Happy Raptor Distilling announced plans to produce craft spirits, including 504Rum, beginning this fall in a converted storage facility at 1512 Robert C. Blakes Sr. Drive, a block off St. Charles Avenue near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Founders Mark Taliancich, Meagen Moreland-Taliancich and Peter Rivera will infuse their rums with the flavors of Louisiana and the Caribbean. The name Happy Raptor refers to a noise the Taliancich’s son made as a baby, Moreland-Taliancich says.
Happy Raptor is awaiting city and state permits and expects to begin production by the end of September, Moreland-Tallancich says. Planned rum bottlings include 504Hibiscus and 504BananasFoster and initially will be available only in the tasting room. The distillery will add distribution to restaurants, grocery stores and bars, Moreland-Taliancich says.
Happy Raptor’s 2000-square-foot building will feature a custom-built copper still and the tasting room. There is a patio, and local artist Hill Landry will paint a mural at the distillery.
The tasting room will be available for events and has a 116-person capacity. It will open for regular visiting hours in 2020.
The company launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the project.
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