ASHEBORO — The Pharmacy Craft Cocktails & Distillery opened Sept. 8 at 212 S. Fayetteville Street.
The occasion marked more than a year of renovations to the building, several months after the anticipated opening during the spring of this year, according to Joel McClosky, co-owner of the establishment. He and Andrew Deming had opened Four Saints Brewery next door nearly a decade ago.
“It’s doing well,” McClosky said of The Pharmacy. “We’ve had positive feedback.”
Although The Pharmacy and Four Saints are adjacent and customers can go back and forth between them, McClosky said they’re being treated as two separate spaces. Drinks cannot be taken from one to the other.
Additionally, The Pharmacy will be for those 21 and older, no pets will be allowed and there will be no live events such as at Four Saints. “They’re two different environments,” McClosky said.
While Four Saints has a focus on craft brews, The Pharmacy is a full-service cocktail bar.
McClosky had said last year during the renovation process, “It will be a more relaxed, cozy space where people can sit down for conversation, an old-world pub kind of feel. Booths will be enclosed and there will be bar seating.
“Cody Weiss will be the manager and will develop the menu,” McClosky said. “We’ll have cocktails you don’t see around here much, traditional styles and new ideas, good quality.”
The space at 212 S. Fayetteville St. had previously been occupied by Family Circus Consignments. When it became available, Four Saints leased the building with plans to expand the brewery. Those plans changed with the COVID-19 pandemic.
With more room, the rear portion will be used for canning Four Saints beers. Eventually, McClosky said, “we will distill spirits from the brewing wort, or sugar water, from making beer. It will go into the still to develop rum or vodka.
“We’re looking at what we can distill,” McClosky said. “We’ll start with vodka and rum, then more to whiskey.” He said the distilling part has to wait until several procedures are in place.
So why name a cocktail bar The Pharmacy? The old floor near the front door still features the F-R Drugco name, a drug store from years gone by.