Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Worth the Wait?

The San Mateo and Lomas location of Sunflower Market has finally been approved to sell liquor almost a year after opening its doors. The store opened in December of 2007 but the planned liquor section has sat as an eyesore of empty shelves until this week.

So was it worth the wait?

Well, no. The beer selection isn't bad. It just isn't anything special. The row of coolers looks promising as there are about 15 doors worth of beer but the contents don't outshine any of the three other stores within a mile that sell beer. Of course one of these stores in Jubilation, but I am comparing it more with the Smiths at Carlisle and Constitution.

The shelves all seemed to have just one facing of any beer, which made the coolers look bare. The contents were what you'd expect to see: Stone, Mendocino, Odels (but not the IPA) Full Sail, New Belgium, Widmer, Rogue. Nothing bad, but Smiths has a better selection, and better prices.
The prices were what I liked the least about Sunflower's beers. The Arrogant Bastard and IPA from Stone were both $2.99, which is the same as just about every other store in town. However, what is the deal with selling the Smoked Porter for $4.99??? And Full Sail and New Belgium for $7.99 for all varieties? That's a dollar more than Kelly's and Trader Joe's. $8.49 for Mendocino Red Tail? Not to mention grabbing you by the pumpkins for the Anheuser Busch made Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale at $7.99! The only deal I saw was Anchor Liberty Ale for $8.49, which is a dollar less than Trader Joe's and $1.50 less than Kelly's.
I guess I was expecting Sunflower's selection to be more like their Alameda location, which has a great selection of bombers and even carried growlers for a while. This is barely a step above the beer section at the Smiths at Lomas and San Pedro. I will visit them again, since they just opened and will probably change a few things around and hopefully increase their selection. For now though, I will go the extra half mile to Jubilation.

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