Rabbit Hole Distilling—the new bourbon and whiskey distillery bringing modernity to Louisville—and Proprietors LLC—the company behind many of the country’s top bars including Death & Co in NYC and The Walker Inn in LA—announce a first-of-its-kind partnership never before seen on this scale in the spirits community. The multifaceted alliance centers around a collaboration within Rabbit Hole’s forthcoming Louisville distillery, where Proprietors LLC is the operating partner for a ground level bar and restaurant, tasting room, and event space. The 55,000 square foot facility opens late 2017 in Louisville’s historic NULU neighborhood, and modernizes the city’s Urban Bourbon Trail.

The partnership is built upon a truly symbiotic collaboration between the two groups. According to Kaveh Zamanian, Rabbit Hole’s Founder and Whiskey Maker and David Kaplan, Co-Owner of Proprietors LLC and Death & Co, it’s a natural overlap for both brands, starting with phenomenal spirits that set the foundation for exceptional cocktails. Both brands infuse knowledge and passion into the project—a beautiful marriage between art, science, and craft.

“We looked for a counterpart whose philosophies mirror ours,” says Zamanian. “Both sides involved have dedicated their lives to knocking down barriers and breaking the rules in the spirits industry. Doing something differently, that isn’t fleeting.  We wanted the best of the best to be a part of this project, and we’re lucky that we found a match who truly is.”

The star of the show is a world-class bar with a world-class spirits maker adjacent. Proprietors will use their varied experience to bring a new approach to the cocktail program, one that will have a deep respect for whiskey while embracing both local and international flavors and techniques. Cocktails will be divided into four sections: Refreshing, From the Market, Adventurous, and Spirituous, each embodying a concise narrative and appealing to a wide spectrum of guests.  While the cocktail program will celebrate American whiskey, it’s not exclusively whiskey-focused, and will showcase visually stunning creations with modern culinary techniques. The concept carries guests through indoor and outdoor spaces, including a front bar room with courtyard and a more intimate rear bar with a differentiated style of service.

Rabbit Hole aligns its ethos with Proprietors LLC to bring a new and innovative bar and restaurant experience to Louisville in the midst of the city’s vibrant renaissance. Louisville’s rich bourbon history coupled with its burgeoning restaurant scene has made it the perfect launch pad for this partnership. It’s a meeting of these two makers to move from production to consumption in a new way, and to change peoples’ views of distilleries, and Rabbit Hole partnering with Proprietors LLC is one step of many towards the revitalization of the city.

Proprietors LLC, a full-service hospitality consulting company that owns, operates, and consults on myriad projects within the hospitality sphere, was formed in 2007 by Alex Day, Devon Tarby and David Kaplan. Over the past ten years the firm has created exceptional cocktail-centric beverage programs and launched restaurants and brands across the country and abroad.

“Louisville is an exceptional city with great food and beverage, but what resonated with us the most is that it is truly a city of makers. The word ‘craft’ has been commodified within the beverage industry, oftentimes with little meaning behind it, but in Louisville there is production happening every day, around every corner, and most of it is authentically of an old-world craft nature. To be a part of Louisville’s story, and helping to write the next chapter of cocktails and spirits here with Rabbit Hole, is a dream come true,” says Proprietors partner Devon Tarby.

Launched in 2012 by Kaveh Zamanian, Rabbit Hole Distilling introduces a forward-thinking approach to bourbon making, while paying homage to the time-honored tradition of the craft. Zamanian, a certified psychoanalyst who operated a clinical practice in Chicago, became attracted to the world of spirits after falling for his wife (a Louisville native). He “fell down the rabbit hole,” embarking on the path to creating imaginative and distinct styles of whiskey. In late 2016, Rabbit Hole’s first batches of Bourbon and Rye whiskeys launched to the public.

Rabbit Hole’s inaugural products feature innovative mash bills, including the Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey  (70% corn, 10% malted wheat, 10% malted barley, 10% honey malted barley) and the Kentucky Straight Rye (95% rye, 5% malted barley). Part of the Fingerprint Edition, Rabbit Hole also presents a Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in PX Sherry Casks, and a Kentucky Rye Barrel-Finished London Dry Gin (coming soon).

The distillery building including the event space, retail, and distillery courtyard will open late 2017.  The new bar and restaurant will open in the spring of 2018.

Bar Management, Beverage, Industry News