Falls Church Distillers is now open and producing vodka, gin, and bourbon at 442 S. Washington St., Falls Church.
Due to a glitch with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the distillery can’t sell spirits yet, however. That’s because the ABC neglected to file the necessary paperwork on time, says General Manager James Richards. He expects to get a green light allowing spirit sales within a week or so.
Meanwhile, the bar can offer free tastings – customers at the distillery’s soft opening on July 8 got to try the bar’s house-made bourbon – and it can sell beer and wine.
In addition to bourbon, Falls Church Distillers makes regular gin, citrus-infused gin, pineapple gin made with pineapple-flavor herbs, and regular and pepper vodka.
Several craft beers are offered, as well as a selection of wines from Italy. The food menu includes a variety of Italian small plates, such as antipasti, bruschetta, and panini. For dessert, there’s honey mascarpone fig gelato.
As Falls Church Distillers is the only distillery in Virginia with a bar, it must comply with restrictive ABC rules, says a server who goes by the name Ant. For example, the distilled spirits must be served in a separate location from the restaurant, so there’s a metal fence separating the two areas.
And because the still has to be totally separate from the rest of the operation, it is kept behind a locked floor-to-ceiling fence at the back of the bar.
Falls Church Distillers also serves as an art gallery, featuring 90 paintings and photographs from LALO (Let Art Live On). “We believe in taking art to the people,” says LALO founder and board chair Bryane Lickson.
People who buy an artwork receive a certificate of authenticity and are requested to let LALO know when it is sold, Lickson says. That provides a way for artists to safeguard their art’s future, so it doesn’t get lost after ending up in a yard sale.
Falls Church Distillers is open 5 p.m.-midnight on Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon-midnight on Saturdays, and noon-6 p.m. on Sundays. It’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.