A little more than four years after opening, cocktail bar and vodka distillery Our/Detroit has permanently shut down operations in Mexicantown. The microdistillery debuted in 2014 with a small still setup and a slightly larger, minimalist tasting room at 2545 Bagley St. in Detroit. By mid-2018, however, the location appeared to be winding down its operations, closing the tasting room to everything but private events.
The signage was officially removed from the exterior of the tasting room at the end of the close of 2018. The building, which also previously housed short-lived restaurant Fist of Curry, is now vacant.
Although Our/Detroit carried the Motor City label it was heralded early on as a “fake” local brand, contrived by a major spirits producer to capitalize on the Detroit name. The micro-distillery was the second-ever location of Our/Vodka, a company owned by French booze conglomerate Pernod Ricard. Through the Our/Vodka label, the international spirits corporation whose portfolio includes ubiquitous brands like Absolut Vodka sought out local partners in new markets to collaborate on microdistilleries and profit-share. The distinctive 350 milliliter bottles of vodka were “partly distilled, blended, and hand bottled in micro-distilleries in each city,” as Our/Vodka’s founder Åsa Caap put it. “All cities share the same secret recipe, but the ingredients are sourced as locally as possible which gives each vodka a unique character.”
Detroit industry veterans Sara Aldridge and Kate Bordine initially took point at the Bagley location, though neither appears to have been involved in the business at the time of the shutter. While it was not entirely a Detroit-grown endeavor, Our/Detroit’s tasting room became a hub for other local startups over the years. It regularly hosted fundraisers and events including pop-ups by Social Sushi and others.
Reached by Eater, a representative for Our/Vodka, David Mizrahi, confirmed the permanent shutter of the Detroit location in an emailed statement:
From the beginning Our/Detroit has been an entrepreneurial project. Founded by entrepreneurs, led by entrepreneurs, we set out to create distilleries in several major cities around the world. We started Our/Detroit with an open mind and during the four years we were in business, we were passionate about lifting the Detroit story to the world. Unfortunately, in 2018 we had to make the tough decision to discontinue the project by the end of that year. From our perspective, Our/Detroit has been a successful endeavor; we’ve learned so much and gotten to love the city and its people. We are proud that Detroit will always be part of our story, and we are forever thankful and grateful to those who have provided passion and guidance for this project.
Our/Vodka currently list six other locations around the world including microdistilleries in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles.