LIVINGSTON, NJ — Longtime Livingston resident Sam Patel, owner of the Bindu Patel Building that houses Livingston Mart and Assado Portuguese Steakhouse on North Livingston Avenue, is contributing his business expertise to the community once again with the opening of L Town Liquors.
With certified sommelier Jeff Straub at the helm, L Town Liquors brings a high-quality wine, beer and spirits shopping experience to an area of Livingston that has long-awaited a convenient location for such products. Since opening in February, Straub said the community-oriented team at L Town Liquors has received tremendous support from a steady stream of customers who have enjoyed not only the convenience of the new store, but also the competitive pricing, the impressive selection of wines and more than 300 craft beers, tasting opportunities and more.
“The feedback from the community has been nothing but positive,” said Straub. “What we’re really focusing on and trying to drive home is service above all else. People can come here with a question or flavor profile they're looking for, and with our knowledge and expertise, we can point them in the right direction and just be more engaging in general. That's what sets us apart from anywhere else—we're not a warehouse. We want to be community-focused and community-driven above all else.”
The Township of Livingston officially celebrated Patel’s latest business venture last week when Mayor Shawn Klein and members of the Livingston Township Council, Livingston Business Improvement District and Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce joined Straub and the Patel family to mark the occasion with a commemorative ribbon cutting.
The council commended Patel for his many years of hard work and contributions to the community and also welcomed Straub, who has a long history in the restaurant industry at fine-dining establishments such as Stone House at Stirling Ridge Restaurant in Warren and The Ryland Inn Restaurant in Whitehouse Station.
Since graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education with a degree in hospitality, Straub has spent more than a decade working in the industry and is certified by the Sommelier Society of America. His passion for wine, craft beer and Agave Spirits has inspired a knack for educating others about wine and spirits that he looks forward to bringing to Livingston and the surrounding area.
Over the last month and a half, Straub and his team have hosted two tastings and said customers have already expressed enthusiasm about similar events being planned for the future. Straub, who is also an expert in tequila and other popular liquors, also said he has offered individual tastings at the checkout counter that have been met with gratitude from those looking to experiment before purchasing.
He noted that most comments so far have been about the store’s ability to “offer a wide variety of options with competitive pricing” despite the small location. Customers have also appreciated the cleanliness and organization of the store as well as the team’s willingness to accommodate their needs.
Straub specifically mentioned recent requests that L Town Liquors was able to fulfill such as acquiring small bottles of Johnnie Walker blue for a couple looking to decorate a custom cake, offering a private wine tasting for a local woman and her friends and satisfying large liquor orders for social gatherings like bar mitzvahs and other parties.
According to Straub, the educated staff at L Town Liquors hopes to help customers expand their palates by curating their wine and spirits needs from a selection that consistently includes hard-to-find favorites and guiding them through a selection of more than 300 beers that come from local breweries throughout New Jersey.
“We’re looking forward to being here for all-things beverage for the community, whether it's for everyday drinking or fine-wine owners,” he said. “It's really just about customizing each person's experience for their needs and wants. Anything we can do for anybody that we are able to accomplish, we have and we will. We're here for the community and for the people.”
Patel is known in Livingston for combining his business acumen with his commitment to customer service as well as his passion for the community to create experiences that meet the needs of area residents. Noting that he loves Livingston and everything the township has given him and his family, Patel said he hopes he has designed a new business that the community can truly be proud of.
L Town Liquors, located at 214 N. Livingston Avenue between Assado Portuguese Steakhouse and Livingston Mart, is now open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and on Sunday from noon 6 p.m. Parking is located in the back of the store, and masks are currently required inside.
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