Walking into the Liquor and Wine Grotto in Montecito is like stepping into a mom-and-pop store one would expect to find in Italy. The store has stone floors, vine-covered walls and racks stocked with wines and liquors of every age, origin and price. The front entrance itself resembles a large, wooden wine barrel and lights up at night.
For several decades, “The Grotto,” as it is often called, has been one of Montecito’s hidden jewels, tucked away on Coast Village Road. Now under new ownership by Santa Barbara natives Jason Herrick and Brian Brunello, the shop is being rediscovered by locals. Brunello, who calls himself “nostalgic by nature,” desires to bring back the charming, old-timey feeling to the store along with the “delivery and services of the old days.”
First opened in 1976, “The Grotto” offers one of the community’s largest varieties of wines, champagnes, beers, mixers and liquors. But because it’s small and previously didn’t advertise much, many locals are just now taking notice of the shop’s existence.