Wine Shop to Replace Shoefly in Clarendon

by Katie Pyzyk April 16, 2012 at 9:45 am 6,725 66 Comments

(Updated at 11:25 a.m.) A new tenant has emerged to take the place of Shoefly (2727 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon. Soon, a wine shop will be moving into the space.

Screwtop Wine Bar (1025 N. Fillmore St) informed its customers over the weekend that it will open a retail wine bar in the old Shoefly spot. A Facebook page has been set up for the store, which will be called Grateful Red. Its website just became active today.

The store is expected to open sometime this summer. Screwtop Wine Bar owner Wendy Buckley said she hopes Grateful Red will be able to open its doors by July 4.

Buckley and her staff will aim to provide a mix of wines, ranging from “fancy” to less than $10 per bottle. Buckley said she’s grateful to be able to run a business in an area she loves.

Shoefly had been in business for 10 years, but the owners reportedly decided not to renew the lease.

  • novasteve

    Wow, wine is becoming the new cupcake in Arlington. Honestly, wine snobs, can you tell a difference between 3 buck chuck and something you’d buy at a place like this?

    • KalashniKEV

      Was there ever really a lot of cupcakes? Arlington is Burger central.

      • LuvDusty

        R u serious? Within 2 blocks you have Crumbs and Red Velvet and that one on Fillmore, forget the name…

    • Mike

      People who really know/care about wine know that price, low or high, doesn’t always mean quality. A five dollar bottle of wine can sometimes be just as good as a $50 one. Sometimes.

      With that being said,i’m glad to see this local business branching out. I’ve always really enjoyed the times i’ve been to Screwtop, and they are active in the community. Miss Best Cellars even though it wasn’t local, but Screwtop is really helping to fill that void. Congrats!

      • Harry

        It’ll be nice to have another wine store, but this is literally across the street from Whole Foods. It’ll be interesting to see if prices go down a little after Screwtop moves in.

    • Tabs

      You don’t have to be a “wine snob” to taste the difference, steve.

      You do have to have functioning taste buds and olfactory nerves, which of course heavy smokers do not.

      • Southeast Jerome

        Tabs, FTW!!

    • Sam

      Of course you can tell the difference. Are you able to tell the difference between a can of Milwaukee Best and a bottle of Dogfish 60 minute?

      • novasteve

        You are comparing a lager to an IPA and you expect me to take you seriously?

        They are completely different. You cannot even have such a start difference with wines unless it was a non grape based wine. Like comparing peach wine or meade to a pinot noir.

        • Harry

          Beers are different rations of a few different ingredients, whereas wines are different species of grapes. A year ago I got a case of Sam Adams IPA where each bottle was made with a different species of hops, comparing something like that would be a better example.

          • drax

            Different species of grapes…different species of hops…

            There’s a huge variety of beers and a huge variety of wines.

        • Mogan David

          why should we take seriously someone’s comment about wine that starts with the premise that no wine is better than two-buck-chuck and no one can tell the difference??

    • yes we can

      those of us who have not wrecked our palates with cigarettes can certainly appreciate better wines. That doesn’t make us a snob, but that assertion does make you appear bigoted and intolerant of others.

    • JamesE

      Only the finest MD 20/20 for me.

    • .T-G.E.O.A

      Considering wine tasting experiments prove that the majority of people can’t pick the cheap vs expensive wine, then no. This goes for “experts” as well.

      But then again, people that shop from these stores go for the whole “experience”, so they do get some perceived value. It’s their money, they can spend it how they like

    • Carmen


  • karzai

    The loss of Shoefly is a big loss. We already have a paucity of boutique style retail establishments that sell anything other than fro yo, pizza, burgers, high end trendy foods, and wines. We need more establishments like Shoefly, not fewer. We have not a single art store. We had one but it closed and was replaced by Red Mango. We had a jeans store (Farinellis) but that closed and was replaced by Crumbs. I sure hope Shoefly reopens some day in Clarendon, although I suppose the rents are just too prohibitive.

    • LuvDusty

      I live 1 block from the location being discussed. In my 12 years living in Arlington, I had never set foot in ShoeFly…with the ability to shop online for clothes and the various other options around, I’m glad to see it go.

