Distiller to open tasting room this weekend in New Cumberland

A new Cumberland County distillery will open its retail tasting room this weekend in downtown New Cumberland.

Lemoyne-based Dead Lightning Distillery, which is part of the redevelopment efforts at the former Coakley’s Restaurant and Irish Pub, will hold its grand opening at 11 a.m. Saturday. The tasting room is located at 311 Bridge St., which is the site of the former Coakley’s cigar bar.

The distillery was started by borough residents Andrea and Eric Montgomery, who wanted to keep their late son’s spirit alive.

Dead Lightning will operate as a limited distillery, a licensing category created in 2012 in Pennsylvania for small producers. They are capped at making 100,000 gallons per year. The full distillery license requires production of at least 100,000 gallons per year, which kept most aspiring distillers out of the business.

The craft distiller is making rum and vodka products in Lemoyne in a space owned by the Montgomerys. The retail shop in New Cumberland will be open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.

The distillery joins Funtastik, a skateboarding and snowboarding shop, that recently opened at 309 Bridge St.

A brewpub restaurant called Bridge Street Brew Works is in the works for the main Coakley’s space at 305 Bridge St. Final details have not yet been announced.

Coakley’s, a longtime borough establishment, closed because of bankruptcy in 2014.

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