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Bon Vivant Wine & Brew
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$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
1504 S Church St
phone: (757) 365-0932
(Place added by: Scooter77)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 14 | Show All Ratings:
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The only way to start this review would be to note that you are not going to notice this place if you are not looking for it. My mapping program incorrectly put it downtown when it is really 15 blocks (long blocks) South of downtown.
The sign is small and covered with flowers. The outside is a small brick building that appears to have at one time been an extremely small two room cottage. If you see the place you might decide not to enter since nowhere does it mention beer or wine, simply Market on the sign. Loads of parking, once you do find it, and find it you should!
The first room as you enter on the left is beer. Heavenly beer! No BMC, nothing that is not craft or Belgian. Even Sahti had a place on the shelves. The shelves are on two walls and are crammed full of bottles. The selection should probably only rate a 4.0 since there is no more room for beers and many micros are not represented, but for a small place in nowhere VA, the selection is outstanding. Many beers are present that have not been seen elsewhere in the state.
The quality is good. Some beers may have been around awhile, but no dust and many newer beers were present. The service rates 4.5 and with regularity could become a 5.0. I suspect the owner would eventually know you by name and he keeps a record of your purchases by name in the computer to make it easier for his customers to know what they might have purchased in the past. There is only one small cooler in the back room with the wine and it contains the Legend beers.
If I lived or was visiting the area, this would definitely be my beer store of choice. It is so far off the beaten path that you need to be in the area before making the jaunt, but if you decide to visit, it will be worth your time!
08-21-2005 22:42:40 |
More by GCBrewingCo
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Bon Vivant is a tiny little store out in what seems like the middle of nowhere. About a 45min.-1hr. drive from my house in Va. Beach. You have to pass it and make a u-turn to get to it. Little brick cottage-like building. Inside, there's tonsa wine, spices, etc. and beer in the room on the left. Once in this room, you are staring at a wall fulla one of the best beer selections I've ever seen. No Miller Lite here. Only the best, hard to find beers. Micros and quite a selection of Belgians and other Europeans. Mike, the owner, is awesome. Very nice and more knowledgable about beer than I'll ever be. He was very helpful and made a suggestion that's now become one of my top 5 favorite beers. He runs a little beer lovers club that meets on the last Fri. of the month at 7pm. Haven't been to a meeting yet, but I'll get there soon. He put me on a list in his computer and has sent me updates on his stock and has held beer for me before. Just an all-around great guy. The prices are reasonable/average, but in many cases, his selection outweighs what you're gonna pay. Some gems are a little pricey, but who cares. Overall, one of the absolute best places to go for beer. I haven't found a better place in the area.
07-16-2005 01:56:42 |
More by Px2GrafX
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The Bon Vivant has a very good selection of Belgians and American microbrews. I did also check out his stock on the website and it seems to be accurate. He has some things that are hard-to-find currently such as De Dolle Export Stout, The Duchess in big bottles, her siblings Echte Kriekenbier and Vichtennar, Boon Gueuze, de Regenboog BBBourgundier (pardon my spelling), Dogfish Head Old School Barleywine, Rocheforts....it is a quality selection and I was torn between 4.5 and 5.0.
His prices are fair in my opinion, and Bon Vivant is owner-operated by Belgian beer-o-phile Mike Adams.
From the outside you'd never know this place was here, it is in a very small town, on the side of a highway, but inside it is beer heaven.
05-23-2005 23:32:42 |
More by catwoman
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4
The Bon Vivant Market is a TINY little store that specializes in Beer, Wine, Coffee, and Spices. They have a wine specialist as their official wine taster, and the owner, Mike Adams, is the beer guru. He's a very nice guy, very helpful, and quite excited about beer. He really wanted to chat with me about all the brews that I was purchasing, but the store had gotten quite crowded while I was checking out and other customers were also in need of his attention. They stock roughly 125 to 150 beers at any given time. Its not the largest selection, but they've cut out most of the fluff and, what they do have is pretty much all worth while. They cover a wide range a styles and have a couple good representatives of all the various styles that they carry. I found the tagged prices to be about average with what Ive seen around the area, but if you buy over 10 bottles (I think thats the right number, but I may be wrong) then you get 10% off your purchase which makes their prices quite good. Everything is sold by the single, and only a couple things are refrigerated in a small apartment size Pepsi fridge (I think these items are dictated by floor space). While at the store, I also asked Mike Adams if he'll special order beer and if there's a minimum order. He said that theres no minimum order and that he's always looking for great new and unique brews to stock (within his space limitations of course). So, if there was ever anything that I wanted him to see if he could get to just let him know.
The beer portion of their web site is pretty thorough and lists all of the current stock. I've seen it change a few times, so it seems to be kept current. They also have a Beer Lovers Club that hosts beer tastings once a month at the store after hours. Theres an email list that can be signed up for at the store that Bon Vivant uses to inform beer lovers about all the monthly tastings and some of the specialties that they receive from time to time.
All in all, a great little store with a very nice personal touch. Not being much of a wine drinker myself, Id just assume they cut the wine inventory in half and expand the beer selection. Then the store would be almost unbeatable.
10-31-2003 16:20:51 |
More by byrd
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Bon Vivant Wine & Brew in Smithfield, VA
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