Possible Downtown Distillery

The Naperville Liquor Commission recently heard from two locals about possibly bringing a craft spirit distillery to town – an idea that was greeted with enthusiasm.

The project includes the yet-to-be-named distillery, a tasting room, and retail space to sell bottled product.

“From a business model it looks more like a business than a bar. Especially if we’re talking about selling products outside of Naperville. The sales tax revenues should be – looking at this from a business stand point should actually be really good for the City of Naperville I would think, as another plus,” commented Commissioner Chuck Maher.

As for location: possibilities pitched included Old Nichols Library as well as some of the lighter industrial areas of town.

“Obviously we have a preference for being closer to the downtown area because the idea is to make this really a walking destination, something that could be included in the restaurant scene. We don’t have a kitchen and we don’t plan to have a kitchen or a restaurant, at least not within the first few years of operation,” explained Derek Krauss, a presenter of the craft distillery concept.

It was determined that the Class P license needed for the distillery currently only includes breweries in its language. The commission approved of the conceptual distillery project and will look into modifying the license to move it forward.

Also of note at the meeting, a retailer brought his CBD, or cannabidiol, business to the commission.

CBD commonly comes as pain relief oil and is made from hemp plants.

David Palatnik hopes to open his CBD and Kratom business in town, after having success in Chicago, Dallas, and St. Louis.

“I’d be receptive of proceeding cautiously with exploration here,” said Commissioner Mitch Stauffer. “Knowing that you have a bit of an uphill battle. I think what I’m hearing, is Kratom is fundamentally different in our minds than perhaps some of the hemp oils.”

Palatnik said he’d move forward with the business even if he was only approved to sell CBD, however the commission wanted to learn more about both it and Kratom.

Ultimately the discussion was tabled to the next commission meeting for more information to be gathered about the products. The commission also wants to hear feedback from local organizations like 360 Youth Services and the school districts.

The next Liquor Commission meeting is slated for July 5.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.

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