A new convenience store recently opened on East Bay Drive in Largo, providing a much-needed alternative to the chain stores and tiny quick marts that populate the area.
The Beverage House is a clean, modern, spacious establishment that carries everything from alcohol to grilling supplies, with all the traditional convenience store items available as well.
Located a block west of Starkey Road, the store is in the same building that housed a number of tanning salons over the past few years, and the owners are doing some intriguing things to help get the word out about their new place.
“We have wine tastings every Saturday, we’re doing promotional giveaways every month, we have a large craft beer selection ... we even have beer pong,” general manager Johnny Glaros said.
“We’re the perfect place to come in the event of a tropical storm. We have everything you need.”
The store opened a month ago, and though the business hasn’t exploded yet, Glaros said the customers that have stopped in have been impressed with the size of the place and the excellent selection of beer and wine they carry.
“A lot of people come in and they’re like, ‘Wow, I had no idea it looked like this in here,' ” he said. “They really like the variety of beers and wines we sell. A lot of these items you can’t get at a regular convenience store.”
Indeed, craft favorites like Blue Point Brewing Company and Cigar City Jai Alai IPA mix with stalwarts such as Budwesier and Corona, and Greek and Australian table wines can be found alongside traditional staples like Gallo and Sutter Home.
In addition, the Beverage House also sells cigarettes and cigars, lottery tickets and laundry detergent. Plans are in the works to offer free coffee in the morning before 9 a.m., and frozen bait might make its way into the cooler before long.
Things like that are a work in progress for a business still trying to find its footing in the community. But Glaros is determined to make the store a success.
“We’re adapting, trying to make people happy. We’re trying to have a fun atmosphere here. It’s a little bit more than your traditional convenience store.”
The Beverage House
Address: 1875 East Bay Drive
Hours: Daily, 7am - midnight