You know the store — that little neighborhood mini-mart on the corner. How many times have you driven by it without a thought? Perhaps your main reason for not stopping at said store is that it looks a little too edgy with all the fortified beer and cigarette signs in the windows, blocking any hope of sunlight and promise? Oh, and let us not forget all the life-size cardboard hot chicks, luring you into a certain but regrettable purchase. Cleary our fears are more than justified.
However, let us not be hasty. I realize the majority of these stores may not be your cup of tea or in this case, your 40-ounce bottle of Schlitz Malt Liquor. But try to peel away the outer layer of this metaphorical onion and you might find a little gem. More specifically, head on over to the Stadium District and take a stroll through the Stadium Corner appropriately on the corner of Tacoma Avenue North and Second. This store is my little gem.
I believe the Volcano’s Matt Driscoll gave Stadium Corner props earlier this year in the Best of Tacoma 2009 issue as Best Convenience Store. He went into a little detail as to why this convenience store deserves this highly coveted distinction. Mainly the owners are some damn friendly and helpful, you can’t help but give then your business. My reason for giving them this attention is clearly selfish — the kick-ass beer and wine selection.
Kids from Stadium High School come in for the candy, but this little girl likes the vast offerings of “adult” liquid candy. If you take a really good look at the wine and beer selection that Justin (the owner) has accumulated, you can’t help but be impressed.
Need a unique Christmas gift? How about a four pack of the Beers of Scotland? Or pick up a few bottles of the elusive Stone Double Bastard? Seasonal and unusual beers are his forte. You will even find a great selection of ciders including a local brand and one from France. Don’t fret people; he still carries your old standbys of Bud, Bud Light, PBR, and Coors, etc.
The wine selection is also extremely varied. It truly challenges even some of the nicer markets and wine shops. My favorite discoveries are some of his unusual wines from Russia and Eastern Europe. These bottles are so decorative and ornate; I don’t even care if the wine inside is even drinkable. Who am I kidding? I care.
So give Stadium Corner Market a whirl. I dare you not to find something interesting for your holiday celebration. But as Matt suggests to kids and adults alike, leave your backpack at the door. Justin does not take kindly to backpacks.
[Stadium Corner, 124 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.5055]