Logan Inn owner Frank Cretella and his Jersey City development company Landmark Hospitality on Monday detailed the latest proposal for transforming the historic West End Farm at 2586 River Road in New Hope into a distillery with a tasting room and casual restaurant.
The developers have held three meetings with the local Phillips Mill community, and the plan has been significantly trimmed from its original vision. Gone is a proposed bed and breakfast, along with 60 parking spaces and an additional driveway, and water usage and traffic patterns appear to have been extensively analyzed.
“It is our intent to restore the barns, [and] create a landscape buffer surrounding our parking lot and along the front road,” reads the proposal. “All residents and visitors to the Phillips Mill Inn will continue to use the existing entrance, improved with a wider entrance, better parking configuration and improvements in the roadway and landscaping and not be inconvenienced by any traffic.”
And what does Cretella plan on distilling at the new location?
“We will start with vodka and gin, but we want to be known for bourbon and rye, and that requires multi-year barrel time,” he said.
West End Farm, technically located in Solebury Township, has boarded horses, provided riding lessons, and housed mules used in towing barges along New Hope’s historic section of Delaware Canal, along with horses used in local tourist carriage rides.
“A distillery is the new modern agriculture; we’ll be using local products from Bucks County farmers to produce our distilled liquors,” said Landmark in their proposal. “Items such as wheat, corn, apples, blueberries, strawberries will all be used in the process. Left over grain will be put to good use and sent to the local farmers as feed for their livestock.”
Next steps in the process?
“We are preparing our application for a use variance, but don’t have an appearance date yet,” said Cretella. “We really took our time and tried to address every concern. We want to be good neighbors.”
Cretella and his Jersey City development company Landmark Hospitality are moving forward with a dramatic overhaul of the landmark Logan Inn that it purchased in 2015. Cretella is also a partner in the planned new Nurture Spa location at 31 W. Ferry St. in New Hope.