LOGAN SQUARE — A new bar, restaurant and 4,500-foot craft liquor distillery will move into a stretch of Milwaukee Avenue that is already a bustling center for food and drink.
The Chicago Distilling Company, will move into the former Thiessen Printing space at 2359 N. Milwaukee Ave., while The Radler, a "contemporary Bavarian restaurant and beer hall," will move in a couple doors up the street at 2375 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The Chicago Distilling Company, 2359 N. Milwaukee Ave., will specialize in "small-batch, handmade" whiskey, vodka and gin, said owner Jay DiPrizio, with an annual production of 2,000 cases or 24,000 bottles.
Compare that to Jack Daniels, which produces 10 million cases a year.
DiPrizio, 34, said the distillery will be open by the end of May, while a 1,700-square-foot tasting room will open to the public in early to mid-July.
"We're going to be doing a lot of experimenting with extremely small batches," he said, adding that they will start with vodka and gin, then move on to whiskey, which takes longer to age.
In addition, they'll also "do some playing around with liqueurs and different types of spirits."
DiPrizio, along with his wife and brother, founded the company in 2010, but had to go through the daunting process of obtaining permits with the city, state and federal government, in addition to background checks.
"So it's not like home brewing where you can experiment in your garage or your condo," he said. "You've got to have the licenses."
DiPrizio said he believes small-batch liquor could become as popular as craft beer.
"It's very similar to the craft beer experience," he said.
Food pairings with craft liquors are not unheard of, Diprizio added, though he and his partners have not decided whether the tasting room will ever offer food.
The Radler, however, will serve food — German food.
Its website describes it as "rustic and modern Bavarian cuisine using locally sourced meat and produce served in a communal and social atmosphere" along with "hand-crafted local and imported beers alongside Chicago's first aged beer program."
It is set to open in September, according to general manager Adam Hebert.
DiPrizio said other businesses are moving into that stretch of Milwaukee Avenue, including a bar linked to the owners of popular gin spot Scofflaw.
Scofflaw released a statement confirming its owners would be opening a new spot on Milwaukee Avenue "before Chicago sees snow again," but has not released the exact address.
Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) said he was only aware of The Radler and the distillery, but said he was happy about the projects.
"I'm just very excited because we're very focused on Milwaukee between Sacramento and Western," he said. "To see right-sized development there — it's great."