Blanchard’s Liquors, or Blanchards Liquors—depending on whether you trust the website or, well, one of the signs outside—is mentioned just twice, but its most in-depth treatment is memorably chilling:
Then once near Halloween in an alley behind Blanchard’s Liquors off Allston’s Union Square Lenz comes across a street drunk in a chewed-looking old topcoat in the deserted alley taking a public leak against the side of a dumpster, and Lenz envisualizes the old guy both cut and on fire and dancing jaggedly around hitting at himself while Lenz goes ‛There’ but that’s as close as Lenz comes to that kind of level of resolution; and it’s maybe to his credit that he’s a little off his psychic feed for a few days after that close call, and inactive with pets circa 22l6h.
Anyone who has read the novel—or has at least followed this series so far—is familiar with the horrific mess of a man who is Randy Lenz, and will know this moment of apparent restraint cannot be worth much credit. Though Lenz technically commits no homicides in the course of the story, it’s not hard to imagine that he might have, had he not (spoiler alert) met his own grisly end at the hands of an even deadlier creation—Quebec’s feared Wheelchair Assassins.
In all of this, Blanchard’s Liquors is blameless, except perhaps as the unspoken enabler in a novel filled with alcoholics.
As I understand it, Blanchard’s is basically everyone’s favorite liquor store in Allston, owing to the prominent neon sign outside—everyone loves a mid-century throwback—as well as its size, selection, and the unusual added benefit of a parking lot. Not to mention, it’s a liquor store. Since I’ve already repeated its implication in a nearly attempted murder, I might as well even things up and quote the glowingest review from its Google+ profile:
Hands down, the largest overall selection in the greater Boston area. They have over 200 single malt scotch facings, a HUGE specialty beer section, and more imported and domestic rarities than you can shake a stick at. On top of all this, they have a parking lot and the ABSOLUTE CHEAPEST PRICES in town. Oh, and they sell kegs at criminally low prices. This is where you should go.
So there you have it: in a novel and neighborhood each with more than its fair share of liquor stores, it’s unanimous: Blanchard’s is the one.