Spirits Maker Plans Lakeshore Tasting Room

Long Road Distillers bartender bar gasses tray

Residents of a lakeshore town soon won’t have to go far to be able to enjoy handcrafted cocktails from an award-winning distillery.

Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers plans to open a new distillery and tasting room in Grand Haven.

The location will be the company’s second off-site tasting room The distillery opened a tasting room in Boyne City last year.

“The Long Road team is thrilled to join the Grand Haven community,” said Kyle Van Strien, co-founder and co-owner, Long Road Distillers. “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.”

The new Long Road location will be located at 102 Washington Ave., along the main retail thoroughfare in Grand Haven.

The Grand Haven City Council voted unanimously to recommend approval of Long Road’s request for the distillery tasting room license to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

“I’m glad to see you coming in,” Grand Haven Councilmember Mike Fritz said to the Long Road team. “I know you’ll be a great addition to Grand Haven.”

An official open date for the new location has not been announced, but Long Road is actively seeking applicants for a tasting room and bar manager and will soon begin the hiring process for additional team members.

Long Road has faced a tough battle to open in Grand Haven. The company previously hoped to open a tasting room in the vacant Grand Trunk Depot at 1 North Harbor Ave., but it could not gain enough votes in the City Council to move forward with the project.

The Grand Trunk venture was contentious because of the property’s proximity to Waterfront Stadium, where many family-oriented events are held. Some councilmembers did not want alcohol to be served in the depot for this reason.

“We’re excited to bring our curated experience to the lakeshore,” said Jon O’Connor, co-founder and co-owner, Long Road Distillers. “We look forward to adding something new and unique for the residents and visitors of Grand Haven to enjoy, and we’re confident we’ll be a welcome addition to the community.”

Since opening in 2015, Long Road Distillers has twice been recognized as the “Best Craft Specialty Spirits Distillery” in the country by USA Today and has garnered numerous “best”-level honors from the spirits industry, as well as Grand Rapids Magazine readers.

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