FINE WINING: Wally’s Wine & Spirits entrepreneur and wine expert Christian Navarro will curate the gourmet food and beverage experience at OVG venues. (PR Newswire)
Christian Navarro Remade A Liquor Store Into A Beloved Destination With Three Locations
Oak View Group has tapped renowned Wally’s Wine & Spirits entrepreneur and wine expert Christian Navarro to curate premium culinary experiences for guests of its company-operated sports and entertainment venues.
The partnership with Navarro, according to a news release, aims “to curate a luxurious, ultra-premium culinary experience for guests” while reimagining “the premium hospitality and spirits landscape.”
The goal is to “set a new elevated standard at the pinnacle of VIP hospitality for live events including arenas, stadiums, and festivals around the globe.”
For his part, Navarro stated that he “couldn’t feel more bullish about what we are going to do together.”
“We are going to bring happiness, satisfaction and jaw-dropping deliciousness to people everywhere and create a dining experience that will leave a lasting impression on fans and redefine what it means to dine at a live event,” he said.
Born in Mexico City and raised in Palm Springs, California, Navarro, beginning in 1991, is credited with helping to transform Wally’s from a neighborhood corner liquor store in Los Angeles that had been in place since 1968, offering premier epicurean cheeses and other ingredients, wines, spirits and various products from around the world.
Referred to in a New York Times piece as “The Wine Therapist to the Stars,” Navarro, as partner and with Wally’s owner Steve Wallace, transformed and grew Wally’s into a widely known brand that now has locations in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills in California and at Las Vegas Resorts World in Nevada.
A key feature of Navarro’s work will be curating a gourmet menu, including fine wines and spirits.
“We are daring to dream of things that have never been done in this space. We will finally be able to offer our customers and fans the best in premium hospitality at all of our venues world-wide,” read a statement from OVG Chairman and CEO Tim Leiweke and Francesca Bodie, president of business development. “With Christian’s leadership we will have everything from three-star Michelin-quality food, to top-shelf premium spirits, to exclusive events and curated experiences for our customers delivering the highest quality possible.”
(Editor’s Note: Oak View Group is the parent company of VenuesNow and Pollstar. This article has been updated for accuracy.)