Kitsilano Wine Cellar Expands into old Duthie Books location


Kitsilano Wine Cellar has moved next door into what once was Duthie Books, who is now Ardea books (formally Sitka Books) located now in the old Book Warehouse location further east on West 4th. Still with me??

Needless to say there has been no shortage of changes along the West 4th strip the last 12+ months but anytime a wine shop makes room for more bottles I’m not going to complain.

The Kitsilano Wine Cellar’s new location is 2239 West 4th Avenue (next to Capers). A half-page advertisement in the Vancouver Sun today showcases 8 wines that are on sale from February 17th to 20th. In addition they will be offering wine tastings this Saturday from 2pm to 6pm.

No doubt this will be good news for wine enthusiasts that live North of West 4th. I’m just hoping that with the new location they will also be doing some hiring. I’ve always found the staff to be less than friendly and a bit cliché snooty when wanting some advice on the perfect red to go with dinner.

Last modified: February 17, 2011

16 Responses to " Kitsilano Wine Cellar Expands into old Duthie Books location "

  1. Ann says:

    I was surprised how they were able to hide the move for so long. Until they opened I had no idea the Kits Wine Cellar was expanding. And I completely agree that they should hire some new staff. Every time I have been there they were not friendly either! The friendliest staff are at Village Wines on West 1st.

  2. Larry says:

    I totally agree! There is one younger staff member that I enjoy talking to he is so knowledgeable and really sweet. Everyone else- over the age of what looks like 30 is incredibly rude and unwelcoming- I always feel like I’m putting them out by being in there.
    I also know that I’m not alone in this sentiment- so Kits Wine Cellar if you’re reading this- lighten up and enjoy the fact that you are surrounded by some amazing wines in a wonderful community that is clearly supporting you and your business. Life’s not that bad! xo

  3. Bill Barilko says:

    Quite a confused and confusing opening paragraph-not to mention a grammatical mess (forget gratuitous spelling errors throughout).

    Yes it’s great to see that building have an anchor tenant that appeals to more than one gender-the abundance of women’s clothing/shoe stores in that block makes it something of a desert overall.

    I agree that wine service is abysmal and in fact I spoke to one of the older grouches Saturday moving day.

    In typical Barilko fashion I asked the most inane questions designed to discomfit/baffle and otherwise discombobulate-Hey if he’s going to be upset give him something to wear his teeth down on.

    A grouchy jerk is never closer to winking out from heart failure than when he’s acting the part of indignant & appalled pedant-and I should know(!)

    Prices are too high as per SOP with all these private places.

  4. Kev says:

    Let’s not forget that the Kitsilano Wine Cellar is far from being an independent retailer on West 4th.

    The Kitsilano Wine Cellar is part of publically-traded Income Fund called the Liquor Stores Income Fund. The Fund owns 200+ liquor stores across BC and Alberta with the majority of them branded as Liquor Barn or Liquor Depot.

    When established back in August 2003 this store was privately owned but it was acquired a couple years back by the Income Fund.

  5. Andrea says:

    Oh Bill!!! I love your comments.
    I was trying to have a bit of fun with this article. The first paragraph was intended to be confusing and was written tongue and cheek highlighting all the recent changes along West 4th. Apologies the joke was lost on you!
    I try and be a bit more light hearted in my posts as I’m sure others have noticed. Apologies if you don’t enjoy my more editorial posts – grammar errors and all:)

  6. kitsresident says:

    I stopped shopping at this store due to its horrendous customer service and overpriced wines. Village Wines is just the opposite located off of Cypress and 1st.

  7. Bill Barilko says:

    Very much agree that Village VQA Wines on 1st Ave is superior in terms of service and pricing-no contest really.

  8. sara says:

    I 100% agree with the poor service–totally feels like I am putting them out and they act like they are some sort of saints because they work in a wine shop. It’s just wine. Lighten up! I no longer shop there anymore because of the service–I am surprised they can afford to be at the larger location.

    Heard it is a new little gift shop going into the old location. Not sure how that will pan out with the proximity to Paboom….

  9. Neil Young says:

    Broadway Wine Shop at Broadway and MacDonald is another fine establishment. Great Advice, a welcoming attitude, awesome hours, and they don’t scoff when you say you want to spend under $15.

  10. Dave says:

    I agree with Neil, Broadway Wine Shop is my choice for Kitsilano. They are always helpful and don’t scoff at my mid-week wine budget. What I also like to see is that they are owned and run by a local family who have been doing this for as long as I can remember.

    I got interested in what Kev said above, about Kits Wine Cellar being owned by a publically-traded Income Fund, so I visited the Liquor Depot website. Very enlightening. They refer to Kitsilano Wine Cellar as “Liquor Depot Kitsilano.” They also refer to Point Grey Wine Cellar as “Liquor Depot Point Grey,” in their Locations listings for Vancouver. I wonder how they would do if that signage was hanging in front of their stores? Very misleading, in my opinion, to make themselves seem like a small business and part of the community.

    Here is another interesting snippet that explains their push to expand into a larger space and the recent opening of Point Grey Wine Cellar on Broadway…

    “(Liquor Depot) BUSINESS STRATEGY – Growth
    The Fund\’s strategy is to continue to grow through new store development and acquisitions and by attracting more customers to existing locations, and by increasing sales per customer. The Fund explores opportunities to acquire and/or develop stores in Alberta, British Columbia, and the United States where regulatory regimes permit private liquor stores. Management will continue to assess potential acquisitions and store development opportunities for their ability to add accretive cash flow and unitholder value.”

    Super scary stuff for the independent retailer, I’m sure. I know I won’t be shopping there ever. I would rather support the likes of Broadway, Marquis or the VQA stores. At least I know my money will go back into the community rather than to the shareholders of a US income fund.

  11. A D Spriggs says:

    What’s interesting about the comparison of customer experiences between wine retailers is that selection is hardly ever mentioned.

    In the case of the VQA store they sell only BC wines, so a very restricted selection. So people are clearly making a choice to buy there based on the quality and friendliness of the service,not on the portfolio of wines on offer.

  12. Kits Man says:

    Totally agree with others. What is with the new location keeping wine standing up like at the government stores? Don’t they know wine is supposed to be on it’s side.

  13. Chris says:

    A D Spriggs… as a wise sage once said to me, “it’s not about the wine”

  14. A D Spriggs says:

    Well, the sage was right, if you don’t have interpersonal skills, patience and a willingness to serve, then all you might know about wine or anything else you are selling, is wasted. In most cases the generalist sales person does better than the specialist. Guests are less overwhelmed.

    Essentially, retail is a branch of hospitality, no beds, no food but you are still the innkeeper.It’s harder in some ways because your time with the guest is so short, compared to a hotel or restaurant.

  15. Peter says:

    Some of the worst service I have had since I went to their old address next door.Someone should teach the employees some retail etiquette when it comes to service. The customer is the one paying their wages and anyone that tells me to “hurry up we close in 2 minutes” the minute I walk in the door should be working picking up garbage. Shows you the level of training The Liquor Barn gives it \’s employees…Barnyard 101