Joe’s Beverage Warehouse—founded in Joliet, Illinois in 2004—this summer opened its second location in the village of Romeoville, about ten miles north of the original location. The new, 13,600-square-foot facility, which is staffed with eight employees, boasts a wide product range and has a particular focus on craft beer.
Of the new Romeoville store’s 2,500 beer SKUs, approximately 1,000 are craft labels. Notable offerings include Hop Butcher For The World’s Blazed Orange Milkshake IPA ($15 a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans), Phase Three Brewing Co.’s Orange Chantilly IPA ($17), 3 Floyds Brewing Co.’s Zombie Dust pale ale ($14 a 6-pack of 12-ounce bottles), and Energy City Brewing’s Hop Nawi IPA ($15 a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans). “The focus is on local products,” says vice president of operations Ammar Sheikah. “We let customers steer us in the direction of what to stock.” Joe’s has a ten-door craft beer cooler and a 20-door domestic beer cooler. The store also boasts a taproom where customers can taste a rotating selection of ten craft brews, allowing them to sip new releases as they shop.
Joe’s also has a broad wine selection, with around 1,200 SKUs organized by varietal. Italian wines from brands like Stella Rosa are popular, as are Cabernet Sauvignons in the $10-$15 range from brands including Josh Cellars, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and 19 Crimes. The store also maintains a full range of over 10,000 spirits SKUs, with an emphasis on whisk(e)y. Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey ($36 a 750-ml.), Buffalo Trace Bourbon ($24), and Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon ($50) are among the top sellers.
The store frequently offers limited-release whiskies; recent labels included W.L. Weller 12-year-old Bourbon ($60 a 750-ml.), Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon ($70), and Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel Bourbon ($90). After posting on Facebook that these bottles were in stock, Sheikah found close to 100 customers lined up outside the store the next morning. Joe’s maintains an active online presence through its website, Joesbev.com, and its Facebook page, updating customers about new products and special offers. Customers also have the option to order beverage alcohol online to pick up in-store.
Joe’s is popular for its great values. “We offer everyday low prices and we do our homework on our competitors,” Sheikah notes, adding that many customers are beer aficionados. “We have our base of serious craft customers, but we also have our everyday customers. We’re a very well-rounded store.”