To some, it’s the end of an era.
Glendale city spokesman Tom Lorenz said he bought cigars at Red Carpet to hand out after the birth of his first child.
“If you wanted to get a good bottle of wine and pick out a good cigar, that was the place to go,” Lorenz said Wednesday.
Opened in 1964 on Brand Boulevard by John Vincenti, the liquor store that specializes in fine wines moved to 400 E. Glenoaks Blvd. in 1972 in favor of cheaper rent, according to Red Carpet accountant Jeff Gladu.
Vincenti ran Red Carpet until selling it to David Dobbs in 1987. Arcadia native H.K. Hedlund, who bought the store in 2007, is looking forward to the move.
“We found a place that’s freaking crazy cool, right across from a new Gold Line station,” Hedlund said. “It could be very good for us.”
Gladu said with five newer liquor stores springing up in the Glenoaks area, including a BevMo, the move to 204 N. First Ave. in Arcadia seemed like a good business decision.
“We were the only wine store in town,” Gladu said. “We can’t compete with truckload pricing.
“The location is perfect,” Gladu said of the new Arcadia site. He said right now about three employees are busy selling off stock at the Glendale store.
“We’re cleaning up and selling stock so we don’t break any on the way over,” he said. “We’re not closed yet. We’re in the process of clearing inventory. We expect to move as soon as construction is completed in another month. We have to sign off with every regulatory office in the state of California,” Gladu said.
Hedlund said he’ll miss many of the clientele he’s grown fond of over the past few years.
“There are a lot of great people in Glendale. The only thing I’m bittersweet about is the great customers who would come and hang out at the wine bar,” Hedlund said.
“We were fortunate to have a niche based on service and selection. We’ve been keeping the doors open on party and gift baskets … we always kind of thought we were worth a couple more bucks. We can talk about the product,” Hedlund said. “I’m going to miss a lot of my customers, but the opportunity in Arcadia is too great an opportunity.”
He said the new store in Arcadia will be larger, 8,900 square feet compared to the current store at 6,500 square feet.
At the end of the day, Lorenz said competition in a tough economy can touch any industry, product or service.
“When it comes down to the competition, whether it’s wine or construction or art stores or restaurants, it comes down to who is going to offer the best value to their customers,” Lorenz said. “Unfortunately people are going to think with their wallets. It’s sad to see something that has become an icon in Glendale go. We wish them the best.”
Follow Tim Traeger on Twitter: @TraegerTim.
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