[NOTE: We've moved this discussion from the thread at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/673460 -- THE CHOWHOUND TEAM]
I haven't been to Central Bottle and I've been to the Butcher Shop only twice. However as a restaurant owner I'd like to throw my two cents into the discussion about wine and pricing, etc.
If you go to a restaurant and order a Coke, you are most likely going to be charged anywhere from $1.50-$3 or even more for a glass. Then you can walk outside and go to CVS and get a liter for about the same price. Why does this not elicit the same level of indignation? What you get when you go to a restaurant is an experience: to be waited on, to enjoy the atmosphere, to have the wine served to you in a glass that you don't have to wash after you're finished, to spend time with friends (or yourself). Food and bev typically make up 25-30% of a healthy restaurants costs. Which does translate to the customer paying for the 3-4x markup. Egregious? Not from my perspective where I'm paying a staff of people to make sure you have a good experience, rent that is typically up to 10% of revenue, insurance to make sure that if you choke on your wine I won't lose the house, glassware+tables+chairs, etc.. Plus, yes, at the end of the day I would love to pay myself something (after I've paid back my investors over anywhere from 2-8 years depending on how busy we are). Oh and did I mention healh insurance? I want to help pay for health for my employees - and by state law I'm obliged to - and this past year I've seen our health insurance costs creep -make that skyrocket- up almost double.
Not complaining. I love love love this business. I have lurked long enough on Chowhound to understand that this site is all about pointing out places that you might not otherwise have known about and I do appreciate that. Just wanted to try and explain from the other side of the coin. Thanks.