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Brothers Raymond and Michael Tilch, co-owners of Silesia Liquors, both believe in exceptional customer service and introducing the finest quality possible. Referenced and quoted in the Washington Post and Washingtonian countless times over the years for running one of the best fine wine and spirit shops in the Washington DC area, Raymond and Michael pride themselves on their ability to recognize their customers’ tastes and educate them as they venture into the large landscape of wines.
The history of the current store began in 1909, when Robert “Papa” Tilch took over the White Horse Tavern from his uncle, Robert Stein, at the age of fifteen and ran the establishment for 63 years. Robert Tilch had immigrated to America in 1895 from Silesia, Germany when he was one year old. Tilch’s General Store operated until 1933, when son, John Raymond Tilch built the adjacent store, which housed Silesia Liquors. In 1979, the current store was built by Raymond’s sons, Raymond and Michael. They also added the Silesia Carry-out and Silesia Pet Foods. Under Raymond and Michael’s guidance the store flourished and evolved into one of the finest in the Washington DC area.
In 2007, Michael Tilch passed away. His passing impacted the DC wine community, as well as, the many patrons whom he befriended over the years. His brother, Raymond, and longtime family friend, Harold Chapman, continue to run the store with the same enthusiasm and passion for wine that he and his brother did for some many years. Silesia Carry-out is now operated by Raymond’s wife, Karen, and the Silesia Pet Food Store is now home to Silesia Antiques.
August 2008 welcomed a fourth generation Tilch to the business. Ray’s eldest son, Paul, who grew up working in the business, assumed the wine department responsibilities of the store. His experiences accompanying Mike in the DC wine scene fostered his inherent and family-learned passion for wine and wine education. Since joining the family business, Paul has resurrected the in-store wine tastings and recently has started to host a wine dinner in DC for customers and wine producers to encourage education and appreciation of fine wines. Wine events and store inventory will echo Paul’s hopes to sustain the store’s legacy as a destination for rare wines and in-depth wine knowledge.