Rick Nichols Checks Out the Pub at Whole Foods

Rick Nichols picks door No. 2 at the new Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting and though not quite through the looking glass, it is a step forward.

Even so, it’s not exactly the Wild West: Whole Foods has a state “tavern license,” which means that the pub is on a separate register, that half its sales are booze, that the total amount of beer you can take out is 192 ounces (roughly 16 12-ounce bottles or three 64-ounce growlers).

To drink a glass of wine, you buy a smart card, insert it in a slot, and get 1-, 3- and 6-ounce pours from a vending machine stocked with what appeared to be French, Italian, and German wines – San Michele all’Adige Pinot Nero 2006, for instance, or Hirsch Riesling “Zobing” 2008. (Bottles of wine cannot be purchased to take home. Or what, the sky would fall?)

On the Side: A grocery pub: How civilized [Philadelphia Inquirer]