A new whiskey tasting room could be coming to Naperville. A Naperville resident for 30 years, Bob Many hopes to open HH Shufeldt & Co. in Unit 111 at 1665 Quincy Avenue.
Many plan to redevelop the 3,150 square foot space into a workspace, as well as a tasting room that would resemble a late 1800s to early 1900s style tavern. The tasting room will include a bar in dark wood, period lighting, and rustic wooden stools, chairs, and tables. “Think of this area as a cocktail bar,” Many said. “You can walk in and buy a tasting whiskey on the rocks or a cocktail like a Moscow, Manhattan or old fashioned mule.”
To make this happen, Many made a request for the Naperville Liquor Commission to increase to five the ceiling of the class P – manufacturer’s license to allow its product to be served on site. Four companies in the city currently held this license: Solemn Oath Brewery, Noon Whistle Brewing Co., 2 Fools Cider House and the upcoming Go Brewing.
Many will be non-distiller producers, buying his already completed whiskey recipe from third-party producers. HH Shufeldt & Co. will offer its whiskey for sale by the bottle, or in the spirits available at the bar in the tasting room. “I’m going to be what the industry calls a non-distillation producer,” Many said. “That means I will buy my already finished product from third parties, which are very important, and all they do every day of the week is make whisky. And then wholesale it to people. like me.
The Naperville resident wants his tasting room to be a “one-of-a-kind social experience” and expects customers between the ages of 35 and 60. “My target audience is a bit older,” Many said. “And it’s really for people who are interested in the craft spirits industry and want to meet other people who are looking for good conversations, without aiming to consume a large amount of alcohol.”
HH Shufeldt & Co. would only be open for tastings and bottle sales on weekends: Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. At this time, Many plans to be the sole employee of the establishment, playing the role of bartender during normal working hours. “Five years from now, I want a nice, thriving distillery where people can come and share my enjoyment of craft spirits with them,” Many said.
The liquor board voted in favor of Many’s request to raise the license cap to five. The matter now goes to Naperville City Council for a final vote. If approved, Many hopes to open his business in November 2022.
“I love drinking whiskey, but more than that, I love sharing the experience with other people,” Many said. “So I thought the best way to show my passion for the drink was to open a distillery where I could create my own version of it and share it with my friends and family.”
Reporting for Naperville News 17, I’m Will Payne.
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