      Best Cellars closed on Clarendon just 1 block up (there the Blue Mercury spa is now), so this will even it out…

    • Captain Obvious

      Shoefly was TERRIBLE. The people that worked there were aggressively rude, they never had any sizes in stock, and their merchandise was boring. We shouldn’t support bad stores just because they’re local. Covet on Wilson Blvd west of Glebe is a great example of a high-quality boutique with great products and price points for everyone.

  • nunya

    at least there will be more foot traffic than the current location.

    and with whole foods across the street….get ready for Wine Wars.

    • CW

      Yeah, really gutsy move opening up across the street from WF. They’re going to have to have some interesting intangible or value add in order to compete, because they certainly lack the purchasing power to compete on price or the space to compete on selection.

  • LP

    Glad to see a local business is doing well!

    Looking forward to a replacement for Best Cellars, while it’s probably going to be a bit more upscale and pricey, it’ll be nice to have a boutique wine store in the neighborhood again.

    • ScrewtopFan

      I’ve always been impressed with the diverse selection of wine at Screwtop, in terms of price (from low to high), types of wine, regions of wine, and the overall value. I’m excited to see this locally owned business expand!

  • Cherrydaler

    Could they not just combine these two concepts–a wine bar where you can also pick up a new set of heels?

    • novasteve

      Credit card companies would hate that as intoxication is a defense to formation of a contract (except apparently for your bar tab)

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    Arrowine is still the go-to.

    • E

      I stopped going when I was talking to some of the staff, ordering wine as usual and a hit and run happened outside, but they said they didn’t want to report it because they said it is about to get busy and they can not waste time talking to police. I ended up talking to police, but it was a shame, because the staff pointed it out and didn’t want to report it.

    • Meh

      I’ve always been unimpressed with the recommendations I’ve received from Arrowine. The wines seem over priced and I’ve never actually liked a wine they’ve recommended to me. Maybe I’ve just had bad luck.

      • Lee-n-Glebe

        The big guy, Jim, has always made great recommendations for us. And he doesn’t go for “more expensive = better”, he has many times made recommendations for unusual, yet moderately-priced wines.

        It’s too bad you haven’t had the same luck – honestly, you’re the first person I’ve heard give that particular bad review. I’m not saying there aren’t more people in agreement with you, I just haven’t run across them.

        • Steamboat Willie

          I’m in agreement with Meh. Actually, my wife would be, as she has expressed the same sentiment regarding her buying experience at Arrowine.

          And Arrowine’s beer selection, while high in quality, is overpriced relative to other nearby choices that offer similar quality.

      • Zach

        Arrowine certainly is overpriced (to the extent you can get the same bottles at other nearby stores, though usually you can’t), but I have had good experiences with the staff there and good service is not free so I think of it as being factored into the price of the wine. It’s a reasonable trade-off.

        • LuvDusty

          + 1 million on the Arrowine hate. Boring, overpriced and just not that great. And I can walk to the Screwtop.

  • dk

    I can’t complain about the closing of Shoefly, because I didn’t shop there. (Lovely shoes, but those of us with middle-aged feet have to weigh comfort and fit more heavily than looks when it comes to footwear. Now, if they’d carried Naot…) But I agree with karzai–I am bored silly with most of the offerings in Clarendon. When I think of the vibrant urban neighborhoods that I like to frequent in this area and others, what they all have in common is a critical mass of great retail. Places with great windows that draw pedestrians in for browsing and buying. Why can’t we have more good shopping in Clarendon?

    • karzai

      Absolutely DK. Clarendon will never become a truly engaging destination unless it develops a broader base of retail options. We need more clothing stores, art stores, funky gift shops, eclectic boutiques, etc.

      It was nice to see all the young beautiful people out yesterday, but they’re eventually going to get bored and go elsewhere if every other store is burgers, fro yo, cupcakes, wine, pizza, trendy bar-restaurants, and hair salons/spas/massage.

      There is also another wine store opening in the 3000 Washington Blvd building (Reserve at Clarendon) which will have a nice outdoor area for tables, if they put them there. So I’m doubtful we need more wine stores.

      • Punky McPunkster

        One of the best boutiques in Clarendon is, without a doubt, Sam’s Corner Deli.

        If you haven’t been there, you truly don’t know what you’re missing.

        • nom de guerre

          Sam’s also features locally sourced art.

        • karzai

          I don’t know what I’m missing since they’re never open and I’ve therefore never been able to avail myself of the earth shattering culinary experience that is Sam’s Corner. sorry.

