At new Muskegon cocktail bar, a celebration of adventure, the Lakeshore, and a growing city

Wonderland Distilling will be located at 1989 Lakeshore Drive in Muskegon’s Lakeside neighborhood. Photo by Anna Gustafson

When Wonderland Distilling opens at 1989 Lakeshore Dr. this fall, the new tasting room and cocktail bar will be all about celebrating the world that surrounds us: this melange of beaches and lakes and dunes we call home.

“Wonderland is crafted for adventure seekers, who want high quality, locally-made, flavorful spirits,” Wonderland CEO Mark Gongalski, who’s also a partner in downtown Muskegon’s Unruly Brewing and the co-founder of Rebel Pies, said in a press release.

“Michigan is a wonderland, and Muskegon is a huge part of that, surrounded by natural wonders of all types,” Gongalski continued. “We are eager to be part of the Lakeside neighborhood, and support our area’s economic growth.”

The distillery is now in the process of crafting a range of whiskies, gins and vodkas at its production site on Lemuel Street, just off Seaway Drive, in Muskegon Heights, with the team behind Wonderland explaining that they use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. The business plans to maintain its Muskegon Heights production facility.

The cocktail bar and tasting room, which is expected to debut in fall 2019, will include a handmade bar and a sidewalk patio. Customers will be welcome to order food from nearby restaurants and eat on-site.

Situated by Muskegon Lake in the heart of Lakeside’s commercial district, the incoming cocktail bar’s name is a nod to Michigan’s former slogan, “Water Wonderland.”

“There are a wealth of spirits consumers looking for something new and local, and we’re adding another stop to the West Michigan distillery trail with our lakeshore tasting room in Muskegon,” said Allen Serio, Wonderland’s chief marketing officer who, like Gongalski, has long been a part of the local drinks landscape. Serio is the chairman of the Burning Foot Beer Festival, which is slated to bring thousands of brew lovers to Pere Marquette Beach this Saturday, Aug. 24.

Wonderland joins a growing craft distilling scene in the area, including 18th Amendment, which celebrated its debut in April 2017, and Burl and Sprig, a rum-centric distillery set to soon open at 500 W. Western Ave. in downtown Muskegon.

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