Indy veteran opening Hotel Tango Whiskey, first distillery of its kind

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INDIANAPOLIS — 702 Virginia Avenue is a building in Fletcher Place with a long history.

Travis Barnes is writing the next chapter.

“I definitely can see the end product!” said Barnes. “I think you have to have a little bit of a vision, but it shouldn’t be too far off from what this already is. I think we just want to take it back to the bare bones and try to get it back to its original glory.”

It’s called Hotel Tango Whiskey.

“Initially we’ll do vodka, gin, and moonshine and later on, after it’s been aged to perfection, some whiskeys.”

It’s the first distillery in the country owned by a disabled veteran.

“I suffered traumatic brain injuries when in Iraq,” said Barnes. “I did three tours.”

He dropped out of college one week after 9/11 and joined the service. He later went back and finished school, and got a law degree as well. But he soon realized he wanted his “plan B” to be his “plan A.”

So he and his wife took the plunge.

“The “H” is for my wife’s name Hilary, the “T” for tango, Travis, and then whiskey is whiskey, so it just had a ring to it and it stuck.”

His goal is to hire local veterans when doors open this fall.

He’s already working with veteran’s affairs to connect with local veterans looking for work and more information will be available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can check their website for updates. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

“I think folks are excited for the new, hip, cool, artisan distillery coming to town, but I also think hiring disabled vets has been a huge part of the excitement.”

Hotel Tango Whiskey is set to open in August or September.


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