RAVENSWOOD — Koval Distillery, the pioneering Ravenswood-based spirits manufacturer, is getting ready to show off its new, expanded facility.
Koval is consolidating its operations into one location: 4241 N. Ravenswood Ave., its current production facility. Koval is taking over the entire building, allowing it to quadruple its space and add a tasting room, patio and more.
Koval’s current tasting room and store at 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave. will also move to the new spot, bringing all Koval operations under one roof.
Sonat Birnecker Hart, founder and president of Koval, said the distillery is targeting the end of spring for the opening — with an eye on April.
“We’re just so excited to welcome people to our new facility and show them everything once it’s ready. This is the next phase of our growth and development and we’re so excited to share it with everyone in the city,” Hart said.
“We bought the building at 4241 N. Ravenswood Ave. about two years ago with the hope of consolidating both of our current locations.”
Once the new location is finished, it will include a visitor center, store, tasting room bar, outdoor patio and room for expanded educational programming. It will also include additional parking.
“We’ll have everything from boozy sundaes to a lot of Central European cheeses and bread. We’re also working with local vendors and will have some delicious surprises from people here in and around the city,” Hart said. “We’re also going to be doing a lot of spritzers on the patio. We’ll have a lot of European-style sparkling, low ABV drinks that are perfect for sipping under the sun.”
Founded in 2008 by Hart and her husband, Robert Birnecker, Koval became the first distillery within Chicago’s city limits since Prohibition ended. The company distills organic whiskey, liqueurs and other specialty spirits.
Ald. Matt Martin (47th) approved the distillery’s request for a zoning change at 4241 N. Ravenswood Ave. so Koval could move forward with its consolidation plans.
“This project received support from several chambers of commerce and neighborhood associations. It is not expected to increase traffic by much, and only later in the day when parking is available on Ravenswood,” Martin said in a statement.
Martin said his staff worked with nearby residents to address any traffic-related issues that arose for this proposal. Koval’s patio license process will happen later and require additional input from neighbors, Martin said.
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