Look out, Culver City–there’s a new liquor store in town. Opened just last month, Hi-Lo Liquor Market is unlike any other liquor market you may have ever been to. You’ll be blown away by the selection of beverages, many of which were made in California. And you’ll be pleased with the other snacks and goodies to complement said beverages. Our team was fortunate to visit their grand open house and mingle with co-founders Talmadge Lowe and Christopher Harris. Below, Tal answers a few of our questions, so keep reading to learn more about their story!
Amber Events: Describe Hi-Lo in just three words.
Talmadge Lowe: I’ll give you two: accessible sophistication.
AE: What’s the story behind the name ‘Hi-Lo?’
TL: We wanted something short and memorable that sounds like a convenience store, but we also wanted it to be representative of what we will carry. For example, we will have “low brow” beer and spirits like Budweiser and Jack Daniels – items you can get anywhere and don’t necessarily evoke the sprit of craft or sophistication as brands. But we also wanted to carry “high brow” beers and spirits and Beechwood Brewery (local and doing really crafty things with beer) and Mulholland Spirits (brand new, hard-to-find distillers from L. A.). So Hi-Lo is a playful way of saying we have something for everyone.
AE: Why did you choose to open up shop here, in Culver City? We hear Highland Park is next! When can we expect it to open?
TL: Culver City is on the verge of being the next destination neighborhood in L. A., so the timing just felt right. Plus, we all live nearby, so it’s our neighborhood, too! Highland Park is still on the table. We would love to be open this year, but the City and County of L. A. hold the timetable in their bureaucratic hands.
AE: What makes your liquor store different?
TL: Well, for one, it’s beautiful (thanks to Project M+). We have affordable and well thought out selections. But I think it’s the market that really distinguishes us. Where else can you buy your eggs and milk alongside a cult beer and all the makings for an excellent Old Fashioned?
AE: Could you tell us a little more about your event-catering and bar-stocking services? How are the selection, purchasing, and delivery processes different?
TL: I think the one big distinguishing factor is that as the owner of Pharmacie, I have been stocking bars and catering events for a long time and so I understand how important it is to have quality product there, while working with a budget.
AE: Who are the specialists in store that we can trust to take care of clients in making selections?
TL: I’ll be your first contact, but we have a great team of friendly, knowledgeable staff that can always help.
AE: Name your current, favorite food and beverage pairing that is offered in-store.
TL: Right now, I would say pick up some cheeses and crackers with a Gerwurztraminer or a sandwich and a beer – can’t go wrong there!
AE: What else can customers find here that is so unexpected?
TL: Our gift boxes. We have several that we have designed, but we also do custom gifts. The Moscow Mule boxes have been the most popular – everything you need to make a mule, including the copper mug!
AE: What kind of tastings will you be offering this summer at your in-house bar?
TL: Beer and wine, for sure. LOTS of beer.
AE: How do you see Hi-Lo Liquor Market in five years?
TL: I see it in every neighborhood in L. A.!
Photos | Marisa Vitale Photography