Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky is one of the oldest continuously operating distilleries in the United States. The distillery offers a variety of free tours and welcomes more than 400,000 bourbon fans each year from all over the world. Now, after 200+ years of distilling on this site not only are they going to take you on a tour but they will offer you a place to dine.
Buffalo Trace Distillery has announced plans to remove the BP gas station that sits on the corner of Fair Oaks Lane and Wilkinson Boulevard near the entrance to the visitor parking lot to allow for the new dining and tourism destination. The BP station will cease operations in August.
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“At Buffalo Trace Distillery we are always looking for ways to engage and inspire our visitors and residents of our local community alike,” said Sara Saunders, Vice President Buffalo Trace Distillery. “As we look to the future, we’re committed to honoring the traditions of our 234-year history while also embracing change as we aim to invite even more whiskey lovers into our family. This exciting project does just that, and we are thrilled to be adding another quality dining and tourism destination for both Franklin County residents as well as the 400,000+ guests from around the world who visit our distillery each year.”
It is anticipated that the new destination will inject significant revenue into the local community, paving the way for the creation of new local jobs and serving as a strong tie-in to the downtown Frankfort redevelopment master plan, a plan that has been in the works for many years now.
“Our commonwealth’s world-famous bourbon industry is a vital component of our thriving agriculture ecosystem,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles. “We are thrilled to see the historic Buffalo Trace Distillery continue to expand through this exciting project that will showcase Kentucky Proud food and beverages to an even wider audience in the years to come.”
“As a longtime Franklin County resident and business owner, I am thrilled to see our neighbor, Buffalo Trace Distillery, continuing to pour resources and new opportunity back into our growing community,” said Marc Stone, President of Stonebridge Hospitality, the area’s largest hotelier. “This new experience, available to visitors from across the globe who come right here to Franklin County, will encourage guests to spend more time here, a benefit to every local business.”
Buffalo Trace Distillery anticipates a groundbreaking for the new tourism and dining destination to take place in fall of this year, with a grand opening target of summer 2023.
Could There be a Blanton’s Marina in the Future?
The Frankfort Kentucky Downtown Master Plan calls for future development along the nearby waterfront just down the road from the distillery. Possible plans could include hotels, residential space as well as a Blanton’s Marina.
Planning a Visit to Buffalo Trace Distillery?
There is an old proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” If you are planning a visit to Buffalo Trace Distillery, please take heed of this proverb. Since Buffalo Trace Distillery offers free tours, one of the few distilleries to actually do this, it can be difficult to schedule a tour on short notice. Most tours are booked solid for at least a month in advance. Our advice in trying to schedule a tour is do it yesterday.