Distillery District staple to become new U-Haul storage spot

A wide angle view of a big brick building.

So far, only Battle Axes has announced it is relocating from the Distillery District. | Photo by The LEXtoday

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In case you missed it, U-Haulyes, like U-Haul the moving company — has purchased the historic rickhouse + surrounding parking lots of the Distillery District for $10 million. Besides the ground floor tenants, which we’ll get to later, the rest of the building has remained vacant despite hopes of building condos. U-Haul plans to create 1,400 climate-controlled self-storage units along the upper floors opening in 2022.


The James E. Pepper Distillery has a rich history dating back to the late 1800s. The rickhouse was built in 1933 + once housed 100,000 barrels of bourbon. The bourbon industry took a hit in the late ‘50s and the whole development — now known as The Distillery District — was left abandoned in 1958.

Fast forward

The area received a breath of new life in 2008 when investors decided to revive the space — even getting it listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Currently, the building is home to a barrel full of local favorites — Brevede, Relic, Rickhouse Pub, Wisebird Cider, Fusion Brewing, Battle Axes, Vibes Fitness, and Massage Strong.

U-Haul officials said they are working with the tenants + hope they will remain at 1170 Manchester St. So far, Battle Axes is the only business to announce it will relocate. It is moving to Turner Commons — a Leestown Road development that’s in the works.

And although U-Haul will also own the parking lot used by neighboring businesses such as Goodfellas, Ethereal Brewing, and Crank & Boom, it still plans to keep the parking available to them.

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