Fan shop pairing pasta with liquor

Bombolini will soon distill spirits at its 1606 W. Main St. location. (Mike Platania)

Bombolini will soon distill spirits at its 1606 W. Main St. location. (Mike Platania)

A local pasta maker is dipping into the booze biz after receiving a permit from the city to add a distillery to its shop.

Bombolini Pasta is preparing to distill spirits at its 1606 W. Main St. location. Earlier this week, Richmond City Council approved Bombolini’s request for a special-use permit to produce liquor at the store.

Owned by husband-and-wife team John and Lolita Kreckman, Bombolini will distill small batches of different types of vodka, gin and niche liquors such as aquavit.

John Kreckman

John Kreckman

“The idea is to make something interesting,” John Kreckman said. “It’ll be small, so we’ll have the opportunity to take risks.”

Bombolini will distill and sell its spirits in house. About 500 square feet of its 4,500-square-foot building will be used for distilling, with a small tasting area.

Bombolini already has a small sit-down area where patrons can eat, but Kreckman said roughly 80 percent of its non-wholesale business is takeout, which he said should influence spirit sales.

“We have a loyal customer base who take out lunch and dinner,” Kreckman said. “We want them to take bottles of our liquor home with them.”

Kreckman aims to start the operation by July. He said he’d eventually like Bombolini liquors to sell in ABC stores.

Kreckman said the shop hasn’t settled on a name for the spirits, but it will be under the Bombolini brand. He did not specify how much the pair is investing into the venture.

Bombolini opened in the Fan in 2011 after selling its handmade pasta at farmers markets around Richmond.

The time is ripe for distillers in Virginia. Last week, Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed legislation that loosened regulations on liquor sales in the state.

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