Plan Would Turn Old Illinois Library Into Craft Distillery

The old Nichols Library in Naperville may be converted into a distillery for craft alcohol. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons/BCSimon15)

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An old library in a Chicago suburb could be turned into a distillation plant and tasting room for handcrafted alcohol.

Derek Krauss and Joe Rehbein detailed their plan for the Nichols Library building to the Naperville Liquor Commission, The Naperville Sun reported.

The 120-year-old building in downtown Naperville was named a city landmark last year. It’s located near a planned commercial-residential building development. Krauss and Rehbein hope to incorporate their distillery into that project, which is being spearheaded by developers Dwight Avram and Jeff Brown.

“We’ve had a preliminary discussion with the developer. I think it would be a good fit,” Krauss said. “There will be some build-out to accommodate installation of equipment. I believe they have to keep the outer structure. The interior has been stripped pretty clean.”

Krauss said they considered other locations, but wanted to be near the restaurant scene downtown.

The distillery would produce small-batch liquor from locally sourced grains from farms in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin, Krauss said. The business would offer tours, tastings, classes and special events, he said.

“This is about a personal passion to make something from scratch with a local connection, and something we really wanted to do for a long time,” Krauss said.

Commissioner Paul O’Toole said he likes the idea because it’s “gutsy.”

“It’s an awesome plan. I could see it at Nichols Library,” Commissioner Whitney Robbins said.

The commission would have to modify the city’s liquor license in order to accommodate the business.

Posted by on Jul 1st, 2018 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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