Arsenal Cider House owners Bill and Michelle Larkin are invading Dormont.
“We felt that South Pittsburgh and the immediate suburbs were underserved,” Bill Larkin says. “We were casually looking and the space popped up. Dormont has been very welcoming.”
The couple recently purchased the former First Commonwealth Bank building at 2905 West Liberty Ave. They hope to open the renovated spot by fall 2020. Like the other Arsenal sites, the décor will be steeped in U.S. Civil War lore.
The 1,400-square-foot space, which will eventually be connected to a garage in the back of the property, will serve as a taproom. In addition to serving Arsenal ciders, wines and meads, there will be local beers, spirits and mixed drinks on tap.
Food offerings will be similar to the ones found at Haversack Sandwich Co., the eatery at Arsenal’s original location in Lawrenceville.
The company launched 10 years ago at 300 S. 39th St., near the historic Allegheny Arsenal. It was the first cidery in Western Pennsylvania. Since then, the Larkins have opened several additional locations, including sites at Soergel Orchards in Wexford, Trax Farms in Finleyville and a new spot in Cleveland.
Bill Larkin says Arsenal beverages are available at several hundred bars and restaurants throughout the city. They’ve been self-distributing for nearly a decade within Pennsylvania and Ohio, but plan to launch a shipping program this year.
They do a lot of production work at a facility in Penn Hills and there’s potential to grow that space into another taproom. For now, they’re focused on fortifying the Dormont site.