By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Mar 03, 2021 at 11:00 AM

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After a pandemic-related delay, Central Standard Craft Distillery has announced that its new Downtown Milwaukee facility will be ready for a July 22 grand opening.

The building will include a tour experience, tasting room, retail store, restaurant, rooftop patio and private events space, as well as third floor loft office space for rent.

Central Standard
(PHOTO: Elevated Pines Drone Company)

The site, 320 E. Clybourn St., in a stunning three-story cream city brick building designed by important Milwaukee architect Edward Townsend Mix. The building has historic ties to the distilling and brewing industries in Milwaukee, which you can read about in this Urban Spelunking story.

Central StandardX
Central StandardX

The 11,700-square-foot building – which has been vacant for a number of years – will house a 100-gallon pot still that will be used to produce spirits sold on-site. Central Standard will continue to operate its distillery on West Clybourn Street. That facility is not open to the public.

“We’re unveiling our interior designs today and we’ve already booked our first corporate event and wedding,” said co-founder Evan Hughes.

“Please mark July 22 on your calendar and plan to join us as we raise a glass to everything in Milwaukee becoming a bit closer to normal.”

Central StandardX

Central Standard closed its Walker's Point distillery and tasting room in late 2019 to make way for a new Adventure Rock climbing gym.

"While the timing of our shutdown was beneficial," said Hughes, noting cost savings during the pandemic, "we never envisioned being closed as long as we have been."

The renovation project, designed by Milwaukee’s HGA Architects, showcases the stunning cream city brick shell and sturdy original interior carpentry via exposed joists and beams.

Central StandardX

In addition to HGA Architect and Engineers, Central Standard has partnered with Gardner Builders, JLL and PyraMax Bank on the project, said co-founder Pat McQuillan.

“They have over delivered for us, especially in the face of COVID,” McQuillan added.

The craft distillery will be the first in Downtown Milwaukee. Great Lakes Distillery, the first in Wisconsin to open since Prohibition is located in Walker’s Point, Twisted Path is in Bay View and the recently opened Eagle Park Spirits opened last year in Muskego.

Central Standard recently relaunched its bourbon finished in Cabernet wine barrels as Red Cabin.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.