Costco is praised for its food court. Publix is celebrated for its freshly made subs. And what would a trip to Whole Foods be without perusing the hot foods bar? In-store dining and ready-to-eat-meals are nothing new when visiting the supermarket, but many grocery stores have changed the shopping experience even further by offering on-tap drinks, most notably alcoholic beverages.
Across the United States, grocery chains are adding bars to their locations, selling beer, wine, and even signature cocktails to customers. What many would consider a boring household errand has been transformed into a social experience. This has drawn in both excitement and concerns.
While some food retailers, such as Sam's Club, have smaller spaces to grab a drink, others have full-service bars operating in restaurants, on rooftops, and so on. If you're curious which supermarkets boast boozy beverages, we rounded some up for you. Here are five grocery chains with in-store bars at multiple locations.
Several stores at Southern grocery chain Publix feature a cafe and bar area known as "Pours." In addition to offering coffee, espresso, tea, and smoothies, this beverage station also lets customers sip on a glass of wine or beer while they shop.
Publix launched this shopping perk at its Greenwise Market in Tallahassee, Fla., back in 2018. Since then, Pours is now available at all eight Greenwise Market locations and seven Publix stores in Florida. These locations include:
- Neptune Beach Plaza in Neptune Beach
- Gandy Shopping Center in Tampa
- Naples Town Centre in Naples
- Plaza Ecco in Orlando
- Clermont Town Center in Clermont
- Publix at Halifax in Ormond Beach
- Parkway Village of St. Johns at St. Augustine
A few months ago, Publix confirmed that it will transform its Greenwise markets into traditional Publix supermarkets. Although the grocery chain has not revealed when the transition will begin, all eight stores will still have Pours stations.
Whole Foods opened its first in-store bar in 2009. Since then, the grocery chain has added this feature to hundreds of locations and even started brewing its own beer in 2014. However, no two bars are exactly the same.
While some stores, like Whole Foods' NoMad location in New York City, offer beer, wine, cocktails, and bar bites in an indoor restaurant space, others have outdoor seating, like the Gowanus location in Brooklyn, N.Y. This store has a rooftop taproom called "The Roof," where customers can sit at picnic tables, eat some American favorites, and order from a list of beer and wine while taking in views of the Gowanus Canal.
America's second-largest grocery chain first started rolling out in-store beer stations in 2003. Then in 2015, Kroger ramped up its craft beer efforts even further by adding more of these stations to select locations in multiple states, revealing plans to add wine to them, as well. Now, Kroger locations across several states are home to full-service bars, allowing shoppers to sip and shop or enjoy a beverage at the bar.
Chicago-area grocery chain Mariano's houses an in-store bar at 22 of its 44 locations, according to VinePair. Beyond serving beer, wine, and specialty drinks like $5 mimosas, these bars also provide entertainment, which the Kroger-owned chain refers to as "Live at Mariano's."
On Friday nights from 4 to 8 p.m., Mariano's hosts a happy hour event featuring live music, such as jazz, blues, and dueling pianos. However, as noted on the website, live music isn't always available at all locations.
Select Albertsons stores serve alcohol to shoppers, as well. In 2018, Albertsons opened its first location with an in-store bar at its first "next generation"store in Boise, Idaho. This two-floor bar, called Broadway on the Rocks, serves 32 beers on tap, wine, and craft cocktails. For some additional fun, customers can enjoy live music every Thursday and Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., or they can participate in events like karaoke contests, trivia nights, and other social activities.
Less than one year later, Albertsons cut the ribbon on its Market Street store in Meridian, Idaho, which is home to Talon Tap & Spirits. Operating in the biggest Albertsons location, this bar, like Broadway on the Rocks, hosts events ranging from trivia nights to beer tastings.