LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A new micro-distillery may be in the works for the Park Hill neighborhood of Louisville.
Thursday night, the developer met with residents to talk about re-zoning the piece of property at 1460 &1462 Dixie Highway. That’s just north of Hill Street near Algonquin Park.
The project is still in the early stages. The zoning change hasn’t been submitted yet, but developers are hoping to open an international business and expand the Bourbon Trail into an area in need of some economic development.
Louisville native Victor Yarbrough wants this distillery to be something unique.
“We want to engage the community and we also want to, a certain degree, educate the community about what a distillery does,” Yarbrough said.
Yarbrough spent the past six years developing an international distilling company, Victory Global. The company has headquarters in Lexington and in London. Yarbrough distills and ships spirits back and forth between the countries.
He said he’s felt the impacts already of the U.S. imposed tariffs on the bourbon industry, but that isn’t stopping him from bringing what he’s learned back home. Growing up in the west end, Yarbrough said he wants to give back to his community, starting a micro distillery in an area where some of the giants, like Brown Forman, have been for years.
“We could help provide craft trade skill opportunities for people for the community that aren’t really aware of those opportunities,” Yarbrough said.
He hopes to not only make the distilling industry more accessible to the community, but to also revitalize the area.
“We also want to bring in additional traffic with tourism and help inspire additional businesses to come in,” Yarbrough said.
He added that the city would probably be more likely to improve infrastructure if this economic corridor was expanded.
But the words business and economy have left a bad taste in some residents' mouths who have seen bigger corporations come to the area, but no change for the people.
Pastor of the Mount Zion Baptist Church, Darrell Nathan, has been a part of this community for more than 31 years. He said he’s not opposed to economic development, he just wants it done in a way that will actually benefit residents.
“I am greatly concerned, having been in the community for 31 years, about another business coming in selling and manufacturing spirits,” Nathan said. “We have so many already. We have a lot of issues in the community and I’m interested in building people. It appears to me that some people are interested in building their profit and I’m into building the people.”