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City Approves Zoning Appeal For Bloomington Craft Distillery

Architect Matt Ellenwood proposed this design for the new Bloomington craft distillery. The former sheet metal factory in the McDoel Gardens neighborhood will be renovated.

A former sheet metal factory will house Bloomington’s new craft distillery, Cardinal Spirits.

After the factory closed, the property served as a storage space and a canvas for graffiti artists.

“We think it’s ripe for growth and development,” Jeff Wuslich, co-founder of Cardinal Spirits, says. “We want it [the distillery] to be along the B-Line, it’s Bloomington’s greatest sidewalk.”

The Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously approved conditional use at the location on South Morton Street. At a meeting Thursday, the board reviewed details for fence construction, truck traffic, hours of operation, odor concerns, parking availability and interactions with the homeless community.

Wuslich and his fellow distillers are also working with the McDoel Garden Neighborhood Association to address community concerns with the new business.

A recently-passed state law allows newcomers who do not hold a brewery, winery or general distiller’s license to apply for an artisan distiller’s permit. This exception expires at the end of the year.

“We were kind of moving in this direction regardless of the legislation, but we’re certainly taking advantage of that opportunity now,” Wuslich says.

The distillers plan to open their doors in early 2014.

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