Originally reviewed 1/25/2010.
What can I say about Armanetti that has not already been said? They have an owner that despite a debilitating anger management problem has managed to put together a fairly strong craft beer selection.
In terms of value, I think it is very expensive, once you factor in the cost of the emotional abuse you are likely to face. The actual prices are higher than other places too.
I have never had a genuinely good experience here, but going there for Bourbon County Vanilla was the worst. I called ahead of time, asking very politely if they could please hold a bottle for me. No, I’m sorry, it’s first come first serve. When would they be getting it in? When the truck gets there. Today? Maybe. Thanks.
When I walk in, the display is somewhat out of the way to really discourage people from getting to it, unlike the fanfare the special releases get at Binny’s. It’s like they don’t want walk in customers to be able to buy "the best stuff." So I grab a bottle, walk around, and end up picking up two more single bottles of beer, a 12 oz. and a 22 oz. When I go to check out, the owner says, "Just the Bourbon County Vanilla and a couple of limited releases? I shouldn’t even sell you these, I never see you in here." Shocked, I responded that I had stopped in a few times. "Oh yea, I think I remember you coming in to buy other limited releases. You never buy any of the regular stuff."
There is always something going on that betrays the rules of good customer service and usually human decency. No thanks.
Stopped by twice within a week. Kinda been avoiding to go here because of the horror stories about Steve. The place is average size with 1/4 of the store dedicated to Craft beers. They have some things that may be a hidden gem and unavailable at Binny’s or Wes Lakeview Liquors. They also have a mix a six pack selection of about 40 or so beers. The reson I stopped by was to hunt around and get an idea bout a special relase (King Henry and BCS). Steve was not bad, we spoke for a bit and he advised me to check on Twitter or join the e-mail list server for info on special releases. I did and was able to lad the two special releases. Overall the place ain’t bad, they have some things that you might miss at Binny’s, the prices are average and special releases are handled first come first serve.
I really liked this place. A bit larger then west lakeview with a greater variety of american micros. The mix 6 program was fantastically done and organized. So many beers on a wall of 12 ozers gives you flexibility to try a lot. I picked up some Bells, Great Lakes, Boulevard, FFF here. The kid working the counter was super nice and really helpful I guess i didnt get some of the bad service a lot of people talk about on here. Great place.
I’ve always heard bad things about this place but I figured I would check it out anyways.The employee greeted me when I walked in and told me to let him know if I needed help. I appreciate that, because most places’ employees follow me all around the store and make me feel like a crook. I was pleased to see that they do in fact have a "build your own 6 pack" option. The majority of their beers are US craft beers. I was happy to see lots of Victory brewing selections. A little on the pricey side, but I there were a few things I haven’t seen elsewhere.
When I moved here, I went here a few times to buy some random stuff. After noticing that they have some of the more rare stuff available, I asked about purchasing them. They said I needed some type of customer card before I could buy these special beers. I spent some good money there several times, however, I wasn’t allowed to buy a $4 bottle of Nemesis because I wasn’t high enough in the club. Whatever. Steve, the owner, is a total _____ (insert whatever you’d like here) and I won’t be back ever again, despite living a mile away.
Big bright space. The guy working there seemed knowledgeable enough, and happy to help. Clean and well organized, not as quickly picked over as some neighborhood contemporaries. Prices a bit on the high side, but not entirely out of line. You’ll absolutely be able to find something interesting here. Not the best, but definitely worth a stop if you’re in the neighborhood. Free parking on the side a definite plus.
I’ve heard so many bad stories about this place I’ve stayed away forever. Finally made it here on my way to Lush. Located on busy Lincoln, I was lucky to find a spot out front, but say they have parking in the back. Big store, not overly nice. I was greeted nicely upon walking in and was asked if I needed help twice. The people working there seemed very knowledgable in beer and wine as I eaves dropped on them helping other people. They had 3 rows of beer, very high quality and tons of it. Mostly focused on American craft staples, don’t recall seeing anything that isn’t other places. Huge Lost Abbey and GI selection. Lots of Cantillon and they have have the new De Cam Lambiek. Most beer seems overstocked, perhaps its their reputation. This place is a little out of my way but I would go back if there was something I couldn’t find. On the pricey side though.
Great little store with a nice selection of Micros. Found quite a few beers that weren’t available in Binny’s and other liquor stores around the area. Steve runs a tight ship, and values the patronage of his regular customers. No fault there.
The store is clean.
The selection is one of the best in Chicago.
The prices aren’t overly high.
Stop in, check it out. Support the local business, don’t feed that beast of the conglomerate competitors.
Great selection of beers. Staf is knowledgeable and will point you in the right direction if you tell them what you are looking for. Has ratebeer ratings under certain beers. Will be back.
emerge077 (147) RIP Johnnies, Chicago, Illinois | February 11, 2010| Updated November 19, 2010
Armanettis used to be a regular stop for me, but I dont shop there anymore. The selection is great, but prices are high, and they have a "members only" card program that excludes people from access to buying limited beers that are sitting on the shelf for all to see. Clearly not beer advocacy. After continued patronage, I was randomly lectured by the owner about "customer loyalty", and have been treated like I had never spent a dime in the store before (after spending over $1000 there over the last several years). Passive/aggressive behavior and poor treatment of customers is the issue here.
Selection is great, with a focus on Midwest micros like FFF, Dark Horse, Flossmoor, and Half Acre. The store is relatively tidy, though i’ve bought expired imports on occasion.
With so many options nearby like West Lakeview, Lush, Pellys, and Whole Foods, I have no problem finding great craft beer elsewhere. Not to mention people who are passionate about beer and treat their customers like human beings. These arent isolated incidents: http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/2579904
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