Central Standard sets opening date for downtown distillery

Multi-million dollar project includes tasting room, event venue, rooftop patio

Last updated on March 5th, 2021 at 01:39 pm

Central Standard Craft Distillery will open its downtown Milwaukee production facility and tasting room on July 22.

The Milwaukee-based spirits distiller on Tuesday announced the grand opening date and revealed interior renderings of its future home: the historic former Wisconsin Leather Co. building at 320 E. Clybourn Street.

The 11,700-square-foot building, which was purchased by Central Standard in January, will undergo a multi-million dollar renovation project, which will include a tasting room, restaurant, rooftop patio, private events space, and third-floor office space. It will house a 100-gallon pot still, producing the spirits served and sold on site. The project was initially delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The business has already booked its first corporate event and wedding at the location, said co-founder Evan Hughes in a news release.

“Please mark July 22 on your calendar and plan to join us as we raise a glass to everything in Milwaukee becoming a bit closer to normal,” he said.

Central Standard first announced its relocation plans early last year, before the pandemic forced the distillery to temporarily pivot operations to produce hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray, which it sold and donated to local nonprofits. The company also invested in new equipment to meet demand for spirits during the pandemic.

HGA Architects and Engineers and Minneapolis-based Gardner Builders are heading the project’s architecture and construction.

Central Standard’s new facility will be seven times larger than its Walker’s Point location on South 2nd Street. Built in 1874, the Historic Edward Townsend mix-designed building has housed many tenants, including the Wisconsin Leather Co., and most recently exotic art and furniture store From Afar.

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Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.