquor store left in the downtown area. But it's the blue-collar crowd that makes up Stadium Liquor's customer base, working stiffs who may appreciate that beer, liquor, snacks and cigs are sold without a scratched-up sheet of bulletproof glass between customer and clerk. The staff -- Sal, Hadji, Guido and Mr. V. -- are constantly fetching 12-packs from the expansive cooler in the back or loading up the booze wagon. "We deliver. That's the key," says McGlynn. The half-barrels go out almost as soon as they come in -- to picnics, weddings, rugby clubs and softball games. Stadium also delivers to downtown hotels. Mardi Gras, however, is a humongous sales day; this year, the booze wagon delivered 150 half-barrels to house parties in Soulard alone. No wonder Stadium Liquor is the No. 1 independent seller of Anheuser-Busch beers in the city.