Despite taking months longer than expected, local distillery Charm City Meadworks is confident it will be open in its new Johnston Square facility by early October, co-owner Andrew Geffken said.
Geffken told The Baltimore Sun late last year he hoped to be operating by mid-January out of the 6,500-square-foot space at 407 E. Preston St.
"We had some delays with permitting and working through some things with our landlord, but we're through pretty much all of that," Geffken said on the phone Thursday. "Now it's just a matter of getting the work done."
Those plans recently grew more substantial when the company purchased seven city-owned properties on the 300 and 400 blocks of nearby East Biddle Street , he said. Geffken estimated the total square footage was "a third of the size of a football field, maybe even less."
The distillery's plan is to clean up the properties — which are currently empty, except for trash — and to provide outdoor seating once the facility opens, according to Geffken.
"We wanted to get a little bit of green space and keep it that way," he said. "We're not going to start building condos or anything like that."
Visitors will be able to purchase mead on tap, in flavors including basil lemongrass, wildflower, eldberberry and many more. Geffken also plans to have cold-brew coffee on tap.
While Charm City Meadworks, which was founded in 2014 and operated out of Curtis Bay, looks forward to opening the new production facility and taproom, Geffken is just as enthusiastic about becoming a part of the Johnston Square neighborhood. There's a sense that its residents and community members are taking it upon themselves to improve it, he said.
"There's monthly meetings for an organization called Rebuild Johnston Square. People are starting to work on stuff over there," Geffken said. "We're really excited to be up there. They've been incredibly supportive so far. That's why we want to do our part and do what we can."