New Liquor Store, PROOF, Aims to Be Community Space


Everything at Winter Hill’s newest liquor store is well thought out. Virtually all pieces of the shop are custom made, from the wine racks to the hanging lights. Wines hail from all over the world—South America, Portugal, Italy—and beers from beloved local breweries adorn the shelves.


PROOF Manager Jay Cahill.

But lighthearted details, like a blown-up Prohibition-era photo of people pouring alcohol down a street drain, show that PROOF doesn’t take itself too seriously.

“It kind of follows the trend lately—everything’s farm-to-table, they’re going back to very clean, aesthetic lines,” Manager Jay Cahill says. “We wanted to do something that was along that way, but in a wine shop instead of a restaurant. So a lot of sheet metal, a lot of wood, warm touches, it kind of follows that whole trend.”

Cahill emphasizes PROOF’s aim of engaging with the Winter Hill community, a goal that is baked into the infrastructure of the shop. The display racks are on wheels, meaning they can be pushed to the sides to make space for events. The team envisions inviting local chefs to come cook in the space—which has a full kitchen in the works—and hosting dinners with alcohol pairings. At the front of the shop, benches swivel to create a space to admire art or listen to poetry readings. And they’ve already held a fundraiser for RESPOND, a local domestic violence organization.

Cahill explains that the store tries to be “comfortable” and “welcoming.”

“Every little bit of Somerville has a niche-y little store like this, except Winter Hill,” he says.

PROOF’s focus is on wine and micro-brewed beers, although they do have a selection of other alcohol. Most wines are between $15 and $25, apart from a wall of specialty wines that are higher-end.

PROOF is located at 10 Main St. For hours and more information, visit