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Spec's - Downtown
$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
2410 Smith St
phone: (888) 526-8787
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vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.75 | $$
Huge selection of beer, off top. Four or more aisles of bottle, packs, a local aisle, tons of coolers and end caps. Most stuff was fresh, but there were some brands that seemed to sit longer, so I became weary if I couldn't find dates for IPAs. I had no problem racking up a $200 bill. **PLEASE NOTE** Plan ahead and have cash; things are priced cheaper if you pay with cash, not credit/debit. So it's definitely a value, especially paying cash.
Service was meh. Plenty of staff and apparent management, just in the beer area, but never saw a staff member talk to anyone but other staff members. Lots of shooting the shit going on. I didn't need help, but when someone does, I bet they'll feel like they're intruding. Sadly.
In the end, hard to top the sheer variety offered.
06-03-2013 20:13:35 |
More by EgadBananas
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I went to D&Q Mini Mart last week to stock up so I decided to give Spec's on Smith a chance to see if they could compare.
What Spec's makes up for in selection and prices, they lose in atmosphere and service to D&Q without a doubt.
I had heard the deli was amazing and it was, gyro for me and a veggie sandwich for my lady did us well after our beer shopping. Great selection of chips, chocolates, and cheese to go along with what you get from the deli. Simply amazing selection on almost all products they carry, prices were also the best I have seen in Texas.
I found three 4-packs of brews I had never tried, two 6-packs of some gems from California and 6 more bombers with my food from the deli all for $108 compared to $115 from D&Q for roughly the same amount I spent solely on beer the week before. Do not trust their website to be accurate although it did help me see what they claimed to have carried, which was an assorted variety like no other.
The staff that was supposed to be helping customers in the beer section were more busy trying to impress one another while using the coolers as stand-up recliners, keeping us from shopping in certain areas without feeling like we were interrupting them. They did ask us if we needed help but quickly seemed annoyed that we were asking for beers that they did not carry (D&Q had them, by the way). I was just using the information I had retrieved from their own website when asking them for products and they seemed irritated and judgmental.
Classic example of big vs. small, you pay more at D&Q but you will get better service and atmosphere although Spec's does have a larger selection and better prices (even if you are not paying with cash).
This place is certainly worth the visit if you just remind yourself that within the hour you will be able to enjoy your beverages without the pseudo-hipster glares haunting you from the corner of your eye.
06-08-2012 17:36:26 |
More by Hopmodium
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
This is a liquor wonderland!!! You could easily drop a month's salary in this place with little effort. So much to choose from, its difficult to get in and out quickly. You'll want to browse the shelves for hours.
There are many Specs Liquor stores throughout the Houston area, but this one on Smith St has, by far, the largest selection. It can be a bit difficult to get to, but it is well worth the effort when you arrive.
Not only are the shelves and racks plumb full, they offer some of the most exotic choices you will find anywhere in the world. If there is a liquor store with more to offer, surely it’s located in heaven. I could spend hours looking through their offerings and have on a couple of occasions. Each time I visit I find new items I hadn’t noticed on previous visits. If you are looking for a special item not native to the U.S., you will likely find it here. If not, these guys are willing to work with you to get what you need. They are not afraid to add more items and view additions as making their offerings more complete.
Be prepared to spend some money... Not because of the price on their items, the prices are difficult to beat. It’s because you will want to load your basket with new things to try. If you carry cash you will enjoy an additional 10% discount. On the visits I’ve made here I have yet to leave without relieving my wallet of at least $300.00. Trust me, it’s easy to do.
Living 4 hrs away makes it difficult to get in as often as I like. Maybe this is a good thing… I do have bills to pay.
If you are in the area and want to see what choice is all about, you need to visit this place.
12-30-2011 19:32:26 |
More by jjkatter
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Stopped by while visiting Houston after reading all the great reviews on BA. They definitely have a great selection here. Picked up some Austin Beerworks (a six pack each of their American IPA, German Pilsner and American Pale Ale). They also had a selection of four Clown Shoes bombers (Tramp Stamp, Hoppy Feet, Clementine & Eagle Claw Fist).
I picked up a few other things while there, but this place will definitely provide plenty of options. If this were my local beer store, I'd definitely be a regular!
