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Liquor License Approved for New Front Street Tasting Room

By Beth Milligan | May 21, 2024

City commissioners voted 5-2 Monday to approve a liquor license application from brothers Michael and Adam Kazanowski to open a new tasting room at 309 West Front Street – the West End Lofts building next to Barrio Tacos (pictured).

The Kazanowskis, owners and founders of High Five Spirits and Gypsy Vodka, sought approval for a tasting room license and entertainment and Sunday sales permits. According to the duo’s application, High Five Spirits “is set to add to Traverse City’s spirits scene with the opening of a sleek tasting room on Front Street. The modern, inviting space will showcase High Five’s signature small-batch bourbons, innovative gins, and vodka, offering patrons an immersive experience in the art of distillation.”

Commissioners Jackie Anderson and Mitch Treadwell voted ‘no’ on the application, what they characterized as protest votes to register their dissatisfaction with the city’s slow progress in implementing its Healthier Drinking Culture plan. Mayor Amy Shamroe noted the city has implemented parts of the plan – though others, like a review of how many liquor licenses the city desires to have and where, has remained on the back burner. Shamroe said a study session on the plan will be held in the next month or two.


City commissioners Monday also approved several updated permits related to Kayak, Bike & Brew’s tasting room at 436 West Front Street. The space offers a place for Kayak, Bike & Brew guests and tour attendees to “relax after a tour” and “grab a beverage,” according to the application. The tasting room produces and serves all its own spirits. This is the third year Kayak, Bike & Brew has operated in the space, according to owner Troy Daily. Commissioners Anderson and Tim Werner and Heather Shaw opposed the motion, but it received the four affirmative votes required to pass.

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Martin Huttenlocker

Development Manager

Leveraging 17 years of relationships and extensive background in the commercial real estate industry, Martin provides direct strategic and analytical support as part of the Great Lakes Capital development team. Since joining the firm in 2017 he has performed a hybrid role in asset management and brokerage services within the GLC portfolio. Martin earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Missouri/Columbia and an MBA from Roosevelt University in Chicago.