NEW LLANO – Owners William and Kristin Rowell planned on opening their business, Long Walker Distillery, around nine months ago, however, the struggles of owning a business got in the way.
Finally, Long Walker is open for business and is hosting a grand opening Saturday.
"Federal permits took the longest," Kristin Rowell said. "A lot of places don't know what to do with us, because we're the first whiskey distillery, and the state didn't know what to do with us.
"We're also not a regular distillery, we're a micro-distillery. That also changed everything, as well."
Long Walker Distillery makes its own spirits in house, including multiple styles of whiskey, two limoncellos and a potato vodka.
"We're excited to have everyone come in and taste the product," Kristin Rowell said. "We want them to enjoy themselves. It's kind of a different atmosphere from what you think about as a bar. That's what we're trying to portray. We want people to have somewhere different to come around here, locally."
The time off while awaiting permits ended up being a blessing in disguise as the Rowells fine-tuned the design of the building and the menu.
"It helped us tremendously," Kristin Rowell said. "It's a learning process for us, as well. This is our first business. It helped me go 'OK, well that's not going to work.' Now that I have more time, I can work on this while I'm waiting for a permit. It was a tremendous help.
"Everything has been for a reason, and we're happy that we are finally open. The anticipation has been building for quite some time."
Long Walker Distillery, located at 12193 Lake Charles Hwy, has a unique feel to the inside design.
"I had an image in my head on how I wanted it to look, and that's where I went," Kristin Rowell said. "The first thing I saw was (the tables) and that's what I based my whole design off of. I liked the comfy, cozy, industrial, niche lounge area. It wasn't required, but people need something different here."
Long Walker has not been open long, but it did have an event with the Chamber of Commerce and have customers come into their business.
"They love the atmosphere and the product," Kristin Rowell said. "They liked how it was nice and quiet and was non-smoking. They liked that they could just hang out and have different food trucks to eat at, as well.
"It's a quiet place for people to hang out and enjoy our drinks."
The grand opening starts with live music at noon and food trucks throughout the day. There are also auctions for the first bottles made of different flavors with the proceeds going to the New Llano Fire Department.