Bar Car: Back to the Grand Central Taste NY Store

20141020_175044_resizedI was not in the mood for a Rolling Rock tall boy.  While I do enjoy the easy drinking pale lager brewed formerly in the glass lined tanks of a Latrobe, PA brewery (now in the non-glass lined tanks of InBev/AB’s Newark, NJ facility near the airport on scenic Rt. 1&9; which really bothers the people in Latrobe), today I wanted something different.  So, I sauntered over to Grand Central’s new to-go beer and wine palace, The Taste NY Store.

I say palace for two reasons.

First, the variety of beer and wine is great.  The store has a cooler full of micro-brews with lots of local wine by the bottle or glass.  I grabbed a Fire Island Lighthouse Ale and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Second, someone could be funding the construction of a palace based on the store’s prices.  The beer by the bottle will run you $5-$6.  Ok, not so bad.  Cups of wine cost either $7 or $11 (not a typo).  I felt frisky and went for the $11 glass plastic solo cup of white wine.  And, because I am committed to frugality and smart spending, I used a credit card.  ‘Cash is King’ financial radio show talker Dave Ramsey probably would have punched me in the neck if we discussed this whole transaction.  But, alas, I had my $5 bottle of beer and my $11 cup of vino and off to the train I went.  Also, it can’t hurt the Taste NY stores does not collect sales tax on alcohol that according to the NYS budget language when first enacted would have “minimal” effect on the state finances.  Minimal effect if you do not count the slightly more than $1 million the state will pay to promote and market Taste NY this year.  But, who is counting.

Still, I could be wrong (and probably am).  Rents keep going up in GCT unless you are the Apple Store.  Reports say Shake Shack is paying more than $200/square foot for its spot in the lower level food court.  I’d imagine the rent for TNY’s 460 square foot location near Starbucks is not as much but it probably is not cheap unless there was some sort of deal struck to get it in there.

I give the Taste NY store credit for sticking to its business plan:  sell a lot of alcohol at comparably expensive prices to the carts and Rite Aid.  What do you think they sell more of, bottles of beer or bottles of maple syrup?  Both suds and syrup may be acquired by taps.  But, there aren’t any maple trees growing near Track 38.

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