21 Jun Finding Home
Walking into our facility for the first time was not the picturesque, dream-fulfilling moment we had anticipated. There was a thick layer of dirt and grime everywhere. The walls, which had once been painted were now an indiscernible color and covered in cobwebs. The floor was caked with a combination of dust and leftover garbage that the previous tenant had been nice enough to leave behind. Even your most seasoned of transients would have kept on moving.
An indescribable aroma met our nostrils. The combination of odors made our eyes water. The stench we deduced was a mixture of mold, mildew, and three-day old hot dog water. Everyone at some point in their lifetime has smelled old hot dog water; it sucks.
And yet, somehow, we knew this was going to be home.
For all of its faults, holes, and cracks, there was a certain rustic charm to this dilapidated warehouse. We were able to see past all the filth and understand the potential the space could provide. We could see the distillation system and filtration tanks. We could see the bottling line. We could see the marble bar top and the vintage-style stools. Most of all, we could see Federal Distilling and the assortment of customers our vodka would attract.
Now there were design plans to go over and over and over. Equipment needed to be purchased and installed. There was a cleaning effort that needed to take place that even the National Guard may have balked at joining. But no matter what the obstacles, we were going to make this old warehouse the distillery and bar we had always dreamed of owning.
Nearly a year later, we have our distillation system and filtration tanks. We have our marble bar top and line of bar stools. We have the Stateside marquee, perfectly in place above the bar, shining for all our future customers. It took countless hours, unconditional dedication, mistakes, and enough elbow grease to impress Mr. Clean himself. We transformed this old warehouse into a warm and inviting place that we hope the people of Philadelphia will call their own for years to come.