Shopping for a distillery’s home isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. Unlike the extensive distilleries we toured, our goal was more utilitarian. We needed functional space with high ceilings and - here’s a shocker - we needed it to be affordable. Thus began our tenure at Business Centers on Cambridge Street in St. Louis Park. At the time, community wasn’t on our mind.
Our first interactions with the community of St. Louis Park came as we redefined permissible uses in industrial zones (Hashtag: Zoning). This involved tons of conversations - most of which were trying to figure out whom to have conversations with. Our efforts paid off as we landed with an agenda item for the St. Louis Park City Council. They graciously approved our plan and with that, we became community players.
Community leaders took an interest from the start. Mayor Jake Spano stopped by during construction to see how St. Louis Park’s first cocktail room was coming together. He has been incredibly supportive of our business and gave a rousing speech at our Grand Opening claiming, “It’s possible to have good schools, safe streets, AND microdistilleries.” (You can listen to Mayor Spano's speech here. Check out March 10.)
Keeping in step with SLP’s warm reception of us, we have been organizing community-focused events to help make our city better. We hosted a fundraiser for the Historical Society at which Ted Ekkers presented about “History of Spirits in the Park.” It was the first event of it’s kind at our cocktail room. We had a great turnout, learned about the wet and dry days of SLP, and enjoyed pre-prohibition cocktails prepared by our front man Tim Burgart. (By the way, you wouldn’t believe how many speakeasies were in the Park back in the day! Read more about the community anchor that was Al’s Bar here.)
Continuing with our community-focused mindset, we are hosting a candidate forum and invited all city council candidates running in the election this fall. We want to provide a relaxed atmosphere to welcome in our friends and neighbors and give them a chance to meet their future elected officials. For this event, we’re partnering with Discover St. Louis Park and former mayor and long time SLP enthusiast, Jeff Jacobs, will be the moderator. This is going down on Thursday, November 2nd.
We’re also beginning a new series called “Distilling the Issues” at which we’ll talk about topics that matter to the residents of St. Louis Park and beyond. Our first session will take place on Thursday, November 30th. For this pilot run, our guests will be Mayor Jake Spano and Hopkins Mayor Molly Cummings. They will chat about the role of civility in public life - an issue we can all agree is timely.
We’re grateful for our place in the Park. The people here have done nothing but support us every step of the way. We hope you’ll help us continue to grow this amazing community.