With a collection of boutique wines and spirits, Riley’s promises to fill what has been somewhat of a void in downtown as far as alcohol offerings go. As far as wine and spirits go, Riley’s provides unique, boutique items, similar to what is available at Warren Wine and Spirits. One of their top sellers is Orin Swift, which makes Prisoner. Another popular wine is The Show Malbec from Argentina. Riley’s Wine and Spirits also sells boxed wines. Next time you need a good bottle of wine for a dinner party or a remarkable tequila for the weekend, you can rest assured that a purchase from Riley’s Wine and Spirits will be an asset to your wine cooler or dinner party.
Perhaps you live or work in downtown Tulsa and have noticed the lack of wine and liquor store offerings in this ever-growing area. Never fear: Things are looking up in the alcohol scene in downtown.
The newest addition to The Boxyard in downtown Tulsa, Riley’s Wine and Spirits, opened Sept. 7, filling two spaces in the booming shipping container shopping center. With a collection of boutique wines and spirits, Riley’s promises to fill what has been somewhat of a void in downtown as far as alcohol offerings go.
Riley’s Wine and Spirits’ owner Diane Riley says her husband, Chris Riley, gets the credit for choosing the coveted location in The Boxyard. “He’s been trying to get into The Boxyard for two years.”
Chris did his homework scoping out the competition — or lack thereof. There isn’t a liquor store in the heart of downtown, where everything has been blossoming the last several years. He felt The Boxyard was the perfect location because it is walkable to many apartments and businesses. He also fell in love with the concept of The Boxyard.
“It’s a unique little outdoor mall,” Diane says. “He was crazy about it.”
The Rileys are looking forward to building relationships in downtown. “The Boxyard area is such a walking community. It’s the Utica Square area of downtown. It’s evolving very quickly,” Diane says.
The Boxyard isn’t the Riley’s wine and liquor store debut. Diane acquired Warren Wine and Spirits at 81st Street and Yale Avenue from Randa Warren on Sept. 1 and is renaming it Riley’s Wine and Spirits South. Warren was Diane’s business partner for a year and a half but decided to step away to focus on her book, 60 Minute Wine Expert.
Chris has been the general manager at Warren Wine and Spirits for three years.
In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, here’s a newsflash: Big changes are coming to liquor stores as of Oct. 1 in Oklahoma. They will be able to sell items like cold beer and wine, mixers and limes.
“I don’t fear the changes happening; I think it will help our business,” Diane says.
Liquor stores will be able to sell up to 20 percent non-liquor and spirits. Diane and business partner at Riley’s at The Boxyard, Jamie Naifeh, plan to sell wine baskets, corks, wine openers and unique wine items.
As far as wine and spirits go, Riley’s promises to provide unique, boutique items, similar to what is available at Warren Wine and Spirits.
One of their top sellers is Orin Swift, which makes Prisoner. Another popular wine is The Show Malbec from Argentina.
One of Diane’s favorite parts of her job is the opportunity to meet wine makers from all over the world. “I feel like I’ve gone around the world when their wine makers or tequila makers come in with great accents,” she says.
Some spirits expected to be big sellers are organic vodkas, such as Tito’s, and tequilas such as Manik and Rock N Roll Tequila. Just in time for fall, Bailey’s Irish Cream has a pumpkin and spice flavor that is a perfect addition to a cup of coffee.
Riley’s Wine and Spirits will also sell boxed wines. “They’re kind of snubbed at, but they’re actually quite good,” Diane says.
A new type of wine that is of interest to folks watching their calories is FitVine — a low in sugar selection. “A lot of wine makers are doing low in sugar, low in carbs type wines,” Diane says.
A new brewery will soon be opening just south of The Boxyard: New Era Fine Fermentations. Diane says she hopes to carry some of their beers in her store.
Outside of the liquor store, Diane recently served as the chairperson for the fundraiser Tasting at Woodward Park (formerly known as Wine and Roses) supporting The Tulsa Garden Center. Chris is a musician, and he and his bandmates from H3 and Basically Saxx provided the entertainment at the event. The Rileys also provide support at the St. John Street Party.
The couple also has a heart for animals. “We’re going to do private events at our west balcony and raise money for Animal Aid,” Diane says. “Outside of the liquor store, I sell art and shawls and give 20 percent to Animal Aid, veterans and children’s hospitals.”
Next time you need a good bottle of wine for a dinner party or a remarkable tequila for the weekend, you can rest assured that a purchase from Riley’s Wine and Spirits will be an asset to your wine cooler or dinner party. And you can know the folks you bought it from are committed to doing good in Tulsa.
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