As the craft beer scene in Fort Smith continues its upward trend (see recent Times Record article), a new participant begins preparations to take the city by storm. The dirt work for Sodie’s Wine & Spirits has begun in “The Shoppes at Leigh Avenue” at 5401 Phoenix Avenue (corner of Phoenix and Leigh Ave) and is planned to open prior to Thanksgiving of 2014.
In November of 2012, Fort Smith resident, Scott Clark, purchased Drive In Liquors on Midland Avenue and changed the name to Sodie’s. Scott’s plan was to learn the operations of a liquor store at the current Midland Avenue location, knowing that one day he would transfer the permit when he found the perfect location. After speaking with Scott about the new setting and all of the services that will be offered, we say “mission accomplished!” Scott’s primary focus is to become a destination location due to the future location’s uniqueness and fun atmosphere. Once a cleverly orchestrated idea, Sodie’s is quickly becoming an astounding reality in front of our very eyes. Scott’s progressive vision and lateral thinking is sure to set Sodie’s apart and provide the Fort Smith craft beer, wine, liquor, and cigar scene (also known as “fun scene”) with a much-needed facelift.
At 10,000 ft2, Sodie’s inventory will rival that of the big warehouses. Its upscale appearance, personal service, and innovative features will greatly benefit the consumer. Further separating itself from run-of-the-mill booze stops, Sodie’s will offer an interactive tasting bar with various beers, wines, and spirits available for tasting. The tasting bar will also offer the following amenities:
Growler Station – Thanks to the recent good news from the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control, Sodie’s will sell 32 and 64 ounce Growlers for off-premises consumption. Kegs of craft beer will be housed in a main cooler, piped overhead, and down to taps located at the tasting bar. Consumers can choose between 8 craft beers to be filled into their Sodie’s Growler. These purchased Growlers can be reused on subsequent trips.
Enomatic Wine Dispensing Systems–These high-tech wine dispensers utilize inert gas to preserve the flavors and characteristics of the wine for more than three weeks. These systems remove all conjecture and guesswork as they allow the consumer an opportunity to taste a contemplated wine prior to purchasing. Sodie’s will house two 4-bottle Enomatic systems at the tasting bar. Sodie’s will be the only location in Arkansas to offer this technology.
In addition to these consumer-friendly accommodations, Sodie’s will display shelf talk labels on many of the available wines and craft beers. This at-a-glance literature will briefly describe the origin, makeup, as well as tasting notes. Craft beers that are ranked by RateBeer 100 will be identified as such. Scott also envisions iPad 2s mounted at the tasting bar for food pairing references.
Sodie’s will also offer New Arrivals, Arkansas Made, and Gluten Free craft beer sections. Pick 6 opportunities with various individual craft bottles will be made available.
If that wasn’t enough, Sodies will also offer a walk-in humidor stocked with fine cigars.
We’re very excited to welcome Sodie’s Wine & Spirits to its new location. Mark your calendars to visit Sodie’s in the Fall!