If you aren’t old enough to remember Hazel, the TV show about the kooky but earnestly wise house keeper for the Baxter’s, maybe you recall when Liquor Mart was the only game in town. Okay, stop. Those days are over, baby. Say hello to the new kid in town, Hazel’s Beverage World.
Located just north of Jai Ho’s at the southwest corner of Pearl and 28th , and open until 11:45 nightly, Hazel’s is a whole new beast, and… the ante has been upped, you might say.
First, it’s good-sized but not a mall…more of a hangar, really. The shiny black floor, easy-to-see-over displays, giant wall-mounted section signs, and real airplane suspended from the rafters give it a feeling of spaciousness, and purpose. It’s kinda cool to not be overwhelmed by a fleet of competing “Look at Me!” signs in flashing neon; the feel is sleek, modern and relaxed. They also have a wine cellar, humidor and a tasting bar. Nice.
Next, it’s stocked with knowledgeable staff. On a recent trip, I was assisted by a savvy and impressively patient associate, Amanda Jo. She helped me find an obscure wine from the Pacific Northwest, all the while flaunting some pretty deep wine chops and pithy anecdotes. Hazel’s also snagged Bob, last name—like Sting—unnecessary, from Liquor Mart; Bob is a fount of wine recommendations and good natured assistance and a true steal from Liquor Mart.
Lastly, it’s competition. Liquor Mart has been besieged with rivals in recent years, including salvos from Superior Liquors and Bottles. But no real ‘super store’ competition within Boulder city limits..until now. Hazel’s digital pricing displays appear primed to instantly plunge upon news of a Liquor mart sale, and I’m all for price wars. Let the games begin!