London’s favourite antidote to “overpriced corner shops, hastily purchased bottles, and a lack of options” is adding a bricks-and-mortar cave to its online cellar.
Drop Wine App, founded by Ian Campbell and Will Palmer of 10 Cases — and more recently, Parsons — will open a Drop shop at 175 Drury Lane in January 2018. Their unique branding was spotted by the eager eyes of an Eater London tipster, and Campbell has now confirmed that it’s more than a storm in a wine glass.
Hot on the heels of Parsons, which opened little over two weeks ago, Drop will join its seafood cousin and bistrot brother in a stretch of Covent Garden Campbell is not-so-tentatively renaming “The Wine Crawl.” The tiny site will have room for 6-8 people to sit and drink, with a £3 corkage to drink by the bottle from Drop’s extensive cellar. iPads will be available for casual browsing or the more serious business of ordering, while those who download the app will be offered “a little something” for their trouble, along with the included liberty of never having to turn to Echo Falls again. The food available via the app will also be available on site.
Campbell told Eater London that the shop is a natural, more genuine extension to Drop’s virtual presence, part of a desire to understand customers’ needs and wants as much as a chance to add to London’s ever-growing coterie of excellent wine spots:
We're hoping that this will be a bit a of a hidden gem in Covent Garden due to its diminutive size, but mainly Will and I are keen for Drop customers to come in and have a chat so we can find out first hand how we can improve the app, what wines and add-ons they'd like to see more of on the app, find out why they use it most. Whether it's gifts, last minute consumption, or general stock levels, it’s a chance to see the wood for the trees without having to fill in a very boring survey online.
Drop was initially conceived as a delivery-only platform for wine, dropping bottles around London within an hour of ordering. While talking to Eater London, Campbell addressed oenophile prayers with the news that an extension of their delivery radius is on the cards, but currently shackled by courier limitations. In the meantime, this modest hub will answer some of those prayers.