Matt Howell and Kelly Andrews released their first craft liquor in 2013 as Chuckanut Bay Distillery, a potato vodka made with Skagit Valley Yukon Gold potatoes. In the five years since, the distillery has made a name for itself, winning awards like the Seattle International Spirits Award, New York International Spirits Competition, and Micro Liquor Spirits Award.
Now the business is ready for a space that matches its titles. By September, Chuckanut Bay Distillery is expected to finish construction on its new location at 1309 Cornwall Ave. in downtown Bellingham. It will move from its current location in the alley behind Railroad Avenue to a space more than six times larger.
The distillery’s new location will offer 18,000 square feet and three stories of space for distilling, events, tasting and a full restaurant in the historic 1905 building. The historic building is most remembered as the home of J.C. Penney in the 1950s, but has worn many hats in the last 113 years. To bring the space into modern day, the owners imagine the added room will host corporate events and weddings, with the third-floor event room able to house up to 400 people. The restaurant will offer local fare and cocktails featuring spirits made just yards away.
A combination of old-world charm and clean, modern design will make the new Chuckanut Bay Distillery location a hub in Bellingham’s downtown.
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