      • CW


        • Ummm

          Too late……………

          • dk

            no kidding.

          • NJ

            It is too late. Any weirdness has been flushed out by the one-dimensional demographic that has taken over.

        • nunya

          that stopped when queen bee closed and they took their vietnamese forest wall with them.

        • nom de guerre

          We all lament the possible demise of the award winning and locally acclaimed Sam’s Corner. But this closing may give rise to another home grown business venture-Karzai’s Kollectables, Karzai’s Kouture, or maybe Karzai’s Kitsch.

      • drax

        You rudely don’t tell us WHEN the other wine store is opening, Karzai.

        • nunya

          that’s KARZAITERP to you

  • BC

    As long as she doesn’t put an a-frame sign outside

  • Wendy from screwtop

    Thanks so much for all the support. I loved Shoefly very much and will miss Jenn and her great taste.

    I feel blessed & fortunate to be able to run a business in the community where I live, and I love this neighborhood.

    Most of the Best Cellars employees work for screwtop now, and the former GM of BC, Amanda Page will be heading up this new store for us. Expect to see affordable options under $10 as well as some fancy bottles as well. We’ll try our best to offer a good mix. We’ll also be starting a program for Wine Gift Baskets for delivery throughout the area, that we hope will be a hit. Please like us on Facebook for now. A website should be up within the next day or 2. http://www.facebook.com/GratefulRedWine


    Hoping to get open by July 4th.

    Thanks again,
    -Wendy Buckley

    • nunya

      good luck Wendy.

      i <3 your wine tote bag. use it all the time!

    • R. Griffon

      The very first thing I thought when I saw this story was that it’d be a welcome addition to replace what was lost on the main drag with the closing of BC.

      Always enjoyed Screwtop as well, but I understand that a lot of people may not make it a destination to pick up a bottle as it’s slightly off the beaten path. So I think it’s a great move.

      Good luck!

    • AllenB

      Good luck with the store! Will be great to have another choice for wine so close by. I miss Best Cellars but glad to hear that many of those people work with you now.

  • Zach

    I will gladly take a wine shop over frozen yogurt, cupcakes, gelato, etc.

    Whole Foods has a mediocre and expensive wine selection and the employees are not very helpful. Trader Joe’s has been an improvement for the low end of the market, but the high end has been lacking since Best Cellars closed. Arrowine is a great store, but it’s not walkable.

  • PikeRes

    Dear Shoefly,
    Please don’t leave Arlington! Come to Columbia Pike instead. Cheaper rents and plenty of locally-owned stores but no cute boutique like yours.

    A Devoted Customer

  • Saying No To Vinifera

    I have a feeling that this store will have a bunch of offbeat labels that no one has ever heard of before. Even though Whole Foods & Arrowine are like that, it would be nice to have the option to buy labels that are recognizeable by their estate and not brought to us by some fledgling negociant.

    • Also curious about the selection

      If she brings similar wine to this store that she has at Screwtop, then we’ll probably have a good mix. For example, I was very surprised recently when I saw Molly Dooker at Screwtop. Its a very solid wine that has a big folllowing in the US, but isn’t in stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Harris Teeter, etc. or even Arrowwine. I typically have to go out to Total Wine for it.

      • Aaron

        Total Wine?? That’s not in Arlington County, ergo I’m not sure that it really exists.

    • GHub

      Being a negociant is not applicable since Screwtop does not sell their own label. I can tell you that Wendy and her team do an incredible job of finding great value wines from smaller producers. I’ll take a bottle any day from a smaller winemaker than the “big labels”. The smaller guys put their heart and souls into the product. You can taste it!

      • Tater Salad


  • S Tee

    Interesting choice for location, the bad part of the new is that it is a Screwtop business which is one of the worse places in the DC Metro area for service.

  • msnolan

    and if you purchase a case? It’s going to be tough to load a car unless they have designated parking.

  • NoVa Green

    This should be great for attracting young professionals with disposable income the area so desperately needs more of.

    • nom de guerre

      The individuals that you describe are definitely an endangered species in Clarendon.

  • asheryuki

    Preach it ShoeFly lovers.

    No offense to you Wendy, but why do we need another store that sells wine. I still can’t believe tiny Shirlington has two Wine stores.

    Mourning the loss of ShoeFly. Love those types of stores and agree that we need more retail – not food-/beverage-related vendors.


Subscribe to our mailing list