Iron Shoe Distillery hosts ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday

Published 8:48 am Thursday, April 11, 2019

NILES — Since business owners Howard and Laura Tuthill first began transforming an old muffler shop into a distillery, the community’s excitement about the establishment has been palpable.

That same energy was apparent as Iron Shoe Distillery officially opened its doors Wednesday at 3 N. Third St. in Niles. More than 100 packed the restaurant to sample from a vast menu, featuring comfort foods like macaroni and cheese — made from a secret family recipe, juicy gourmet burgers and milkshakes heaping with whipped cream. 

Those who visited the restaurant were also able to select from a variety of cocktails, utilizing spirits distilled on site. Behind the bar, bartenders worked quickly to fill drink orders, garnishing drinks with fresh citrus peels, mint and basil.

To commemorate the occasion, the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce helped the business to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

For roughly two years, Laura and Howard have been working on renovating the former muffler shop at 3 N. Third St. into a small batch distillery and restaurant. In that time, Laura and Howard said they had been grateful for the community support.

“We really want to say how thankful we are for the community as a whole,” Howard said. “How welcome and excited everyone has been — we could not have imagined it.”

Several community leaders spoke during the event.

Mayor Nick Shelton welcome Laura and Howard to Niles downtown.

“We are so happy you’re here,” Shelton said.

Shelton said he attended the business’ soft opening and got a chance to sample the menu.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the food,” Shelton said. “Two words: cheese curds.”

Lisa Croteau, the Niles DDA Main Street director, said she was glad that the business had chosen to set up shop in Niles.

“This was a muffler shop, as many of you remember,” Croteau said. “They had the vision to turn it into what you see right now. Thank you so much for choosing Niles as your home.”

Eileen Villanueva, a membership coordinator for the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce, echoed the sentiment.

“It is always exciting to welcome a new business to the community,” Villanueva said. “I’m so proud of this community.”

The celebration will continue Friday when the business hosts its grand opening ceremony from 5 p.m. to midnight. Those who attend can check out the restaurant and enjoy live music by acoustic folk singer Lexi Adams.

Iron Shoe Distillery will be open from 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. Those interested in learning more about the business can visit Iron Shoe’s Facebook page.