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Location regulations - screaming sound is hair being pulled from head


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So I'm looking at an excellent building that is for sale, has a great feel and could be an great distillery/tasting room combo. I also have an industrial space I've looked at that would be better for production, whereI might as well forego any tasting room and open another small retail location for sales.(allowed in my state)

Here's the rub. the building I like has two apartments upstairs and two commercial space's downstairs.

I've read what I believe is every thread on here and everything published by the TTB and sent emails (as yet unanswered) asking about whether a commercial building with apartments upstairs would even be allowed. (I would categorize a separate commercial property a little different that a "structure attached to a residence", but what are the actual, ENFORCED rules. There seems to be some that have had different experiences. Everything I read is different except for the regulations which are vague at best.

Also, I'm wondering about the fire marshal and whether they will balk at the apartments. The apts rent for $1500/mos and cover the entire mortgage and taxes for the building. I may buy the property anyway and use the positive cash flow from all the spaces to pay for the distillery location, but it's an ideal spot and i would love to keep the apts if possible.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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I haven't gone through any of this, I know a couple of people that have, and they had to get very political to make anything move with the TTB. And then in the end I don't think it moved enough. I'd think it be worth your time to pay Dave Dunbar to look at what you are talking about, he has experience in this and knows his stuff. PM if you don't have his information.


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You are probably outta luck. Look for another property. There can be no residence in the same building. I have heard where separations by 4-hour fire walls (or ceilings), no common entrance, no connections, etc., got someone to the point of the TTB allowing that the unit was a separate "building" from residences in a nominally common structure, in an urban area.

And your local fire marshals can pretty much decide whatever they wish. So get their buy-in FIRST. In some towns, they might prevent you from setting up in a separate building just because of proximity to other residences. Local laws/rules prevail.

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Well these aren't the responses I was wanting, but they are the ones I was expecting. Would rather go in eyes wide open than have expectations that cannot be met. I may still buy that building because it's a good investment, and locate the distillery elsewhere. I could always kick everyone out and put the distillery there, but I would rather make money on it.

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