Ron Tarver is transforming an old Victorian hotel in Denver’s Baker neighborhood into the Denver Distillery
, where he plans to make whiskey, vodka and gin.
The 3,000-square-foot also will feature a tasting room overlooking the stills in the building's basement.
Tarver says the establishment will cater to 25- to 35-year old professionals, a demographic that has become increasingly conscious of what they're consuming.
"They're all into non-corporate," says Tarver, the 65-year-old owner of Broadway Terrace Realty. "They want to know where th efood comes from. They want to see that someone is actually making what they’re buying. I want them to see how I make it and where it’s made."
He’s hired Denver artist Charles Wooldridge to restore the cast-iron posts at the front of the building and architect Scott Moore of Dalkita to design the project in the three-story brick building at 244 S. Broadway.
"I’ve got the right people, and I like how they do things," Tarver says.
When he started cleaning up the building, formerly the Imperial Hotel, he found five Budweiser bottles and newspapers dating to 1903, which he’s put under glass to preserve.
"I thought people would like to look at them," he says.
Tarver expects to open the Denver Distillery sometime this summer. He’s already obtained the zoning and will apply for construction documents within the next 30 days.
"I’ve never done retail," he says. "I thought I could just kind of go into it, but it’s really quite complex."
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