Mid-Columbia Wine and Spirits promises to be different -- down to the beer and syrah wine used to stain the concrete floor of the new Richland store.
The cross between a high-end wine shop and a liquor warehouse is among the first new Tri-City businesses to open after voters approved privatizing liquor sales.
When the 17,000-square-foot store opens June 1, the owners say it will be one of the largest stores of its kind dedicated to liquor, wine and beer in Benton and Franklin counties.
Owners Michael Shemali and Monica and Rajiv Malhan and their crew of 22 are working double shifts to open the doors of the first of two Tri-City stores.
The partners plan to open their second store July 4 at 731 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Kennewick.
This week, they were putting the finishing touches on a remodel of the Richland store at 1711 George Washington Way next to Office Depot in the Washington Plaza.
That included another coat of sealant on their specially stained floor.
The store will carry about 1,500 varieties of wines to start with, and Shemali said some will be priced as high as $20,000 a bottle.
They plan to offer wines dating to the '30s, which Shemali, who already owns an online wine retailing business, Hooked on Wine, said may make a good gift.
A temperature-controlled wine tasting bar and a private wine cellar are also planned.
Three walk-in beer caves were being stocked this week with 1,300 varieties of domestic and imported beer and microbrews.
And about 3,000 types of liquor will be for sale once they get them from distributors, Shemali said. That will be about four to five times more than most liquor stores carry, he said.
Their 450-square-foot outdoor patio will be available for private banquets. Shemali said groups will be able to reserve the patio, and then get a banquet license from the state Liquor Control Board.
The store also will feature a walk-in humidor with constant humidity to keep cigars fresh.
The humidor, wine cellar and beer coolers all have a Tuscan look. Rajiv Malhan's company, RM Construction of Richland, did the remodel work.
Near the front doors is a desk where customers can place orders in advance for events such as birthdays, weddings and quinceaeras, Rajiv Malhan said. Then, the order will be ready for customers to pick up or to be delivered.
Monica Malhan said they'll also offer a selection of unique gifts, including a stack of old vinyl records signed by the artists, including Madonna, the Doobie Brothers and a Grease soundtrack.
"Things that you won't find anywhere else, you will find here," she said.
Rajiv Malhan said the store will include a specially designed system at the check-out registers to ensure that alcohol is not sold without scanning a driver's license or valid ID.
The system alerts the employee if a customer is not old enough to buy alcohol, Shemali said.
Telia Patterson said the system also allows cashiers to look up a customer's past purchases for them.
Monica Malhan said they hired two former state liquor store employees, and many of their other new employees, including Patterson, were unemployed. All but two of the jobs will be full-time.
The Richland store hours will be from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. the rest of the week.