#ToledoMe: Toledo Spirits is expanding - new bar and new booze
A new bar will open soon in the Vistula neighborhood downtown. But, the brand and brains behind it are not new to Toledo.
Since 2013 an old brick building off Summit Street in downtown Toledo has been home to Toledo Spirits, a local whiskey distillery. Business is good, so good it's expanding. Opening up a new bar and introducing new booze.
You'll drink better in Toledo. That's the motto for these whiskey lovers. They're full time tech guys, close friends and co-owners of Toledo Spirits.
"Out of about 3,000 square feet in this old warehouse that's about 110 years old, we started building our products and growing our brands," said Dustin Wade, co-founder and VP of Marketing and Sales.
And now that footprint is growing to 2,300 square feet. Upgrading production capacity from 200 to 1,400 gallons by adding three new stills. Construction began last year and the goal is for the new "Bellweather Cocktail Bar" to be open for business in a few weeks.
Andrew Newby has owned the building since 2001. In addition to whiskey, it houses two tech companies.
"Tech and whiskey: it's a perfect mix," said Newby, president and CEO of Toledo Spirits.
Local is at the core of the brand. Ingredients from local farms...
"There's nothing like a NWO strawberry," said Lukas Kummer. He's a co-owner and the head distiller.
Everything is distilled and hand bottled here. Even the architecture is inspired by historic Toledo. Metal salvaged from the steam plant and doors refurbished from the Spitzer building.
"The more we invest in this economy the more this economy is going to invest in us," said Kummer.
Lukas Kummer is the brains behind the booze and a west Toledo native.
"I have an intense amount of Toledo pride and this is sort of an extension of that," said Kummer.
For the owners, bringing life back to the Vistula neighborhood is vital.
"We're in Toledo's first neighborhood, this was part of what became Toledo," said Newby.
"We want this to be reflective of our city and of the quality that we're able to produce here," said Kummer.
"We'll get to hang up our day jobs some day and maybe sell booze for a living," said Wade.
So, for these three friends it's really about three things: revitalizing this part of downtown, keeping it local and of course - good whiskey.
The newest product: Heart of Gold vodka is now for sale.