It was probably only a matter of time before Williams Avenue got a shiny new two-story bar that looks teleported from the Pearl. Appropriately, it's called Shine Distillery and Grill, and it's turned the building at the corner of Williams and Skidmore into a glistening palace of housemade spirits.
While most distilleries are boutique affairs relegated to minimal storefronts or corners of industrial spaces, the menu and ambience at Shine should give brewpubs like Breakside and 10 Barrel a run for their money. The menu is heavy on common pub grub, like deviled eggs filled with whipped Point Reyes blue cheese ($5), a hulking chicken sandwich ($13) and a blackened shrimp po'boy ($11), served on bread from the bakery nextdoor.
The focus is loosely on liquor, though the company's 11 blends of bourbon, gin and vodka still need to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before they can be unleashed on the general public. But that's fine for now, as the bar churns out some fantastic cocktails, with quality stand-ins like Four Roses bourbon and Aviation Gin. The Paper Plane ($12) employs the former along with Aperol, amaro and lemon juice for a strong summertime treat that still hits like a whiskey drink, while the Bridgetown Revival ($11) blends the latter with orangecello, Cocchi Americano and a Galliano wash for a sweet and pungent respite from standard gin-based fare.
If you can ignore the overly glossy finish—and perhaps wait a few weeks before its distillery operation really gets rolling—it's likely Shine will grow on you as a welcome addition to a neighborhood that's still drunk on its own newness.
DRINK: Shine Distillery and Grill, 4232 N Williams Ave., 503-384-2585, shinedistillerygrill.com. 11 am-11 pm daily.