Manhattan’s First Distillery Is Opening This Fall
Vodka lovers in Manhattan get ready: There’s one more reason you won’t have to get on the subway.
OUR/Vodka, a unit of Pernod Ricard, is planning to open a distillery in Manhattan, on 26th Street in the Chelsea area, in October.
There are currently 21 distilleries in New York City, according to the New York State Liquor Authority, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, but 18 are in Brooklyn, two are in the Bronx, and one is in Queens.
The wheat-based vodka brand will also source 75 percent of its ingredients from local New York state farms.
The new owners of the distillery also come from quite an unexpected background. Co-owners of the Skate Shop, Kevin Carney and Dave Ortiz, a former graffiti artist, were visited by a talent scout named Thurman Wise in 2013 who simply hired them to throw a party, and then suggested that perhaps they run the planned distillery.
“This guy had hair down to his shoulders. His arms, hands and neck are covered in tattoos. He wore patent leather loafers with no socks. We thought we were getting punked, but we went with it,” Ortiz told WSJ.
The two Skate Shop owners later met Asa Caap, chief executive of OUR/Vodka, which distills its vodka in Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and Detroit.
“I was told to recruit guys to open and run a distillery in New York City and they’d get a piece of the business, but they needed to be authentic New Yorkers and creative problem solvers who were literally willing to carry 36 cases of vodka,” Wise said.