CADILLAC — Long Road Distillers LLC is shutting down its Cadillac tasting room after a year in business because of staffing challenges.
The 3,000-square-foot tasting room, located at 412 S. Mitchell St., will close permanently on Aug. 14, company officials confirmed.
“To be frank, it was a sustainable location for us in terms of revenue, but just with the challenges we had of staffing the location and being able to have it represent our brand in the best way possible, we didn’t think it was doing that,” Long Road co-owner Kyle Van Strien told MiBiz. “We are trying to focus on our other places.”
Long Road Distillers operates a restaurant and cocktail bar at its west side Grand Rapids headquarters, and maintains separate tasting rooms in Grand Haven and Charlevoix. It also opened the Less Traveled tasting room in Grand Rapids’ East Hills neighborhood earlier this year.
However, Van Strien said the labor challenges are more pronounced in Cadillac than other locations.
“Cadillac was a different labor market, so that’s been a bit more of a challenge than some of our other spots,” Van Strien said. “We have a great manager there that’s done a great job for us and we really enjoyed working with the city leaders there.”
In a May survey of restaurant and hotel owners conducted by the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association, 80 percent of respondents said they had inadequate staffing levels. The survey also indicated that 59 percent of responding owners in the restaurant and hotel business planned to reduce business hours because of inadequate staffing.
Van Strien said that, despite the closure, the company had a good experience working with Cadillac officials, who were receptive to amending a local ordinance for parts of the business, including allowing food trucks at the location.
“We still really like Cadillac and think it’s a cool place. It’s a gem in Michigan with a lot of outdoor recreation amenities that we love,” Van Strien said.
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