ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — In a press release Wednesday, Black Button Distilling — a prominent distiller in Rochester who gained notoriety for making hand sanitizer during the pandemic — said their new location at 1344 University Avenue will host a grand opening July 15.
Black Button is also sending off the old space: they are hosting two “LAST TOUR & TOAST OF 85 RAILROAD STREET” events on May 27, at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The distillery says that this will be the last chance for people to tour the old space near the Public Market.
In a second release sent later Wednesday morning, Black Button added that there will be a May 26 send-off event. On the “Big Red Stage,” AJ Hilton will be performing live music. There will be no cover charge.
And if you want a final taste of the 85 Railroad Street-made bourbon, Black Button has 75 bottles of “99 proof Straight Bourbon finished in a Rohrbach Brewing Kellerbier barrel” that are available for pre-order.
The distiller, which says they are the first grain-to-table distiller in Rochester since Prohibition, first made the announcement at their new location on a hot day in October of 2022.
The new space represents a total $25 million in investment from the distillery. It will also quadruple their usable space — from 5,000 sq. ft. to 28,000 sq. ft. — that will include distilling space, a tasting room, and more.
“It’s a big undertaking… It’s a lot of money,” said owner Jason Barrett at the October announcement. “Especially for a guy who started this with a $50,000 dollar loan and some big dreams.”
Black Button will also increase its barrel output by ten times, from 4 barrels a day to 40, and project to add 50 jobs over the lifetime of the space, at least.
“As we approach 11 years of phenomenal growth, we’re excited to enter the next chapter of Black Button’s future,” said Barrett in a statement Wednesday. “When I first opened our location on Railroad Street in 2012, I never could have imagined a day when we would need so much more space that we had to move the stills.”
The distillery opened in 2014. Black Button Distilling takes its name from Barrett’s grandfather, who owned a button factory in Rochester.