“I love liquor and all the different tastes that each bottle of whatever has,” he said.
“There’s always something new and interesting and always such a variation between different kinds of bourbon or wine or beer. Every bottle tastes different, no matter what brand or type it is,” Levine said.
He prides himself on The Liquor Cabinet’s wide selection and the personal service he gives each customer.
“I like to greet people at the door and help them have a totally new, pleasant experience. If they don’t know quite what they’re looking for, I want to help them find exactly what they will like,” he said.
Levine acknowledged that there are many good liquor stores in the area.
“But at my store, you’ll find a staff that’s knowledgeable and friendly and have tasted most of the products we sell. They really can put you in the right direction. My passion and the passion of my staff is unparalleled,” he said.
That’s different from what you’ll find at most grocery stores, he added.
“The grocery stores will give you your main skews and convenience. But what you get here at The Liquor Cabinet is a great variety of different products and people who know what they’re doing and are very experienced and will give you the very best guidance and experience possible. You get a niche that you won’t find anywhere else,” Levine said.
And you won’t be surprised when you get to the checkout stand, he added. “Here you’ll see the actual, out-the-door price on our shelves. The grocery stores have one price on the shelf and then at the cash register they’ll add on all the extra taxes,” he said.
Levine’s interest in liquor started when he was very young.
“I guess I learned it from my grandfather. He always said, ‘Don’t chintz on booze.’ He always joked about it. I was too young to try it of course, but there was always something about it that sort of resonated with me,” he said.
Levine also loves that every bottle tells a story. “Every tequila, vodka or beer has a story behind it,” he said. “I know the stories behind the Washington wines and most of the vodkas and tequilas and some of the others. I wish I knew all the stories."
Levine likes to share the stories with his customers, many of whom are Key Peninsula residents.
“KP people are some of my most ardent supporters and my best customers,” he said. “They’re friendly and want this store to succeed. I was broken into last spring. Everyone on the Key knew what was going on and they stopped by to make sure I was OK. When they come here, they smile and strike up a conversation and want to know how we’re doing."
Levine schedules regular events to keep his customers coming back to try new things. “I keep six beers on tap and I keep rotating it,” he said.
“I always want to have what’s new to the market and I like to keep my inventory up to date. I’ve added lots of specialty products.
“All my wines are top shelf –– 90 points plus –– and we’re really supportive of Washington winemakers and their great wines.”
Levine and his staff host tastings every Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.
“You can try whatever you want before you buy it. I don’t want you to waste your money on something that you might find you don’t like,” he said.
Levine is also committed to being part of the community. “I want to support the community in every way I can far, far into the future," he said.
The Liquor Cabinet is located at 6705 Tyee Drive in Purdy. For information, call (253) 857-5966 or visit The Liquor Cabinet on Facebook.