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Modern Booze

Hi-fi shopping at Salt Lake City's E3 Modern & The Boozetique

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I have driven past the giant audio horn speakers on display in the window at E3 Modern & The Boozetique (315 E. 300 South, 801-363-3939) so many times that my curiosity finally got the best of me. I entered into an emporium the likes of which I have never seen before: It is a beautiful space with giant storefront windows, raised ceilings and exposed brick.

E3 is the brainchild of audiophile and audio designer Josh Stippich. I remember my grandfather in Philadelphia had an original Victor Victrola Talking Machine—its logo depicted a dog listening to a horn. Stippich has über-skills and builds hi-fi vacuum-tube audio equipment—from scratch—in a beautiful, modern way that harks back to the early 1910s. They look more like sculptural art installations than technical audio equipment.

The shop is home to a huge record collection—not for sale, but to demonstrate sound quality. E3 equipment has a depth and warmth like none other. The space also houses Stippich's handmade furniture collection, including a wooden credenza with acrylic fronts from local company 3 Form, groovy sound-blocking walls, trippy plastic lighting fixtures and one-of-a-kind wine racks, shelves and tables.

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The second part of the emporium is called Boozetique and houses an array of wine and booze-related accessories. It's like a Whole Foods for booze products but without the booze, because, well, it's Utah. Josh's wife, Ivonna (Ivy) Earnest, got the idea when she went to the wine store behind the shop to purchase a bottle as a gift. God forbid the UDABC would ever offer gift-bags—or any accoutrement of any kind—for sale! Hence, the idea for her shop was born.

The Boozetique offers wine coolers, wine openers, gift bags, charms, glassware, decanters and everything else a wino might need. The cocktail décor is what impressed me most: I have been experimenting with old-timey drinks at home using spoons and outdated shakers.

No more! There are modern cocktail shakers (my favorite one is gold), mixing glasses, paddles, utensil sets and barware. No cocktail is complete without a huge selection of syrups and bitters. Even beer drinkers are not discriminated against. There are stainless-steel growlers, beer steins, and cowboy-boot mugs.

Earnest is an art major and it's evident in the selected work she has picked to adorn her walls which she rotates quarterly. Follow the art to the back of the store, which houses a third component called Boozeteaque, with an emphasis on tea. Remember Lisa Brady of the Beehive Tea Room? I do miss hiding out from my City Weekly sales responsibilities, eating a tuna sandwich and drinking tea in her cafe. Brady has moved most of her inventory and many of her Beehive Teas, including my favorite, Cream & Honey.

The Boozeteaque is reminiscent of the old shop and you may even recognize the red neon lights that spell "Tea" and "Room" There are new, used and vintage barware, teapots, cups and glassware from your grandma's era, which go so well with old-timey cocktails. This Friday, June 17, E3 Modern & Boozetique will be open late for Downtown Gallery Stroll. Booze up and drop out.

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Follow Christa on Twitter @ChristaZaro and Instagram @phillytoslc.

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