Just over a year after debuting inside another Springfield shop, 417 Cocktails LLC has opened downtown in a brick-and-mortar space of its own.
Sept. 8 marked the soft opening for the shop, which sells kits for cocktails and mocktails, in advance of its Oct. 1 grand opening. 417 Cocktails is located at 211 S. Market Ave., Ste. 103, in the Union Biscuit Warehouse.
Owner Mandi Fritz said she’s spent the last year subleasing space and selling her kits inside 417 Charcuterie LLC at 2672 S. Glenstone Ave., in Brentwood Center South. Kits include syrups, garnishes, bitters and recipes. Fritz said she wanted to expand her products and knew finding her own storefront was the best way to make that happen.
“In that year I was subleasing, I was always looking but it gave me a chance to wait it out and really find the spot that I feel like is perfect,” she said. “I’m able to expand to more than just cocktail kits. The cocktail kits come with everything you need except the alcohol.”
In the new location, which is two doors down from Kingdom Coffee’s downtown shop, 417 Cocktails occupies 1,300 square feet. Fritz said relocation and renovation costs were $20,000, and she signed a two-year lease for an undisclosed rate with Union Biscuit Warehouse LLC.
Aside from the drink kits, the shop carries cocktail accessories such as muddlers made by Swan Creek Crafts, based out of Taneyville, bitters from Kansas City’s Good Bitter Best, and Sweat & Tears, a bloody mary mix from St. Louis-based Southside Alchemy. Martini mixes, stuffed olives, syrups and pickled vegetables, which can accompany bloody mary bars, also are sold at the shop.
Fritz, who is the shop’s lone employee, said she also soon plans to add specialty meats and cheeses, as well as eggs from Red Fern Farms, a vendor at the Greater Springfield Farmers’ Market. She’s in the process of acquiring a liquor license before selling bottled alcohol on-site but is hopeful to have that before the holiday season.
Fritz is no stranger to the food and drink industry, having owned home-based dessert business Sweets and Eats LLC for about 10 years before starting 417 Cocktails.
“I had a few weeks to contemplate life like we all did,” she said, of her career shift decision amid the coronavirus pandemic. “I kind of realized I wasn’t in love with cooking anymore.”
She spent time experimenting with different drink cocktail syrups and recipes and took encouragement from her sister to turn her newfound hobby into a business.
“It allowed me to reevaluate what I loved, and it happened to be cocktails,” Fritz said with a laugh.
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