Distillery/Bar/Restaurant Hybrids Emerge
Call them gastro-distilleries, still-bars or distillery pubs, there’s a new concept emerging in the on-premise cocktail arena. These are hybrid operations combining a fully functional distillery with a bar and restaurant service.
There are just a handful of these crossbreeds scattered around the country. But as more states loosen laws and regulations about tasting rooms, we’ll see more still-bars debuting and competing for consumers’ cocktail dollars.
Law and Orders
“Just a couple of years ago, regulations in many states allowed distillers to pour ¼-oz. samples and that was it. Consumers couldn’t even buy a bottle to go,” explains Margie Lehrman, executive director of the American Craft Spirits Association. “But now tasting rooms are growing into full-service restaurants.”
Lehrman cites a number of examples: Driftless Glen in Baraboo, WI; District Distilling in Washington, D.C.; CH Distilling in Chicago; and Cardinal Spirits in Bloomington, IN.