Best of the Beach 2022: Wine Shop, Flower Shop

Uncorked began outdoor tastings during the pandemic, further integrating itself into the community. Photo courtesy Uncorked

Wine shop

Uncorked The Wine Shop

Uncorked has become a wine lovers dynasty. It started out 11 years ago as a humble little shop on the corner of Pier Avenue and Monterey in Hermosa Beach, expanded to the Pacific Ocean in the form of The Deck down on the Hermosa waterfront, and then took over the little wine shop that was formerly Bacchus in Manhattan Beach. The pandemic took away The Deck, but also gave the original Uncorked another way to expand —  onto its sidewalk in front of the shop. The shop has always been locally loved for its ongoing wine tastings, but now those are occurring outside, with a spectacular ocean view. 

“We are so fortunate to be on a corner and have that area right out front, and so that became a real head-scratcher, like ‘Why wasn’t I doing this for the last 10 years?’” said Jeff Bonafede, the co-founder and owner of Uncorked, along with Kathy Knoll. “After you see how well it goes, and how everybody absolutely loved it…It’s a no-brainer.” 

And while Uncorked is all about fine wine, carrying over 600 kinds as well as a selection of craft beer, the shop’s success comes down to something that the outdoor patio beautifully represents. It’s all about the community. Many customers just walk down the street to Uncorked, which has achieved what any small business aspires to do, and become a community within itself, sort of a Cheers within the wine world, where everyone knows your name. 

“People come to the beach for a reason, and people pay more money to live at the beach for a reason,” Bonafede said. “It’s a lifestyle, and this is a lifestyle business. When you integrate the feel from a winery that you would drive up to Napa or Santa Barbara or travel across the world to visit….You know, we have over 1,000 persons wine club, who come to Uncorked to be a part of what Uncorked is about. And we are going to keep moving forward, man.” 

302 Pier Ave.

Hermosa Beach

(424) 247-7117



Manhattan Fine Wines

1157 Artesia Blvd.

Manhattan Beach

(310) 374-3454

Growing Wild co-owners and twin sisters Lee Hoven-Bakos (left) and Lisa Hoven-Gallien. File photo

Flower shop

Growing Wild

Growing Wild has been blooming on the corner of Highland Avenue and 12th Street for the last 30 years. Its roots go back to two little girls who loved flowers. Twin sisters Lisa Hoven Gaillen and Lee Hoven Bakos grew up in Manhattan Beach and together got a job at a local flower shop while still students at Mira Costa. They opened up their own shop less than a decade later. That shop remains a flowery universe unto itself. Growing Wild is both wonderfully artisan and inventive —  everything is handcrafted, with many designs that use seashells and wood and other unconventional materials to create uniquely local settings for Growing Wild’s arrangements. The shop is also dynamic, both as a go-to service for events, delivery, and as a place for innovative home decoration ideas. Why not visit some helpful places similar to for some great home decoration ideas like antique oil lamps? The twins have lived lives devoted to creating beauty, and they have a crew of folks who share that vision. “All of our employees have worked here a long time, and we’ve been here a long time, so we are able to really know our customers and what they like,” said Hoven Gallien. “We have a small-town feel here, so we really get to know people, and how to take care of them.” 

1201 Highland Ave

Manhattan Beach

(310) 545-4432



Rolling Hills Flower Mart

Manhattan and Redondo


comments so far. Comments posted to may be reprinted in the Easy Reader print edition, which is published each Thursday.