All About The Robert James Distillery
Robert James Distillery is the company founded by Bob Slattery after he purchased local distillery Shumrick and Leys in early 2019 (read more about that…). The distillery is planning on making a few waves in not just the Cincinnati spirits world, but in the larger sense of distilling science as well. They are playing around with new technology in the creation and aging of spirits, and I can honestly say it’s something that I’m really, really interested in exploring.
What’s Robert James Distilling Like?
The distillery has two different taproom/tasting rooms to provide you with a unique and fun drinking experience depending on what you’re looking for.
The RJ Cinema is a really fun taproom/tasting room – it’s combined with an upscale movie theater where you can get a drink, get some food and hang out and watch a movie with your friends or family. It’s located right next to Jungle Jim’s in Eastgate, which if you’re a drinker (and if you weren’t, why would you be here?) is like paradise.
The newer taproom is also the original space for Shumrick and Leys (and the current production space for R.J. – the whole space was remodeled in 2020 and updated with a full menu, new tvs and a space that is designed for you to be able to spend some time. The company was insistent on creating something that filled the need in Norwood for a nice, upscale LOCAL bar – they aren’t too expensive, and it’s designed with comfort first and foremost.
The Robert James Timeline
- 2017 – The distillery moves from its original location in a barn to a much nicer tasting room in Norwood.
- April, 2019 – Shumrick and Leys is bought by Bob Slattery and rebranded as the Robert James Distillery.
- June 21, 2019 – The distillery opens up their RJ Cinema tasting room
- February, 2020 – The original location opens back up as Smoq & Water BBQ tasting room.
- 2021-2022 – Somewhere in this time, the tasting room changes to a bar… and finally to not even offer RJ spirits.