BY SYDNEY SMITH & JOE BOOMGAARDTuesday, March 19, 2019 04:53pm
GRAND HAVEN — Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers LLC hopes to open a new satellite tasting room on the lakeshore.
Long Road Distillers plans to move forward with an offsite tasting room at 102 Washington Ave. after the Grand Haven City Council voted unanimously in favor of supporting the company’s request for a tasting room license from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.
The move comes just days after the body rejected the company’s plans to open a tasting room in the city’s historic former train station.
In a text message to MiBiz, co-owner Jon O’Connor said the Washington Avenue location “looks like a good path moving forward” for the distillery, although he acknowledged there were “still some hurdles” the company needs to overcome.
The initial plans call for a 1,000-square-foot tasting room, he said. The company also hopes to add outdoor seating.
If the Grand Haven plans come to fruition, the tasting room will be the second for Long Road, which also operates a tasting room in Boyne City. The distillery has a full-service bar and restaurant at its main Grand Rapids operations.
“The Long Road team is thrilled to join the Grand Haven community,” Kyle VanStrien, Long Road co-founder and co-owner, said in a statement. “We’ve been working to secure a location in or around downtown for nearly two years, and we’re excited to now find ourselves in the heart of the retail and entertainment district of the city.”
An official opening date has not been announced, though Long Road expects to begin the hiring process soon.
Changes enacted last year to the state liquor control code allow distilleries to serve full pours and cocktails at their tasting rooms, where they had only been allowed to offer samples in the past, as MiBiz previously reported.