Eastern Kille Distillery is moving ahead with plans for a distillery, tasting room, restaurant and cocktail garden in Plainfield Township after receiving approvals at a planning commission meeting last night.
Steve Vander Pol and Brandon Voorhees, co-owners of Eastern Kille Distillery, received special land use and site plan approval from the Plainfield Township Planning Commission on Tuesday, Feb. 22, for their expansion at 7755 Childsdale Ave. NE in Plainfield Township.
Pending materials and labor availability, the partners hope to start construction midyear and wrap at least some portion of it by the end of 2022.
Mathison | Mathison Architects is the designer on the project, and Wolverine Building Group is the general contractor.
The 16-acre parcel, which Eastern Kille already owns, currently is undeveloped natural land. Vander Pol said they plan to allocate 10,000 square feet of space for the company’s distilling operations — which will be moved from downtown Grand Rapids after construction is finished — 4,000 square feet for a “customer experience” restaurant and retail area, and in between the two will be an outdoor cocktail garden. Behind that, they will leave the rest of the lot as a natural area that abuts the White Pine Trail.
The site also will contain a parking lot with about 74 spaces for customers.
“We’re really excited to move into Plainfield Township, and we appreciate the support of the staff on the planning commission there,” Vander Pol said. “We think it’s a wonderful community that we’re joining, and we’re really excited about getting started. We feel a little nervous, too — it’s the first time this company has taken on a project of this size — but we’re anxious to get going.”
Earlier this month, Eastern Kille also received approval from the Grand Rapids Planning Commission to begin construction on a cocktail bar in the East Hills neighborhood, as Grand Rapids Magazine’s sister publication the Grand Rapids Business Journal previously reported.
Both expansions follow the mid-2021 sale of Eastern Kille’s original location at 700 Ottawa Ave. NW in downtown Grand Rapids to Spectrum Health, which will use the lot to continue its Medical Mile expansion. Eastern Kille’s lease for that location will conclude at the end of the year.