GIRARD CRAFT & CORK
When Girard Craft & Cork first opened its doors on Girard Street, it had to deal with one very common question: “Where now?” Girard Street might not be the most storied address off Market (more on that later), but when people want what you have and what you have is interesting wine and craft beer for sale, they’ll put in the effort to find you, That’s what general manager Jim McFarlane has seen in the month since GC&C has been open – and it’s the new residents, really, who are making the difference ...
“I've lived in Wilmington almost my entire life, and they've tried many different ways of reinvigorating downtown. This one actually feels like it could work. Market Street is a big driver. Those restaurants and bars that have stayed there, that have been there for a couple years now and are established, that's huge. DECO is a huge addition as well. I mean, in Wilmington, forever, it was five o'clock on Friday and there's nothing going on. That's not really true anymore.”
“But every downtown walking area you've ever been in, there's usually a nice liquor store, right? There wasn't one here. That is kind of amazing, with all the growth that's happening, all the residents, and they couldn't get a decent bottle of wine without getting in a car.”
“We wanted to represent all the best wine regions from all around the world, and at a range of price points. It doesn't all have to be expensive, and it doesn't all have to be cheap. We want to offer a Châteauneuf-du-Pape at around $100, but there’s also a $12 bottle of Grenache down there that is fantastic. And between myself, John, Diane and Heather, there's close to a hundred years of experience at restaurants, distributors, retailers, country clubs, and it's great that we're able to use that and to offer that to our customers.”
“Our clientele is extremely varied. It's younger than I thought it would be. We get a lot of young people that are living downtown, residents close by who walk, and we've gotten business people that are finishing their day and are looking to pick up something on the way home. We made sure that we talked to all of the hotels, so we've seen a good amount of out-of-towners.”
“It’s true, we are the only storefront on Girard Street. We're working on getting better signage. Eventually, there's going to be a backlit Girard sign above those windows. Actually, at first, the post office told me it wasn’t a street. They said it was an alleyway. I said no, it's a city street. It's got a sign, we have an address. I had to go over there a number of times to encourage them to come on over and see it, and finally the supervisor did and she was like, hey, you're right, it's a street. Thank you!”
“Every Friday, we do a tasting from 4 to 7 pm. They're always free, always fun. I'd say we had 35 to 40 people up here for the rose tasting. And there’s something that John noticed. We've been living here in Wilmington a long time and normally, when you go out, it's all familiar faces. Nowadays, when you're downtown, it's not. There's a lot of new people. They're not lifers. They've come from somewhere else to be here. It’s great.”