Victor George Spirits - Old Sistrunk Distillery Groundbreaking, June 25, 2024

Victor G. Harvey, founder of Victor George Spirits in Fort Lauderdale, Florida announced in November 2021 he had received a $2,450,000 forgivable loan to help fund construction cost of a 15,000 square foot, four story facility to build Florida’s first black-owned distillery, restaurant, cigar bar, whiskey lounge, co-working space and a rooftop bar and lounge. The project was to be located on historic Sistrunk Boulevard. After a few slow downs Harvey’s dream is beginning to come true.

Old Sistrunk Distillery Celebrates Groundbreaking

Victor George Spirits and the future home of Old Sistrunk Distillery celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony on June 25th. The new home for the distillery will be named The Victory Building after the historic Victory Theatre that was once located on historic Sistrunk Blvd. 

Harvey was joined at the groundbreaking event by Clarence Woods (CRA Manager), Pam Beasley–Pittman (City of Fort Lauderdale Commissioner District 3), Steven Glassman (City of Fort Lauderdale Commissioner District 2), Robert McKinzie (Broward County Commissioner District 8), Dan Lindblade (CEO, Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce) and several members of the community.

City of Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency - CRA
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The project is the vision of Harvey through his development company, Northeast 6th Development and will use the forgivable loan provided by the Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) alongside his own investment to help transform a once vibrant area back to a destination where neighborhood residents, out of town visitors and other locals can dine, drink, and tour the distillery, tasting new and unique craft spirits. The CRA is providing $2,450,000 to help fund the $6,000,000 construction cost.

“We started working on this project in 2019 and after encountering several challenges including the pandemic we were able to stay the course and see it through,” said Victor Harvey. “This building will provide the community and our city along with those that visit the best and most vibrant experiences to enjoy along with creating several jobs, most of which will come from the community, this is one of my proudest moments as I also get to have my two kids involved as my business partners and co-owners of the building.”

The Victory Building to Pay Homage to Historic Victory Theater

The Victory Theater was an African-American theater located on NW 5th Avenue in Sistrunk
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The Victory Theater was an African-American theater located on NW 5th Avenue in Sistrunk.

This new building will be named The Victory Building after the historic Victory Theatre once located on Sistrunk. This was the mecca of entertainment for Black people in Fort Lauderdale and the only theatre they could attend up until the end of segregation in 1964. The historic Sistrunk area was once “The Heart and Soul of the City” and Fort Lauderdale’s oldest African American community.

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Sistrunk Boulevard, a main thoroughfare, which spans Historic Sistrunk from its eastern to western boundaries is named in honor of pioneering Black physician, Dr. James Franklin Sistrunk. Dr. Sistrunk is the founder of Provident Hospital, Broward County’s first Black hospital.

Brands in the Victor George Spirits – VGS portfolio include gold medal award winning Fort Mose’ 1738 Bourbon, Victor George Vodka, Victor George Caramel Vodka and Fort Mose’ 1738 Rye Whiskey. Most major retailers carry VGS portfolio across the U.S. such as Total Wine, Kroger, Meijer, Trader Joe’s and more and locally at Primo Liquors, Half Time Liquors, Atlantic Liquors and several more independents. Victor George Vodka and caramel vodka both retail price is $19.99 for 750ml and $28.99 for 1.75L. Fort Mose’ Bourbon retails for $49.99 and Fort Mose Rye Whiskey retails for $69.99.

Renderings courtesy of Nest Plans of Fort Lauderdale.

Learn more about Old Sistrunk Distillery (Home to Victor George Spirits).
View all Florida Distilleries.
View all Black Owned Distilleries.
View all U.S. Distilleries.

Related Stories
Victor George Vodka to Build Fort Lauderdale’s 1st Black Owned Distillery, Restaurant & Bar Using a $2.4 Million Forgivable Loan
Victor George Spirits Makes Majority Investment in Palm Beach Distillery – Home to Lost Harbour Spirits

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