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Adult beverage buffs rejoice — Pensacola’s newest sanctuary for wines, spirits and beer is now open on Bayou Boulevard. 

The Destin-based Wine World officially planted its flag in Pensacola Wednesday when the retail phase of owner Chan Cox’s two-phase concept opened at 4970 Bayou Blvd.

“I’m thrilled to be back in Pensacola,” said Cox, who opened University Wines and Spirits and Chan’s Saloon and Eatery in Pensacola back in 1979. Cox opened the first Wine World in Destin in 2000. “What we are is a lifestyle store. It’s not just a place to pick up a bottle of liquor. We do a lot of different things here.” 

The Pensacola Wine World, which underwent construction in October, is home to about 2,000 different brands of wine. Vino is the store’s namesake and the product it knows best. 

“We have an extensive collection of French Bordeaux and French Burgundy that you’re not going to find in every store,” Cox said. “We have a lot of collectors that buy from us, that buy our Bordeaux futures.”

To put the store’s range of wine qualities and prices in context, you can also walk into the brand new retail store and take advantage of its “2 for $9.99” deal on CK Mondavi brand wine. 

“We’re going to have the lowest prices in town,” Cox proclaimed Wednesday, alongside business partner and Pensacola native Bob Montgomery. “We meet or beat any prices in town.”

But it’s not all about the wine at Wine World, which doesn’t skimp on its craft beer and spirits selections. Cox carries more than a few liquor brands that are exclusive to his store, including bourbons like WhistlePig and Barrel. 

And for the customers who like to snack while they sip, Wine World’s massive fresh cheese deli includes upward of 60 variations of cheese at any given time. 

► Wine World liquor store and Wine Bar restaurant coming to Bayou Boulevard in 2021

► Second Pensacola Culver’s restaurant opening this spring

About 30 staple cheeses will be available year-round, but Wine World also carefully curates its inventory on a rotational basis. For instance, right now, a healthy selection of Sardinian cheeses are ready to be sliced and sold in a deli that is serviced by attendants all day everyday. You can even customize your own made-to-order cheese platters. 

“You might go to the grocery store and get Cryovac cheese that was packed somewhere and shipped somewhere and then somewhere else,” Cox said. “But this is all fresh cheese. We bring it all in and we cut it ourselves.” 

The store also has a dedicated engraving section where customers can pay to have bottles of alcohol or gift baskets personally engraved. Wine World also will do tastings and themed events. The entire month of May is Oregon Wine Month, which will culminate in a wine tasting event from 2 to 4 p.m. May 29 at the Pensacola store featuring 70 different styles and brands of Oregon-based wine. 

The 11,500-square-foot store will expand exponentially this July when the second phase is completed. That second phase will entail an open kitchen, a bakery, a full hot and cold food deli, a pizza oven and a dozen or so tables for casual diners. 

“We’ll prepare all of our doughs for our pizza, our bread for sandwiches here,” Cox said while standing in the section of his store that is still under construction. “There will be three deli cases here with fully prepared food for people to pick up and take home for dinner.”

When the deli area opens, so will the Wine Bar restaurant, which does include waited service and will be open for lunch and dinner. The Pensacola menu isn’t devised yet, but for reference, the Wine Bar in Destin serves everything from soups, salads and small plates to mains like Peking duck, chipotle-apple glazed salmon, Gulf shrimp and much more. 

“By this summer, we’ll have 10 restaurants and seven retail stores, including this,” Cox said. “So I’m just delighted to be back in Pensacola again. This is where it all started for me.” 

“I’m excited to see the reaction from everybody when they walk in this store,” Montgomery added Wednesday. “I think they’re gonna be amazed.”

The Wine World retail store is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Jake Newby can be reached at or 850-435-8538.

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