09-06-2011 21:50:25 |
More by RedBeardBrewing
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$
The downtown Spec's at Smith st is one of our most traveled to destinations, and its 40 miles from where we live. Being that we mostly go down there for the expansive beer selection. They carry the larger brewers, and are always willing to pick up new ones as well. Have seen at least 2 new one in as many weeks. Though being a busy metropolitan store has its downfalls: slim pickings by the weekend and not great parking. Also being that its the main store in the region if there is a limited release they may be the only one that gets it and being that focused it goes quick. Had to go to Austin just to find more Drinkin' the Sunbelt since every Spec's in the area was completely out or never got it. But overall i like it there.
08-08-2011 20:17:59 |
More by shoky01
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Spec's Midtown has a warehouse feel to it because, essentially, that's what it is. Beer selection is easily the best in town -- if it gets distributed to Texas, there's a very good chance that Spec's has it. They also have a great selection of Texas locals, including seasonal releases.
Liquor selection is also pretty amazing, I could spend way too long just browsing the aisles of this store.
Finally, I enjoy the updates that get posted on BA by their beer guy -- keeping the BA community informed of recent product updates is so easy, but also so important.
06-07-2011 17:55:47 |
More by drummermattie02
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
I don't know of any other beer store in Houston with this amount of selection. I also can't say that I have purchased anything here that had been sitting on the shelf too long. That could just be that I head in and get the popular stuff, regardless, I am happy with fresh IPAs.
I also appreciate the updates from the store manager (I think that it is the manager) about new arrivals here on BA. A nice incentive for getting through the workday.
In addition to the impressive selection of beer, and local brews, they have food and other alcohol. I couldn't tell you anything about the rest of the store though!
05-23-2011 02:28:02 |
More by dnarx
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped here on a recent business trip. Now, don't get me wrong, this is an incredibly impressive store. Unparalleled square footage. Tons and tons of beers. I believe the others reviews that say if it is available in TX, it's at Spec's. That said, I left here feeling a little empty. It felt like a Best Buy of booze.
The employees, busy restocking the shelves, were helpful. They pointed me towards the local brews and things they thought I wouldn't be able to get in NY, but one displayed an odd level of arrogance that I found off-putting. When I asked about Jester King, he said "yeah, well, we're the only place in Houston to get it and we sold out 15 cases in three days." Not only was it untrue that they were the only place to get it, but why would I want to know how quickly they sold it? Granted, if they got 15 cases when Central Market only got one, that is a display of their buying power. But is that supposed to make me feel better about buying there? In any event, the other employee was much more engaging, and gave me the head's up that they would be receiving more CoCoNut Porter the next day, which I thought was really nice. He also made some decent recommendations.
All told, thought, I feel like they may be a victim of their own success. There were no hard-to-find beers there while I was there. I suspect it's because if something rare is coming out, everyone and their mother comes here looking for it.
I'd consider going back, just for the spectacle if nothing else, but I'm in no rush.
04-21-2011 03:03:57 |
More by myspoonistoobig
quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
One of the most expansive liquor/beer/wine stores I've ever been in. They have a tremendous selection of all alcoholic beverages, but I'll focus on the beer.
Basically, if it's distributed in Texas, they will have it here. I live in Baton Rouge, but visit Houston fairly often and I never pass up a chance to swing by Spec's and see what's new, what's interesting, and pick up some beers I can't normally get back home.
It can get crowded, but service has always been good, and the quality and selection of beers is unmatched for the region.
02-06-2011 18:16:27 |
More by theboozecruise
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I really like Spec's Midtown (or downtown if you are old school.) They have a great selection across the board. The cool thing about the place is not only do they sell quality beer, but they also have a multitude of other items. In fact, I had been looking for some really rare spice and I happened across it right near the beer isle by sheer accident. They also have a full deli with some really good food. They even have specialty food items for sale such as fancy cheeses.
The cool thing about Spec's Warehouse is they are the 1st in town to usually get the rare and limited releases. In the past month I have picked up Deschutes' The Abyss and Brooklyn Brewery's Black Ops. They also have a little special section dedicated solely to Texas beers. Chances are... if its available in Texas, then its as Spec's.
01-30-2011 04:27:05 |
More by adamhimself
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Spec's - Downtown in Houston, TX