A family-run microdistillery specializing in Irish whiskey could be coming to Prospect Park.
Dubbed the O’Shaughnessy Distillery, the proposed two-level development will produce whiskey and a variety of other spirits for distribution. Plans for the 20,000 square foot building also feature indoor and outdoor tasting venues, complete with a cocktail lounge and bar. Project developer Wall Companies aims to open the business, located at 600 Malcolm Ave. SE., by next spring.
The project was presented to the Prospect Park Association on Friday. A task force of neighborhood members and project developers was formed to review guidelines and discuss recommendations for the distillery.
Michael and Patrick O’Shaughnessy, who are cousins, began planning the project one year ago. Patrick O’Shaughnessy said their Irish ancestry helped inspire the distillery.
“As a family, we wanted to be doing a project that together was going to bring meaning to us,” Patrick O’Shaughnessy said. “This is something that’s passionate and emotional and creates a deep bond of connection for the family as a whole.”
The project’s location was once the site of a potato processing plant. Patrick O’Shaughnessy said the history of the building has ties with his heritage because his ancestors arrived at the time of the Irish Potato Famine. The owners plan to use Irish-sourced ingredients for the products.
The business will provide tours of the facility to educate customers about how its spirits are produced.
The owners will focus on serving customers in the local community, but hope their brand will someday be successful enough for national distribution. Patrick O’Shaughnessy attributes Irish whiskey’s sweet and light taste to its popularity.
PPA Planning and Land Use Chair John Wicks said task forces for developments like the O’Shaughnessy Distillery encourage collaboration between business owners and the community.
“It makes for a better experience for the people that live here to be able to utilize a business that they’ve had a part in agreeing to the process of the design,” Wicks said.
Wicks applauded the project for its potential to bring in employment opportunities to Prospect Park, along with its ability to complement nearby Surly Brewing.
Wall Companies Project Manager Jeff Ellerd said the O’Shaughnessy Distillery will make a great addition to the Malcolm Yards development.
“We’re super excited,” Ellerd said. “We think the microdistillery paired with Surly and paired with our food hall creates this new destination that people are going to want to live, work and play in.”