LeClaire, Iowa-based Mississippi River Distilling Co. is expanding operations to nearby downtown Davenport later this year. The distillery is purchasing the Artisan Grain Distillery and will be locating a new cocktail house and production facility there this summer.
The building at 318 East 2nd Street in downtown Davenport was uniquely equipped to welcome the expansion of the growing distillery. “We were getting tight on space in LeClaire and started looking for opportunities,” said owner Ryan Burchett. “This building already has distillation equipment in place and is accessible for the kinds of deliveries we need going in and out.”
The big addition for fans of the distillery will be a new location to enjoy their famous cocktails in downtown Davenport. Owner Garrett Burchett thinks that is news people will be excited to hear. “We have so many fans in the Quad Cities who like to come to LeClaire every now and then, but the drive keeps them from enjoying our cocktails at other times. So we’re bringing the cocktails to town with a second Cocktail House location.”
The distillery will maintain all its current operations in LeClaire with a production facility, cocktail house and their recently opened Celebration Center event venue. Thanks to recently legislation passed in Iowa, the distillery is allowed to have a second retail location. “As we started looking at our options to gain more space, it just made sense.” said Ryan. “If we’re going to have a second location, it might as well be a place that allows more people to enjoy our stuff.”
The new law wasn’t the only thing that helped Mississippi River Distilling Co. look at Downtown Davenport. “We’re really excited about the location. This is a corridor of downtown that is really on the up and up,” said Garrett. “New streetscaping and revitalized buildings on both sides of the street will make this area a wonderful entertainment destination.”
The distillery is also taking advantage of the Downtown Davenport Partnership improvement grant program and working with the City of Davenport Small Business Loan program to help pull the project together. “Davenport is doing a great job of making opportunities available to help draw small businesses downtown,” said Ryan. “We look forward to working with community partners to make this project a reality and be a part of this renaissance downtown.”
“MRDC’s expansion to downtown Davenport is a welcome addition to our growing family of the Quad Cities’ best and most-beloved local brands,” said Kyle Carter, Downtown Davenport Partnership executive director. “Their new facility is a perfect fit on East 2nd Street, and we’re eager to see MRDC bring its unique character and top-notch product to the neighborhood.”
The distillery is working on renovations to the space in hopes of opening soon. “We do have some work to do, but it shouldn’t be a long build out,” said Garrett. “We think we can have things on their feet in a few months so we can enjoy a busy summer downtown.”
Owners say hiring will begin immediately. “We’ll need managers, bartenders and servers right away,” said Ryan. “We have the luxury of bringing people on board now and training them in LeClaire so we’re ready for opening.”
Employment applications are available at the distillery’s website www.mrdistilling.com.