The neighborhood distillery in southern Richardson will finally open this month.
When asked when they’re planning to be in business, Evan Batt — who owns Lockwood Distilling Company with his wife Sally — jokes “two months ago.”
But now they are in the final stages, assuming the last permits go through without a snag, and Lockwood Distilling should be serving food and cocktails by the end of the month.
“We’re a neighborhood distillery and restaurant: The street we’re on is Lockwood [Drive]; it just kind of defines that this is where we are,” Batt says. “This street feeds into the neighborhood of Richardson Heights; it’s a familiar street for these folks.”
While Batt’s background is in the beverage and alcohol industry, when talking about this spot, the community aspect is a common thread for him. That’s even the case when he discusses their choice of Justin Box as the consulting chef for the restaurant.
“He’s passionate … He really wants to give back to the community. This is truly his neighborhood,” Batt says. “If our restaurant were a house, our kids would go to the school he went to. He felt like this was kind of serendipity, being able to be involved with us.”
Box — who Batt says is “probably very much more qualified than what we were looking for” — is designing the menu around dishes Batt’s been passionate about and has grown up with.
“My inspiration to do this was New Orleans, and kind of the food we had on the menu was stuff I’ve had with good experience or memories of,” Batt says. “There was a handful of menu items that I was really passionate about in building the menu around. Then I realized pretty quickly with the lack of experience in doing that, I didn’t want to take any risks in not providing the best experience possible, the greatest menu.”
It’s looking like we’ll see some sandwiches such as a seriously cheesy tuna melt, a tall bologna sandwich and some heavier, protein-focused entrees.
While there will be a more expected dining area to eat, there’s also the full distillery to experience. On that side, Batt says everything’s game, but they’re starting with rum.
“We’re producing spirits, so part of the allure is you can see the production facility,” he says. “We’re very much micro, we have 100 gallons still. We’ll do a whole bunch of things.”
That will involve beer, brandy, whiskey, gin and vodka at least. After rum, he plans to move to gin and vodka to start fulfilling a more complete cocktail menu. Batt also just ordered 28 barrels, so aged spirits will be on the way, too.
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While Batt praises the importance of the community aspect in the soon-to-open spot, he says it’s his wife who really achieves that.
“She’s really our secret sauce. I talk about bringing the community together, but she actually does it, she has a great grasp on connecting with people,” he says. “She’s really driving the personality ... She’s paramount to what we’re trying to do.
“We live in Dallas, we’re just down the street from Richardson, our kids go to RISD schools,” Batt says. “We wanted to build something here we could build community around.”
Lockwood Distilling Company, 506 Lockwood Drive, Richardson. Expected to open mid- to late-October.