I like the feel of this samís better than the one in Chicago, plus, their beer selection looks cooler. They have most anything that the other samís has, but less traffic and less hassle. I prefer this samís, personally.
I visited this particular Samís Wine & Spirits location on 11/12/2006 while visiting a friend in Chicagoland. This store is located right next to The Home Depot and has a huge parking lot in the front. The store is farily large, but probably only half the size of the the main Chicago Samís Wine & Spirits! They have tons of wine and a pretty good selection of American micros and craft beers as well as imports. Most of the micros/craft beers are 6-packs/4-packs only unless it comes in a 22 oz or 750 mL bottle. No 12 oz singles are really available unless it is an import or in the "bargain bin". Lots of rare and regional-only stuff available. Overall the store is bright, clean, well stocked, and there are people around to help.
Visited yesterday as I was in the area. Didnít expect much, but they had a very nice selection including singles. Same Binnyís feel and service as the others. Location is not the best and may be easy to miss unless you know it is there.
ElGaucho (281) Minnetonka, Minnesota | January 1, 2007| Updated December 14, 2007
12/14/07: New beer mgr, Travis, seems to have made an immediate positive impact. There are quite a few new selections from what was a fairly stagnant selection all year plus seemingly more available in singles. New to the store are 3 new Mikkeller brews: X, Black Hole & Santaís Little Helper. 1/1/07: Went on New Yearís eve around 5pm and the non-cooler American craft beer shelves were quite picked over. I still managed to find some surprises, like Three Floyds Munsterfest, which I didnít even know existed. The Belgian section was more extensive than my local Binnyís, which is no small feat. I have to imagine that when itís fully stocked, this is an impressive beer store. I also get the feeling that thereís a pretty decent chance theyíll be doing a cheese, wine or beer tasting when youíre there, so thatís always a bonus. I didnít even realize how close this place was to my house it will now compete with Binnyís for my business.
Typical large store setup with overhead lights and many aisles. Selection very good with lots of Belgians, US craft, and other European beers. Helpful beer guys who seemed fairly knowledgeable. Prices average. Decent Binnyís but not quite to the level of the South Loop or Glen Ellyn stores.
After numerous trips to the Clybourn location, I finally made it over to Downerís Grove. AMBIANCE: Warehouse style store with an impressive selection of wines and scotches. The cheese selection at this Samís is also well chosen. SERVICE: Asked several times if I was in need of help. Samís is always top knotch in this regard. SELECTION: The website details this nicely. I appreciated seeing all of the Lees barrel aged harvest ales, a fine selection of lambics, and other Belgians. FOOD: Again, cheese selection is excellent. OVERALL: NIce store, and a better layout than Clybourn.
Basically a mirror image of its sister store in Chicago, except in the ugly burbs. Same great selection, decent prices, and average to poor service (with beer at least). More singles. More space in the aisles.
gws57 (92) Saint Charles, Illinois | July 17, 2006
Itís a bit far for me, but has the largest selection of beers that I know of, including in the cooler. Service is a bit sketchy, though, and the prices are correspondingly high. Oh well.
This Samís has an even more warehousey feel to it than the others, with beer extending high on metal shelving units. The selection was good, but they were out of a lot of the recent releases that I was looking for (did find some good Cantillon, though). Service was very friendly, and they were willing to hold some beer for me once. Prices were good.