On November 19, McMenamins will open a new liquor store and bottle shop with 800 ciders, craft beer, wine and booze—including McMenamins hard liquor and imported bottles from around the world—at site of the old 23rd Avenue Market at the intersection of Northwest 23rd Avenue and Thurman Street.


They're keeping most of the name intact: It'll be called the 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop, and will also include a bar for drinking onsite, with 16 taps that include both McMenamins and guest beers, as well as ciders. The liquor sold will just be McMenamins line of whiskeys, brandies, rum, gin and liqueurs from Edgefield and Cornelius Pass. (So, like, no $6 bottles of rotgut for neighborhood dockworkers or alternative weekly employees.) McMenamins has been renovating the space very, very quietly over recent months.

For over 50 years, beginning in 1963, the shop was run by second-generation Croatian Homer Medica—it's just down the street from our office, and we'd find him there in long conversations with vendors, and with longtime residents from down the way, or shooting the breeze with the butcher.

Homer Medica (McMenamins)
Homer Medica (McMenamins)

He also was apparently friendly with the McMenamins next door. He told his life story to the Northwest Examiner just before his death June 29, 2014, at age 79, and the article quoted one of the bar's servers explaining that Medica had apologized for having to raise the price of cigarettes. Ursula Le Guin included an interview with Medica for her book, Blue Moon Over Thurman Street.

The new bottle shop will continue a bottle-shop tradition of sorts—Medica always kept a tucked away, slightly dusty collection of wine and port.

The McMenamins store's wine collection will be a little more swanky, including a selection of 39 different sparkling wines ranging in price from $12.75 to $279. It'll also sport cocktail specials and growler fills.

The bottle shop opening date is the 30th birthday of Terminator Stout, and so the opening day will offer four different Terminator variants: original recipe, Billy Barrel Cherry Sour Terminator from Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Brewery, Spanish Coffee Terminator from Thompson Brewery and Black Rose Terminator from Edgefield Brewery.