Originally, Bob and Megan Lamovec just needed some extra parking for The Garage, the bar they started in Rib Mountain a couple of years ago. But that’s turned into a new, top-shelf liquor store: Granite View Market.
That eventually led them to run their own liquor store, and not just any kind — but one that deals in top-shelf liquor and beer, along with snacks that go well with that kind of thing, and even a tasting bar.
And so the Lamovecs found themselves opening Granite View Market in late May, in the former ABC Liquor building on Rib Mountain Drive. But anyone who patronized that former liquor store likely wouldn’t recognize the place.
Starting Granite View Market
Bob says they bought the building on March 3. Before that, they’d worked out a deal with the owners around parking, since sometimes patrons were parking over there. The Lamovecs also set up a first-right-of-refusal for the land and building if it were ever to become available.
After acquiring the land and building this year, the Lamovecs tore down the interior to the studs and rebuilt the insides into an aesthetically pleasing space.
In addition to that, they added a tasting bar where people can try shots of various types of whiskey, bourbon and other spirits. The Garage’s liquor license, it turns out, covers both places since they touch. In fact, they plan to start adding more mixed drinks as well. Most of the current staff are also staff at The Garage, Megan tells City Pages.
They also mirrored the inventory at both places, Megan says. Anything that can be had at The Garage can also be found at Granite View Market, so if a customer likes something they drink at The Garage they can buy the same thing at the market to take home for later. And, the market serves as a warehouse for The Garage.
The allocated market
Bourbons have proven very popular at the store, Megan says. In fact, they’re kind of a whole new world into themselves. Some bourbons (and other liquors) are “allocated,” meaning only so many are allotted per state. That introduces added scarcity, so many folks seek them out, stopping at liquor store after store to find hard-to-find, sought-out labels.
Bob says they make a point not to hold liquors for people or alert them – and they don’t just put them out right away. That makes it more fair to customers, he says, since any time they stop in they might be able to find one of those bottles.
Also popular, interestingly, are nonalcoholic drinks. Megan says the NA movement has been growing in popularity and they get asked about that a lot. They carry some brands associated with NA, including Stevens Point-based Siren Shrubs, a sipping vinegar that can be used in alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks. “I think the first two weeks it was the most requested thing,” Megan says.
More than liquor
Granite View also carries a wide selection of unique beers, many of which can be mixed and matched in four and six-packs. And, they offer sugar-free wines, a growing trend. Redwood Roasters’ Cold Nitro Brew Coffee is also on tap, and they even had someone buy a whole growler worth recently.
The two have an interesting background leading up to opening The Garage and now Granite View Market. Megan most recently worked at Liberty Mutual and was a certified yoga instructor. Bob worked for his dad’s company Office Enterprises before purchasing it from him in 2012. Bob and Megan since then started growing, buying and selling companies. The two have bought and sold more than a dozen companies so far, Bob estimates. They also sailed about one-third of the way around the world in 2018 before starting The Garage.
They’ve got more plans for Granite View Market. They hope to build an outdoor patio and if they get approval, they hope to turn it into an outdoor, year-round smoking lounge with heaters and a cover.
Granite View Market is open Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday 9 am to 11 pm; Sunday 9 am to 7 pm.