Houstonians are becoming well acquainted with the new generation of delivery apps that are making life in the Bayou City a little more convenient. Whether one uses Instacart for groceries or Favour for, well, just about anything, the new services are popular with people like executives or new parents who find it hard to tear themselves away from their obligations.
The only downside is that neither delivers any sort of alcoholic beverages. Sometimes a person just wants a drink, even if she doesn't have time to go to a liquor store to acquire the proper provisions. Thanks to an app called Minibar that launched in Houston on Tuesday, wine, beer, spirits and mixers are just a click away via iOS, Android or the web.
Minibar doesn't mark up the prices that the stores charge everyday; customers simply pay a flat, $5 delivery fee per order.
"Basically, we saw a hole in the market in wine, beer and spirits delivery," Minibar co-founder Lara Crystal tells CultureMap. "We thought you should be able to get spirits as easily as groceries."
They launched the company in New York in 2013 and have grown to cities across the country including San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas and Austin.
Don't worry. It's legal. Minibar has partnered with two local liquor stores, downtown's Posh Liquors and The Liquor Store #5 in the Medical Center, to ensure everything stays TABC compliant. Furthermore, Minibar doesn't mark up the prices that the stores charge everyday; customers simply pay a flat, $5 delivery fee per order.
Minibar works with the local stores to ensure a selection of popular wine, beer and spirits in each market. "Obviously, there are some essentials in each category," explains Minibar's Texas general manager Andrew Jacobson. "People are going to expect to see Grey Goose . . . We rely on our local partners to recommend beers and liquors."
The website also provides recipes, tasting notes and pairing suggestions. Everything a person needs to host an event at home.
In New York, Minibar even allows users to hire bartenders to staff cocktail parties. That feature hasn't come to Houston, but Crystal says the company is constantly evaluating what its users want. "Customer service is our number one priority," she affirms.