Rich and Nada Sobhani took half of the old convenience store on Arsenal Street and turned it into a small shop filled with fine wine, craft beer and a wide selection of Spirits.
The couple, which hails from West Roxbury, recently opened Arsenal Wine & Spirits and neighbors quickly discovered the store, Rich said. Nada said people stop in and often stay a while to chat about wine, beer or just what's new.
Nada has a passion for wine, while Rich's specialty is whiskey - Scotch whiskeys are his favorite. While they come from the finance industry, Nada comes from a family with roots in the local food business. Her family runs Sabra Grill, a Middle Eastern eatery in Harvard Square.
The couple takes pride in knowing about all their offerings, tasting each one on their shelves. They will help customers get to know the wine and beer better by offering tastings each week in October and November.
Watertown Patch: Tell us about Arsenal Wine & Spirits. What will people find when they come into the store?
Nada Sobhani, Arsenal Wine & Spirits: Arsenal Wine & Spirits was built with the customer in mind. As you enter our store, you will find a friendly staff ready to provide you with exceptional customer service. From the bright wall colors, to the neatly organized shelves and spacious isles, to the array of wines, spirits, beers and craft beers, shopping at our store is meant to be effortless, laid-back and upbeat. For those who are up for it, my husband and I are always ready to engage in interesting discussions about new wines and beers.
WP: With many other choices in Watertown, how do you set yourself apart from other wine and liquor stores?
AWS: While there are many other choices in Watertown, we set ourselves apart as we are a family owned and operated business. You will always find my husband or I available to greet our customers. We are able to give customers the one on one service to help them find the right wine or spirits to suite their taste style for any occasion. We want to get to know the neighborhood and support our local business partners and community as best as can within our capacity.
WP: How did you choose the spot on Arsenal Street in Watertown?
AWS: We chose the spot on Arsenal Street for many reasons. The first and foremost is the conveniences that range from location to on-site parking. Formerly a Tedeschi convenient store, the building was established for use as a retail store. The site featured extra storage which allows us the capacity to fulfill customer demands and hopefully to extend our wine selection into developing a wine cellar.
WP: Before opening Arsenal Wine & Spirits, what kind of work did you do?
AWS: Prior to Arsenal Wine & Spirits, my husband and I worked in the financial industry. My love for distinctive wines and my husband’s love for single malt scotch and whiskeys lead us to this new business endeavor. When the opportunity was presented, we didn’t hesitate.
WP: Do you plan any wine tastings or other events at the store?
AWS: Throughout the months of October & November, we will be hosting wine & (or) beer tastings at the store every Thursday evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. We would like to invite the community to come down and join us. We have arranged for wine specialists & breweries (such Harpoon, Berkshire Brewery etc.) to be there to sample and answer any questions about the new harvests and products.