Tonique, touted as Asia’s largest liquor boutique will span across 30,000 sq. ft,
The Bengaluru store will have a floor dedicated to wines, supplemented by a cheese counter and bakery
The imposing, ornate building once used to house a jewellery store called Jewels de Paragon, and was something of a landmark in Bengaluru’s central business district. The corner of MG Road and M Chinnaswamy stadium, where it is located, was informally referred to as the “Jewels de Paragon" corner by everyone, from autowallahs to helpful direction-givers, and even though I don’t know a single person who actually shopped at the store, it was an icon. Today, the building sports shiny new black signage that spells out “Tonique" in large white letters. Inside, it houses what promises to be Asia’s largest liquor boutique.
At 30,000 sq. ft, spread over two floors, Tonique is certainly large. Unlike other liquor supermarkets in Bengaluru, like Madhuloka, Drops Total Spirits and House of Spirits, it is stylishly appointed, with hardwood floors, aroma oil diffusers and subtle mood lighting. “We want to be the Louis Vuitton of the liquor industry," says Tonique’s founder, Hyderabad-based entrepreneur Anith Reddy, who opened the first outlet in Hyderabad (a 15,000 sq. ft store) two years ago. The Bengaluru boutique will be ready for unveiling within a week, he says, and could expand to four floors by the end of the year.
Reddy, 43, believes buying liquor should be an experience, and keeping this in mind, he has crafted spaces within the store where buyers can interact with sommeliers and brewmasters. The store’s top floor, entirely dedicated to wine (1,000 different labels, including champagne), also houses a 600 sq. ft wine-tasting room that will host events, a bakery that will serve fresh liqueur chocolates and other delicacies, and a cheese section. The spirits section will stock 600-700 labels; Reddy plans to have around 40 beer labels, as well as 10 varieties of tonic water.
“When I opened our first store in Hyderabad, people laughed at me, saying there are more than 400 liquor stores all over Telangana, why would anyone come to a fancy store? But last year we had a turnover of ₹100 crore," says Reddy. He plans to take the Tonique brand to more cities—the company has already finalized a 10,000 sq. ft location on Linking Road in Mumbai, and a store in the National Capital Region is on the cards.
But Reddy’s ultimate ambition is to open a Tonique store in New York—and he says he has already found a spot on Manhattan’s Seventh Avenue.