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Long Road Distillers plans a new tasting room known as Less Traveled at 959 Cherry St. in Grand Rapids' East Hills neighborhood. Long Road Distillers plans a new tasting room known as Less Traveled at 959 Cherry St. in Grand Rapids' East Hills neighborhood. MIBIZ STAFF PHOTO

Long Road Distillers plans new tasting room, Less Traveled, in GR neighborhood

BY Thursday, February 03, 2022 02:38pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Long Road Distillers LLC plans to bring a tasting room called Less Traveled to Grand Rapids’ East Hills neighborhood.

The Grand Rapids-based distillery plans to serve its spirits, hand crafted cocktails and canned cocktails to-go at 959 Cherry St. SE. The 1,263-square-foot space formerly housed specialty wine and beer retailer Under the Vines.

“We’ve always been interested in that business district — it’s been hopping long before we opened on the west side,” Kyle Van Strien, co-owner of Long Road Distillers, told MiBiz. “We recognize that it’s a really vibrant, walkable neighborhood. There is a nice opportunity for us and having a large outdoor seating area is something we don’t have on the west side.”

A 555-square-foot patio is planned along Cherry Street as part of the tasting room’s site plans, which will be considered Feb. 10 by the Grand Rapids Planning Commission. The indoor capacity would be 49 people, and outdoor seating would have a capacity of 40. The new Grand Rapids tasting room will not serve food.

Six Friends LLC, which is registered to state Rep. David LaGrand, acquired the property for $595,000 in May 2021, according to property records.

Long Road’s flagship location is at 537 Leonard St. NW in Grand Rapids. The distillery also has locations in Grand Haven, Charlevoix and Cadillac

“In terms of a right-size cocktail bar, this footprint is really nice, manageable and cozy,” Van Strien said. “It won’t be like our home base on the west side. This will be more of a cocktail experience.”

The tasting room needs to complete several other licensing steps after the Feb. 10 planning commission meeting, but owners are hopeful Less Traveled will open in the next couple of months, Van Strien said. The distillery is talking to surrounding bars and restaurants about establishing a social zone in the area, he added.

Eastern Kille Distillery is also planning a tasting room in East Hills at 634 Wealthy St. SE, as MiBiz previously reported. The planning commission will also consider this site plan on Feb. 10.

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