Our next Triton Networking is with Ocean Wine & Spirits on the third Wednesday of the month, Dec. 19. Pick up last-minute gifts while enjoying the hospitality of store owner Monty Lalwani between 6-8 p.m.
Until then, read on to learn a little more about this yacht crew-friendly fine wine and liquor store on Fort Lauderdale beach near all the major marinas.
Q. Tell us about Ocean Wine & Spirits.
We are a boutique fine wine and spirits store. We have three locations in Fort Lauderdale, but this location on East Las Olas Boulevard is the closest liquor store to the city’s signature marinas, and we deliver for free.
We carry everything yacht crew would expect — from high-end bottles of wine to dozens of varieties of craft beers to vintage spirits — and we are constantly investing in new things. We even do our own barrel picks so we offer signature bourbons and whiskeys that the yacht or its owner can’t get anywhere else.
Q. I heard that your yacht provisioning director left a few months back. How’s that impacting your yacht business?
Not in the least. I have taken over the division and now work directly with chief stews, chefs and captains. I was the one quoting prices for those orders all along, so now yacht crew work with me — the business owner — and not through a middle man. I will do everything in my power to meet and exceed a yacht’s expectations for their liquid needs onboard.
Q. What’s your background?
I am a Fort Lauderdale kid. I was born at Broward General and went to school in Fort Lauderdale. I’m involved in several local charities and am committed to giving back to local kids who need help.
I think it’s important for yacht crew to know that when they do business with Ocean Wine & Spirits, they are giving back to the local community. When crew shop with us, they are helping me better my store, support my people, and give back to my community. That provisioning dollar will go a long way with us. The big box stores don’t do that.
Q. Have you always been in the liquor business?
No. My mom and dad have a souvenir shop on the beach just north of here, have had it since 1978. When I was a kid, I’d come home from school and play video games with my friends. My dad saw me doing that one day and he said if I had time to do that, I had time to work for him. I was in the sixth grade, and I worked weekends in my family’s retail business every Saturday since then.
The liquor store came about when it was time for me to step out on my own.
Q. So what’s new this year for Ocean Wine & Spirits?
Well, I just leased the old Beach Liquors store next to the Elbo Room, just down the street. It’s been there since 1950 and I’m going to keep as much of the history of the place as I can. We’ll add cigars and other newer style of smoking products, but it’ll stay the way it’s always been. Ocean Wine & Spirits will continue to focus on fine wine and the yachting industry.
Q. How are you different from other liquor stores or provisioners?
We are the most convenient provisioner for the yachting industry. Being just a few blocks from every major yachting marina in town, we deliver free directly to the yacht, and there’s no minimum or maximum order.
What I would like to suggest for every yacht is to let us take care of all the beverages, from water to liquor. Leave the driving and the hassle to me. I’m here to make yacht crew’s job easier, at least when it comes to consumable liquids on board.
If they have a list, we will put everything together and deliver it.
Join us on Dec. 19 from 6-8 p.m. at 2901 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale (33316). No RSVP necessary. Just bring business cards and a holiday spirit to enjoy yachting camaraderie and casual networking.