The new tenants of the building formerly inhabited by the Chocolate Valley turned in sweets for something a little stronger this week.
Marlo's Ltd., a local purveyor of wine, spirits and gourmet food, made the move from a relatively obscure storefront South of the Capitol, 11 blocks north to the intersection of Carson and Sophia streets.
Marv Johnson, who has owned and operated the store for four years with wife Lois, hopes the move will bring better visibility as well as easier access for passing customers.
"The landlord was really nice and we liked the location, but it has been getting harder and harder for our customers to get in and out of the parking lot," he said. "The traffic around that area gets real bad around 4:30 p.m. when the government building (on Curry Street and 10th streets) closes for the day."
The move may solve the problems of recognition that came with the old location, despite its longevity in the Carson Market.
"We have been here four years and people are still discovering us," Johnson said.
The store is the only one of its kind in Carson. It carries between 800 and 1,000 wines from the typical low-cost table variety to specialty wines that appeal to the connoisseur willing to pay a premium for a top shelf wine.
The store also carries hundreds of whiskeys, Scotches, bourbons, vodkas and ports. The liquor selection is also designed to draw consumers who are interested in high-end brands and specialty blends. "It's the stuff that you will not find in a grocery or typical liquor store.
Included in the mix are liquors from around the world that are not likely to be known by name to the average consumer. Some of the offerings come from as far away as South Africa, New Zealand and Chile. Drinkers of Japanese rice wine, or sake, will be impressed with Marlo's selection.
The only limitations on what Marlo's has on the shelves, or can get with a special order, are defined by Nevada law. In the state, licensed liquor retailers are required to get their merchandise through distributors. Some of the smaller boutique wineries which sell only a few thousand cases may not be represented by distributors that service Northern Nevada.
Wine novices are welcome in the store. Johnson, who has a wealth of experience in tasting and judging wines, makes it a point to guide customers through the wine selection process. He said he will "take five minutes with the client to find out their taste" and send them home with a bottle, or case, of wine that they will enjoy alone or with a meal. "We recommend a lot of wines."
To try the wines first hand, tastings are held every Friday at 7 p.m. Typically, Johnson said, the store will feature two white and two red wines from a particular region or winery.