BY KRISTINA ROSEN
Distilled is leaving its home at The Sire Hotel, formerly Gratz Park Inn, on Second Street to move into the former Nick Ryan’s location on Jefferson Street.
Their last day at the hotel will be on Saturday, September 26, with plans to reopen in the new location at least a week later.
Distilled opened on Second Street in 2014, but Owner Mark Wombles admits they’ve been searching for a new location for a couple years.
“We were looking for a place where we could have our own storefront nearby other restaurants,” says Wombles. “Restaurants do well where people are walking and driving by. You don’t get that being inside of a hotel.”
Nick Ryan’s opened in the Jefferson Street dining corridor in 2012. The restaurant closed in March due to the pandemic, but later announced it would close for good. When the lease ended this past June, owners Brad Scott and Jackson McReynolds put the restaurant up for sale with hopes someone would take it and run with it.
Wombles saw this opportunity and took it, knowing this was the ideal spot to relocate since it was a former restaurant space. “We just think it’s going to be a really good area over there. Once the Convention Center is finished and COVID has passed, we think it’s going to be a hot spot. It’s close to Rupp Arena and the Distillery District.”
With the move, Wombles says there will be changes with the restaurant’s branding.
“We want to be more accessible to everyone, a more casual feel and not so much special occasion as we have been. We’ll have more casual items on the menu along with fine dining items, kind of a hybrid of both.”
After a fresh coat of paint, new upholstery, and finished floors, the former Nick Ryan’s location will look much different when Distilled moves in. “It’s going to have a new look and feel absolutely.”
With new limited capacity dining restrictions, Wombles knows a decent patio is a nice addition for most restaurants. The new location offers two patios, one of which is covered. There will also be more parking options.
Although the permanent closure of Nick Ryan’s came as a shock, it’s heartening to know Distilled will now join other restaurants in the popular ever-expanding dining corridor of Jefferson Street.
Distilled will be located at 157 Jefferson Street, formerly Nick Ryan’s.
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