Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

March 19, 2014

GT Distillery opening downtown

TRAVERSE CITY — Today is a big day for Grand Traverse Distillery.

Owner Kent Rabish will sign a lease this morning to open a new retail outlet at 215 E. Front St. Rabish said the space will house a tasting room that sells products like True North Vodka, Ole George whiskey and Peninsula gin.

“It’s going to be a retail tasting room for the distillery, just like we do at the main distillery at the plant,” Rabish said. “People can come in, sample our products and, if they like what they taste, they can purchase.”

The distillery is headquartered at 781 Industrial Circle, west of North Three Mile Road. The downtown tasting room fills a spot vacated when Old Mission Traders moved production operations to a location on Hastings Street.

Rabish said the downtown storefront will help the distiller reach more tourists visiting northern Michigan.

“Our distillery is fairly well hidden from the public, so the downtown location is going to give me access to 99 percent of the tourists who might otherwise not find me,” Rabish said. “A much better location for retail.”

The new location should open in mid- to late-May, Rabish said.

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