We were impressed back in October 2012 when we learned that Center City red meat emporium Del Frisco’s had purchased nearly $900,000 worth of wine and spirits through the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board the year prior. But in our most recent report, Del Frisco’s (and two other spots) break the $1 million mark.
Click through for the complete list of 2012’s Top 200 Philadelphia Wine & Spirits Purchasers. This could be the last time that we can provide such a list, assuming that the privatization of the PLCB goes through, since information will probably be harder to come by. Below, some interesting nuggets from the list. Note that beer purchases are not included, since these do not go through the PLCB.
• Del Frisco’s, the Union League and Xfinity Live all broke $1 million in wine and spirits purchases through the PLCB in 2012, with Del Frisco’s leading the pack with $1,099,490 in purchases. But given that Xfinity Live didn’t open to the public until the end of March 2012, it could take first place going forward.
• It’s shots galore at Xfinity Live. Almost 90% of Xfinity Live’s $1,058,838 purchases are attributed to liquor, though we hear they’ve ramped up their wine program a bit since opening.
• Parc is Stephen Starr’s highest ranking restaurant on the list. It was on last year’s list, too.
• Most Philadelphia steakhouses ranked very high on the list. One that didn’t: the bankrupt Union Trust, which closed in November. Union Trust’s paltry 2012 numbers: $176,445 in wine and spirits purchases. In 2011, they bought more than double that.
• Le Bec Fin, Barclay Prime, Il Pittore, Del Frisco’s, Vetri, Butcher & Singer, a.kitchen and Tashan spend way more per bottle of wine than most other restaurants, with Le Bec leading that list at $31.50. But clubs like Rumor, Whisper and Deco actually trumped Le Bec, presumably due to high-end Champagne purchases. And, bizarrely, South Street’s Fat Tuesday has held the number one spot two years in a row based on this price-per-wine-bottle measure. We can only assume that’s some kind of computer error at the PLCB. Obviously, Fat Tuesday did not spend over $600 on each bottle of wine it bought in 2012.
• The restaurant serving some of the cheapest wine is PYT at $4.95/bottle. Wine bar Vintage comes in at $7.84/bottle, while Tria Rittenhouse spends an average of $12.23/bottle. Panorama in Old City averages out to $15.22. And the Olive Garden on Roosevelt Boulevard spends more per bottle than does Rittenhouse Square’s Sofitel.
• Marc Vetri’s three restaurants place in the top four of restaurants buying the most expensive spirits, with Barclay Prime eking out Amis for third place. The places on the Top 200 list buying the cheapest booze: the Copabananas.
• The businesses on our Top 200 list that spent the least on wine and spirits combined in 2012 include Farmicia, Happy Rooster, City Tavern and Chifa. On last year’s list, the restaurants occupying the bottom rungs included Supper, Chestnut Hill Grill, Cooperage and The Saloon. Those restaurants didn’t make it into the top 200 this time around.
• If you’re wondering about Hop Sing Laundromat, which debuted in May 2012, they came in 295th for the year. The most hyped bar of all time purchased $76,901 in wine and spirits last year, with spirits accounting for $69,910 of that total.
• Although they don’t appear on our main list, which includes only Philadelphia County, here are the top 5 purchasers in each of the surrounding counties. Bucks County: Parx, the Yardley Inn, Toscana, the Raven and Frank’s Knight House. Chester County: Limoncello, Barnaby’s, Kildare’s West Chester, Sovana, Alberto’s. Delaware County: Harrah’s Philadelphia (f/k/a Harrah’s Chester), Fleming’s, Harvest, Wayne Hotel, White Dog Cafe. Montgomery County: Seasons 52, Capital Grille, Valley Forge Convention Center/Casino, Redstone American Grill, Sullivan’s.