Update, Sept. 21: The store's owners said they are still awaiting final approval and hope the store will open by Friday night.
When you walk into the South End's newest wine, beer, and liquor store, it's easy to feel intimidated at first, with more than 700 different types of wine stacked on open concept custom shelving returning your nervous gaze.
But upon closer inspection, the entire concept of The Urban Grape is actually to make you more at ease when you're selecting the right type of wine to pair with your dinner.
That's because the store has rated all its wine products on a progressive scale from 1-10, with the lighter wines toward the beginning and the heavier bodied wines near level 10. Take a sip from the custom-made, high-tech wine sampling machine in the center of the store, and you're directed to similiar wines along the sides of the wall, each with different countries of origin or in different price points.
So if you like the taste of a type of wine, you'll be pointed in the direction of similar wines, ranging from $8 a bottle all the way up to an $1,000 wine. About 50 percent of the store's stock is in the $15 range, say the owners.
"We try to take the intimidation out of the beverage," said co-owner TJ Douglas.
Douglas and his wife, Hadley, already own an Urban Grape store in Chestnut Hill in Newton, but they have been looking to expand to the city for quite some time now, they said.
"We've been living in the South End for ten years now, and we've been walking this very block for quite some time," Hadley Douglas said. "When this space became available, it was perfect and it just fell into place. We love our Chestnut Hill store but this city space is perfect for the Urban Grape."
But it's not just about the wine. The store also boasts more than 400 different types of beers, everything from Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboys to artisan microbrews, 70 different types of sake and whiskey, tequila, and other spirits.
"You can come here and geek out," said TJ Douglas.
The store officially opens for business on September 20, open from 9:30 a.m. 9:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday through Saturdays, and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.