Warehouse becomes Patio 29

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Jeff and Anita Boone show off the vintage warehouse doors they plan to keep in Patio 29 to hold on to the rustic charm of the building, formerly known as the Hahn-Feeney fruit packing shed, located at 723 Railroad Avenue. Photo by Julia Millon

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On a rainy Thursday, Jeff and Anita Boone were busy setting up cameras and moving supplies around their new rental: warehouse space that will eventually house a new distillery, called Patio 29, on Railroad Avenue just north of Grant Avenue. 

In bright spirits despite the weather, Anita Boone cheerfully explained the cameras were to provide a time-lapse of the construction of the distillery to document a dream coming true.

“We’re still waiting for building permits, we hope to be starting construction in April,” said Jeff Boone.

The Boones are getting a look at the other side of the coin after a successful history with providing loans to small local businesses in Davis at California Statewide CDC. They plan on continuing to lend as their primary profession, while their sons, Adam and Eric Boone will oversee day-to-day operation of the distillery.

“It’s primarily a manufacturing business, we’re going to produce several different spirits: bourbon, aged rum and gin.”

The Boones say a big part of the desire to start the business was to be more directly involved in local small business and partner with farmers in the area to source most of their ingredients locally and sustainably.

Jeff Boone says he plans on using by-products from local wineries to make sleeper-hit delicacy: grappa, a wine liqueur.

“We’ve got wine all around us, the grappa will be really fresh — the best,” he said.

Patio 29 will source its herbs for making gin from San Francisco Herb Co., which will be relocating to a different part of the Patio 29 building.

In response to concerns about a bar-like atmosphere outside of downtown and just across the street from the high school, the Boones say they will only be offering small tastings and private events.

“California now allows craft distilleries that operate under 100,000 cases a year to have a tasting room, we are pretty much serving the equivalent of one cocktail per person,” said Jeff Boone.

The Boones had been in search for a home for Patio 29 for the past several years, and their current property is one of the first locations they considered, but they didn’t need the full space of the building. Since then, the Brezski family who owns the property has agreed to lease a smaller part of the building to the Boones and seek other tenants for the remainder.

“I said that I think we need to focus on Winters, and it came back full circle,” said Anita Boone, “In my mind, this is the perfect space.”

“Winters continues to enhance the destination location. Park Winters, Green River, PG&E… it’s like it’s all expansion,” added Jeff Boone.

Rather than provide a place of recreation, Jeff Boone put a heavy emphasis on celebrating small scale handcrafted products, and elevated this idea over the importance of the liquor itself.

“It’s about seeing how the manufacturing process works, it’s not all about the alcohol, it’s something you can make by hand and have a passion for,” says Jeff Boone.“We’ve kind of gotten away from that in this country.”

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