By Andrew Pridgen,August 9, 2023
The concept wasn’t new. A pandemic-era phenomenon of buying drink kits at liquor stores in the Bay Area and Los Angeles had spread throughout the state, but something about Panorama Liquors’ concoctions was different: the quality of the ingredients, the care with which they were prepared and the setting in which to consume them. Locals started to know all about the store's offerings, but then came the first TikTok.
On Sept. 13, 2022, Panorama Liquors posted its first video on the social media site. The opening notes of Harry Styles' "As It Was" scored a hand opening a refrigerator door.
The hand reaches in and grabs a plastic cup that contains minibar shots of top-shelf vodka and rum, along with a couple of cans of Dole pineapple juice. Cut to the same hand scooping crushed ice, a key ingredient, into the cup until it's about three-quarters full. Cut once more to a park bench across the street from the store out on the bluff. Styles is now leaning into the chorus as the concoction is quickly mixed. First half the vodka shot, then the juice, then the rum, and then more juice and the other half of the vodka. The hand places a lid on top and stirs it up with a straw. Easy. Cheers to the sunset over Panorama Drive.
Bam, 3.4 million views and the beginning of a conversation.
Posts featuring new drinks, at the frequency of about one every other week, draw anywhere from hundreds of thousands of views to tens of millions. With 378,000 followers and more than 11 million likes over the past 11 months, the store has become a must-stop for people making their way up and down the state — and has fashioned itself as a destination and celebrity in its own right.
“It’s crazy,” Nick Lancaster, a Panorama Liquors employee whose niece by marriage, Michelle, is co-owner and co-creator of the phenomenon, told SFGATE on a recent trip there in July. “They come from San Francisco to San Diego. We have people from Texas who, they’re already out here, but they go, ‘We drove an hour out of our way off the freeway. We gotta check this out.’”
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