Sun King Spirits

Overview

Activating a district from its dormant past, Sun King Spirits has become a gathering hub for community. Giving passerbys a peak behind-the-scenes of distillation, recycling its materials into new design elements, and creating a front porch connection to an urban plaza have created a place where people want to be.

Sun King Spirits
The Story

Sun King Brewing, who’s often tapped as brewing “Indiana’s Beer”, had been incubating on the idea of a destination distillery and tap room since their early days, but were waiting for the right time and place to present itself. When development in one of the fastest growing cities in the state began to emerge, they knew Midtown Carmel was their place.

Sun King in partnership with Old Town Design group teamed up with DELV to create an environment where people would gather and connect; one that would elevate the brand experience without losing the soul that their fans have come to know and love.

The result: a bustling intersection of work and play. Open to adults and families, day and night, the distillery’s design, encourages lingering and allows for a seamless flow indoors to outdoors. Steel and wood materials pay homage to site’s contextual history along the Monon Railway and Sun King’s industrial-chic vibe, even recycling materials from the distilling process itself. Connecting patrons further, the design gives visual peaks into the craftsmanship behind the spirits they sip.

Client
Sun King Brewing
Market
Restaurant / Hospitality
Size
15,000 SF
Type
New Construction
Location
Carmel, IN
Developer
Old Town Development Group
Sun King Spirits

New Service Model

Sun King knew that their patrons would want to pair their craft spirits with delicious eats. They also knew that they were in the beverage business, not the restaurant business. Together we teamed up to design a modern take on the food hall; allowing them to curate a food selection to satisfy their guests all while sticking to what they do best, crafting drinks.

  • Centralized Hostess

    Centralized Hostess

    To help first-time guests we designed a centralized stair and hostess station, directly off the main entry. This host both welcomes and guides guests; choose any table or spot at the bar and order a drink from a server, then explore any of the 4 micro-kitchens for a walk-up ordering experience.

  • Playful Wayfinding

    Playful Wayfinding

    Directional signage gives guests a quick glance at all their restaurant options and a quick and easy navigation tool to find them.

  • Micro-Kitchens

    Micro-Kitchens

    4 micro-kitchen bays, clad to resemble the train cars that used to pass this location every day were designed to allow Sun King flexibility in curating different food brands without renovating each time.

Custom Art

Custom Art

With a brand, known for funky graphics on their cans and swag alike, their new physical space needed to reflect this edge. The design used custom art & sculpture to connect patrons to the brand they’ve come to know and love.

Behind-the-Scenes

Behind-the-Scenes

Wanting to spark curiosity and invite people into the distilling process itself, the design created a two-story volume with visibility from multiple vantage points, interior and exterior, further connecting patrons to the craftsmanship behind the libation they’re sipping.

The building’s aesthetic was influenced by both the contextual history of the site and Sun King’s industrial casual, yet chic vibe. The distillery space and micro-kitchens are wrapped in corrugated metal, reminiscent of the rail cars that moved up and down the historic Monon Railway in years past.

Industrial Materials

Industrial Materials

Steel, used to create statement features such as the central stair and 2nd level fireplace, further expresses an industrial, yet refined feel. Wood materials recycled directly from Sun King’s operations were layered in for warmth and balance, evidenced in woven stave cladding under the bars, custom barrel signage above the entry and ceiling suspended pallets, to name a few.

Have an idea for a community changing project?

Start a conversation with our team.