SMALL-BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: The Copper Still, St. John

2014-04-07T11:01:00Z 2014-04-07T12:37:11Z SMALL-BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: The Copper Still, St. JohnDiane Poulton Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 07, 2014 11:01 am  • 

ST. JOHN | Respiratory Therapist Chris Binelli and her husband, Chuck, a businessman, love to entertain and cook.

These skills, Chris Binelli said, have come in handy in their new venture The Copper Still, which is a tasting room featuring CD Vodka martinis, original cocktails, wine, craft beer and more. Vodka and wine tastings are available and private parties and martini making lessons can be booked, Chris Binelli said.

“We opened the business at the urging of my brother, who is the distributor of CD Vodka in Indiana,” Chris said. “CD Vodka is distilled by Mid Oak Distillers in Midlothian Ill. We are following their tasting room approach to some degree.”

Chris Binelli said the couple expanded the tasting room concept, also featuring craft beers and wine along with cocktails and martini's using CD Vodka.

“In the future we will also be carrying scotch, bourbon and possibly rum in the summer,” Chris said.

CD Vodka currently comes in seven flavors: original, lemon, pineapple, peach, raspberry, vanilla and chocolate mint.

“We will be adding two or three flavors shortly,” Chris said. “Currently we are featuring two craft beers on tap. These change frequently. We also carry nine different bottled beers including an excellent gluten-free option.”

All of the craft beers, wine and vodka drinks at The Copper Still can be bought in tasting size or drink sizes.

“I think our basic concept sets us apart,” Chris Binelli said. “We will be changing our wine, beer and drink options frequently. We are a comfortable place that you can come to and relax with your friends. I am older and I like places that when we are out with friends we don’t have to scream to be heard. You can come in and listen to music or watch sports or sit at the bar and enjoy the conversation going on there. Because we are small we try to be accommodating.”

The Copper Still, located at 9121 Wicker Ave., also offers soft drinks, water, coffee and hot chocolate, plus pizza, cheese trays or chips and salsa.

“We can host private parties and will provide food from local restaurants,” Chris Binelli said. “We have package pricing for using the entire Copper Still to hosting a small group. We hope to expand our beer line and have been approached by a well-known local brewery to feature their beers. Hopefully we will be able to expand this concept in other parts of Indiana.”

Mid Oak is looking to franchise the tasting room concept under the Copper Still name, she said.

Chris Binelli said their business philosophy is “we would like our customers to feel more like they are visiting friends when they come in.”

Open since November, Chris Binelli said the business is gaining momentum. They have hosted private Christmas parties, a weekly Theology on Tap series with Dr. Corlin Stein of the Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church, and other groups expressing an interest in holding meetings at The Copper Still.

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