The New Distillery Row

J.K. Williams Distilling, formerly of East Peoria, will reopen next spring with a new owner, location and fresh identity.

Andy Faris
Andy Faris of J.K. Williams Distilling

J.K. Williams Distilling, formerly of East Peoria, will reopen next spring with a new owner, location and fresh identity. “We are moving the entire operation to the Warehouse District,” says Andy Faris, who bought the business earlier this year. “The new location will feature a retro tasting room that pays homage to the rich history of distilling in Peoria.” While details have yet to be announced, Faris is confident it’s the right move. “The city is on the cusp of excellent growth and I see great potential… especially in the Warehouse District. I view our business as a key addition to the already energetic and cool vibe happening there.”  

Faris and his fiancé, attorney Stacy Shunk (who is also the distillery’s vice president and general counsel) are transplants to Peoria from Dallas, but both originally hail from the Midwest—Faris from Minneapolis, Shunk from Madison. “We have fallen in love with the city and people of Peoria,” he adds, “and we have been overwhelmed by the warm welcome we have received since our arrival.” 

When J.K. Williams reopens next year, it will have competition from Black Band Distillery, which is also set to open in the Warehouse District. Faris anticipates the two businesses will complement each other. “We believe this will represent a new version of Peoria’s famed ‘Distillery Row’ and further underscore that the Warehouse District is becoming a destination spot with burgeoning activity.” 

In addition to the tasting room, J.K. Williams will include a retail store featuring unique items from the distillery. They’ll also be rolling out a new line of gin and vodka. “While the core focus will be on bourbon, rye and single malt whiskey, the fruit-flavored corn whiskeys will be replaced with gin and vodka to allow for a more diverse experience… with unique and delicious hand-crafted cocktails,” Faris notes. jkwilliamsdistilling.com PM

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