For over 20 years, Grady's Fine Wines (20253 Lake Rd., 440-333-3106) has been a Rocky River institution. Founded by Kevin Grady, and run for the last 14 years by Liz and Mary Lavigne, Grady's has been a one-stop shop for wine, beer, cheese, meats and, above all, great service.
New owner Manny Nieves may be the most knowledgeable wine guy Grady's has ever seen. As a professional sommelier, Nieves has worked in numerous fine restaurants, including Classics and Blue Point locally, and Jean-Georges and Vong in New York. But don't expect over-priced wines and snooty service — that's not Nieves' style.
"I have been a restaurant guy for 20 years," he says, "and I'm not going to change my philosophies now. The guest always comes first. We offer service you don't get in a liquor store."
Although he has kept the name in tribute to Kevin Grady, who passed away from leukemia, Nieves has changed quite a bit else. He has beefed up considerably the meat, cheese and dessert selections. The majority of the charcuterie is from Creminelli Fine Meats; the cheese hails from France, Spain, New York and Ohio; and the desserts are homemade. Grady's also is the only specialty retail store licensed to sell Certified Angus Beef. Look for hand-trimmed, hand-rubbed ribeyes, strips, flanks and tenderloins. Grady's also offers carry-out and full catering.
The biggest changes have been reserved for the beer and wine department. The shelves are now stocked with about 420 labels and the coolers with about 65 craft and imported beers.