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New Wine And Spirits Shop Coming To Itasca Building

The owner of a new liquor store says he intends to be as competitive as possible with discount retailers like Total Wine when he opens in early June on North 1st Street.

Underground Leaf & Vine, located next to ACME Comedy Co and In The Loop Coffee, will be both a retail shop where you can buy wine, beer and spirits by the bottle as well as a wine club where you can get deep discounts on wines by the case.

“I have great relationships with several wineries in Napa,” said owner Jason Vogel. “So I can negotiate amazing deals for my wine club members. Some of these prices will be so low that I won’t be allowed to advertise them on the website. Our customers will be able to save $400-$500 on select wines by the case.”

Jason and his wife, Stacey, moved to the North Loop from San Diego, where he was the General Manager of a country club and was spurred by the pandemic to try something different.

“When COVID hit, I had friends who were the wine reps for the country club,” he said. “And with everything being closed, they couldn’t sell anything. And so I’m like, ‘guys, send me a list of 50 wines by the case. I’ll send it out to the membership with a small markup, 10, 15 percent, and let’s see what happens.’

He said the new wine club did “better than I ever could’ve ever imagined” and now he’s bringing that same concept to his new home in the North Loop.

“Drinking great wine has been woven into many of my life experiences…whether significant, like celebrating a milestone, or understated, like decompressing after a long day of work on a random Tuesday night with Stacey while sitting in front of the fireplace. I want others to experience this…to make that connection between a favorite wine and a particular time, place or memory.”

For the first few months at least, Jason and Stacey will be the ones behind the counter of the new shop, getting to know the people of the neighborhood and what they like to drink. The shop will be open Tuesday-Saturday 11a-8p and Sunday from 11a-6pm.

By Mike Binkley, North Loop volunteer

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