A new whiskey tasting room could be coming to Naperville. 30-year Naperville resident Bob Many hopes to open H.H. Shufeldt & Co. in Unit 111 of 1665 Quincy Avenue.
Many plans to revamp the 3,150 square-foot space into a workspace, as well as a tasting room which would resemble a late-1800s to early-1900s style tavern. The tasting room will feature a dark wood bar, period appropriate lighting and rustic wooden stools, chairs and tables. “Think of this area as a cocktail lounge,” said Many. “You’ll be able to come in and buy a tasting of whiskey on the rocks or a cocktail like a Moscow mule, Manhattan or old fashioned.”
For that to happen, Many made a request for the Naperville Liquor Commission to raise the cap on the Class P – Manufacturer license to five to allow his product to be served on the premises. Four businesses in town had currently held that license: Solemn Oath Brewery, Noon Whistle Brewing Co., 2 Fools Cider House, and the soon to launch Go Brewing.
Many will be a non-distilling producer, buying his already completed whiskey recipe from third party producers. H.H. Shufeldt & Co. will offer its whiskey for sale by the bottle, or in the spirits available at the tasting room bar. “I’m going to be what the industry calls a non-distilling producer,” said Many. “What that means is that I will buy my product already completed from third parties, who are very large, and all they do every day of the week is make whiskey. And then sell it wholesale to people like me.”
The Naperville resident wants his tasting room to be a “unique social experience” and expects patrons who are 35 to 60 years old. “My target audience is a little older,” said Many. “And it’s really for those people that are interested in the craft spirits industry and who want to meet other people that are looking for good conversations, without the goal of consuming a high amount of alcohol.”
H.H. Shufeldt & Co. would only be open for tastings and bottle sales during the weekends: on Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sunday between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. At this time, Many plans to be the only employee of the establishment, functioning as the bartender during the normal working hours. “Five years from now I want a nice, thriving distillery where people can come and I can share my enjoyment of crafted spirits with them,” said Many.
The liquor commission voted in favor of Many’s request to raise the license cap to five. The matter now goes to Naperville City Council for a final vote. If approved, Many hopes to open his business in November of 2022.
“I enjoy drinking whiskey, but more than that I enjoy sharing the experience with other people,” said Many. “So I thought the best way to show my passion for the drink was to open up a distillery where I could create my own version of it and share it with friends and family.”
Reporting for Naperville News 17, I’m Will Payne.