Bethesda-area residents looking for a drink now can get one delivered to their home.
Heckman’s Delicatessen and Bar, which is rebranding as Heckman’s Beer Wine Deli, on Cordell Avenue is offering beer and wine for delivery, among other changes to its restaurant, owner Eric Heckman said.
The deli phased in an online delivery service in September and now offers six packs, 12 packs and 30 packs of beer and bottles of wine to Bethesda, Chevy Chase and North Bethesda. Heckman converted the back of the restaurant into an alcohol retailer, swapping out five tables for beer fridges and wine racks.
Heckman—who is also the vice president of marketing at the nearby Caddies bar, which is owned by his son Ronnie Heckman—said he made the decision to focus more on alcohol sales after business at the deli plateaued.
“Sit-down business was not growing,” he said. “This is a way to grow.”
Heckman’s is one of 16 businesses in the county now licensed to deliver beer and wine, according to Melissa Davis, a senior marketing officer with the county’s Department of Liquor Control.
Others include Lance’s Beer & Wine, Smoke BBQ and M&N Pizza in Bethesda, as well as Kensington Sub & Pizza and Silver Spring’s Addis Beer & Wine.
Davis said delivering alcohol requires a particular off-premise license and written approval from the department’s board. She said not many businesses get the license, but it has started to become more popular.
“It’s something that’s been possible for a while now, but we have seen an uptick,” she said, noting three or four requests this year.
Delivering alcohol comes with complications. Though Heckman’s uses services like Uber Eats and Doordash for food deliveries, it has to directly employ its deliverers for beer and wine orders. Employees—who must be over 21—then have to check the ID of the person receiving the order at the door.
Orders must be at least $20 and come with a $5 delivery fee. Tipping is encouraged.
Delivery takes 45 minutes, according to the website, but Heckman said it will be quicker for residents near Woodmont Triangle.
The new interior of Heckman’s includes wine racks and fridges for beer. Joe Zimmermann