Wonderland Distilling Company, Muskegon’s newest craft distillery, officially opened its new cocktail bar in Muskegon’s Lakeside neighborhood this week.
Located at 1989 Lakeshore Drive, Wonderland Distilling’s cocktail bar serves handcrafted cocktails, created using exclusively Wonderland spirits, along with locally sourced small plates. The cocktail bar also creates canned cocktails.
“We’ve been planning this for years, and it finally came together in 2019 with this perfect space in Lakeside,” said Allen Serio, co-founder and CMO of Wonderland Distilling. “We can’t wait to welcome our neighbors and fellow adventurers to experience our handcrafted spirits and cocktails in this space we’ve been dreaming about and working on for so long.”
The Wonderland cocktail bar has been in the works for about 18 months and is a longtime dream for co-founders Serio and Mark Gongalski. The space is designed to give guests a welcoming feeling with nautical design elements giving a nod to its location across from the marina, as well as an entire wall of Lake Michigan photos coming soon that will change with the seasons. Repurposed barrel staves are used as design elements to add depth to walls, and the owners also worked with local artists on several murals inside the bar.
The cocktail bar seats about 149 people under normal operating conditions and approximately 74 guests socially spaced with a bar area, high-top and low-top tables, a few lounge spaces and a garage door that opens up in the front for patio seating. The space is about 3,800 square feet and also includes a private room in the back for special events or meetings.
The distillery also is planning collaborations with local neighbors including Hey Sugar, Soap Dude Cosmetics and Lumbertown.
The cocktail menu will change seasonally and potentially based on customer requests. The current menu includes 10 specialty drinks, including classics like an Old Fashioned and a Mule with housemade ginger beer, as well as several cocktails general manager Josiah Gentry created just for Wonderland, like the Gold Rush featuring Wonderland whiskey, honey, lemon and bitter, and the Sweater Weather, featuring the distillery’s handcrafted apple liqueur.
“The great thing about being a cocktail bar is that we are placing all our emphasis on our spirits and our cocktails, so we have lots of fantastic options for guests. That beverage-forward menu gives us the freedom to create bespoke food pairings and change it up if we want to experiment with something new,” Gentry said. “We have six menu items now, including a wild game charcuterie plate, a hummus platter and a steak focaccia flatbread sandwich.”
Canned cocktail versions of some of the more popular cocktails also are available to go.
The bar’s regular hours are noon-9 p.m. Sunday, 3-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3-11 p.m. Friday and noon-11 p.m. Saturday. Parking is available on Lakeshore Drive in front of the building or behind the building in the lot accessible from Moon and Mann streets.
Wonderland’s first spirit, a Blend of Straight Whiskeys, launched in August and is now available in about 90 retail locations across the state. Following the cocktail bar’s opening, consumers also will be able to purchase Wonderland gin and vodka, handcrafted and distilled in Muskegon.