Self-taught cocktail enthusiasts Andy Foerstel and Melissa Pfeiffer have crafted the ultimate bar supply store, Intoxicology (4321 Manchester Avenue, the Grove; 314-833-3088)
, filling a void they saw St. Louis, and really all of the Midwest. While professional bartenders worth their salt know might know where to find unique specialty shops and one-off artisans, there hasn’t been a place that offered such treasures all under one roof. Until now.
Intoxicology has it all – from artisan spirits, bitters, shrubs and mixers to books, vintage glassware, Kold-Draft ice, specialty salts and bar tools galore. There’s even a small curated collection of wine and beer.
Customers will also be able to sample almost everything in the store at the tasting bar, a feature not found in similar stores located on the east and west coasts.
Tastings, classes and private events will add an educational aspect to the store’s offerings while a cozy corner outfitted with leather lounge chairs and a vintage turntable afford cocktail sampling in style.
Pfeiffer brings 23 years of experience in the service industry to the venture, having worked at C.J. Muggs in Webster Groves. Foerstel’s path is a little more circuitous – recently in the retail world at K. Hall Designs, his first career was as a professional scout for baseball. But spirits have become a vocation: Foerstel has competed in and won several cocktail competitions over the years, including placing as a finalist in the Ste. Germaine Can Can Classic.
The couple met almost 20 years ago and their relationship — first personal, and now also a business partnership — grew out of a shared love of cocktails. “We had our first Ted Kilgore experience at Monarch and we were sold,” says Foerstel. Soon, their home bar was better stocked than some retail bars. “But it was a challenge to find everything we needed to take our skills to the next level," Foerstel notes.
The couple found the Grove a natural fit for the one-of-a-kind store, locating in first floor of the newly built 4321Grove mixed-use apartment building. Foerstel says, “We wanted to find an equally unique neighborhood and were encouraged by the many eclectic businesses in the area now and more still in the works.”
The modern brick and glass storefront features floor-t0-ceiling windows with a great view of busy Manchester Avenue. Inside, the store is ringed with open shelves filled to the brim with spirits. Books on cocktails are artfully displayed between each one. Tables throughout the space are set up with cocktail-themed vignettes. A custom-built bar is tucked into one side set up for tastings and cocktail-making.
The store had a soft opening last Saturday, November 26 and plans a Grand Opening and Open House on Saturday, December 10, with tastings from local Big O Ginger Liquor and a special cocktail menu.
photo courtesy of Intoxicology
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