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Staymaker at Journeyman Distillery

July 7, 2017

  • 109 Generation Drive
  • Three Oaks, MI 49128
  • (269) 820-2076
  • Website
  • Menu

We started something last summer when J’s mom and dad asked if they could take L with them on vacation to Wisconsin.  L was so excited to spend a week with NaNa and Grandpa fishing, swimming, and winning too many prizes from the claw machines.

It was always that L would go again this year.  They typically go a week around the 4th of July and their schedule worked out this year to leave the Friday after.

I worked on the 4th and in return, my company gave me Thursday off as my holiday.  We decided to meet J’s parents in New Buffalo to hand L off to them for the week.

We did the same thing last year and after getting L ready to go with NaNa and Grandpa on vacation, J, B, and I went on a little side trip for lunch.  We picked Round Barn Public House.  It’s a place we had been wanting to go to, but Baroda is pretty far to go just for a meal with both kids.

Our decision this year was to go to another place we’ve been wanting to go in Southern Berrien County.  Staymaker at Journeyman Distillery.

Staymaker is part of the much larger complex at Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks.  The building is the old Warren Featherbone Company corset factory.  A staymaker is a person who makes corset…..which is where the name of the restaurant came from.

The distillery is just to the northwest of downtown Three Oaks.  The large factory is home to both Journeyman and the Acorn Theater.  Staymaker takes up the north side of the factory.  Journeyman originally built in the middle section of the factory.  After about four successful years serving a limited menu without table service, the north end of the factory came open.  Journeyman pounced on the space needing more room for distilling as well space for a full service restaurant that would soon become Staymaker.

We got in to Three Oaks a little after 2:30.  There’s a little bit of parking in front of the building, but during busy times, parking could be more of an issue.

The entrance to Staymaker as at the far northern end of the space.  The first thing you see when you enter is the new production facility which is actually a level below where you enter from the street.

The host station is right past this opening looking into the production side of things and right next to a small merchandise area where all of their spirits are available for purchase.

The dining room at Staymaker is huge.  As you’d expect, they make good use of the industrial look of the former factory leaving the old brick walls exposed.  They take advantage of natural lighting with the large windows that line both sides of the space.  The floors are dark hardwood while the ceiling is stamped tin and exposed duct work.

A large bar takes up almost the entire length of the dining room near the front of the space.  Again, large windows running the length of the building let in an enormous of amount of natural lighting.

The three of us were shown to a table near the back of the space and we went to work right away looking over the drink menu.  Journeyman’s liquor license only allows them to sell spirits that they make.  No beer.  No wine.  They do have a big list of craft cocktails and they offer their spirits on the rocks, neat, and even in flights.

I kept things simple and ordered a sazerac.  I just wanted some good whiskey and I got that with this simple drink of rye whiskey, sugar, and absinthe.  The drink was garnished with an orange peel.

J got a cocktail called (I believe) Strawberry Fields.  The menu listed on their website right now must not be current, but I know it was a drink made with Featherbone Bourbon and strawberries.  I took a little sip just because I like bourbon so much.  It was good, but I wasn’t in to the sweetness of the berries.  J likes sweetness over the whiskey so this drink was right up her alley.

When our drinks came, we had looked over the menu a couple of times and were ready to order.

We actually started with B.  The waitress asked if we wanted to put his order in when she put our drinks in so it would come out quicker.  They have four options for the kids including B’s favorite, Mac & Cheese.

B got so excited when the runner brought out his plate not long after we got our drinks.  He started yelling “CHEESE!” in his little high pitched voice.

The mac & cheese is corkscrew noodles in a thin cheddar cheese sauce.  The sauce stuck to the noodles, but there was also a huge pool of cheese in the bottom of the bowl.  The noodles were a little too long for B to handle on his own so we took turns feeding him while we waited for our food.  He ate about 3/4 of the bowl before telling us he was done.  I finished off what was left after I finished my meal.

I was leaning towards a burger until I saw El Diablo.  This amazing sandwich is house made Gin salami topped with Red Barn white cheddar, a runny fried egg, and sriracha mayo.  It’s served on fresh, flaky hamburger bun.  This sandwich had a lot going on.  There was a large stack of the salami on the bottom and the fried egg started oozing it’s yoke as soon as I picked it up.  The sriracha mayo sort of oozed in to everything and while there was definitely a kick to it, the heat didn’t overpower all the other flavors.  The sandwich came with hand-cut fries and these fries were awesome.  They were the thin cut, sorta greasy, crispy on the outside, soft in the inside fries that I associate with greasy sandwich places in Chicago.  I love these kind of fries and the ones from Staymaker were delicious.  The fries come with Featherbone Ketchup, but I didn’t even try it.  The fries were so good on their own.

J picked the Whiskey BBQ Chicken.  This sandwich was served on the same kind of hamburger bun that my sandwich was.  It’s comprised of incredibly tender pulled chicken from Gunthorp farms, Buggy Whip Wheat BBQ sauce, and gin pickles.  The meat was so tender J said it didn’t feel like she was biting in to anything at all.  The only resistance she got was from the pickles.   The chicken was juicy, tender, and a perfect vehicle for the slightly tangy BBQ sauce that was conservatively dolloped on top of the meat.  Her sandwich came with fries also and she had the same reaction to them that I did.

Lunch could have ended there, but I was still curious.  When our waitress came back, I asked for a Whiskey Flight.

The flight consists of five 1/4 pours of their whiskey.  It’s just enough to get a little taste of each.  J and I shared the flight so we could each get a sample.  I’m more of a whiskey drinker than she is, but craft spirits are hard to at least not try.  When your only experience with Whiskey is Jack Daniels, you have no idea what you’re missing out on.

The five whiskeys are W.R. Whiskey, Last Feather Rye Whiskey, Buggy Whip Wheat Whiskey,  Silver Cross Whiskey, and Featherbone Bourbon Whiskey.  Of course, my favorite was Featherbone…but damn, I like bourbon.

Again, we could have quit there, but since I got more whiskey, J and B got dessert.  We ordered the Ice Cream Sandwich.  This large dessert is two chocolate cookies with vanilla ice cream in the middle.  It comes with chocolate sauce on the side.  B was so anxious to use his spoon to eat ice cream, but this is a use your hands dessert.  We broke the large cookie up in to manageable pieces and the three of us devoured this delicious treat.

Our bill for lunch was about $53.  Staymaker at Journeyman Distillery is a place I’ve been wanting to go to for a very long time.  Heck, I’ve wanted to go to Journeyman since I first heard about it 6 years ago.  I love that they added on the full service restaurant so we can no feel comfortable bringing the little ones.

Staymaker is a great spot for a night out in Southwest Michigan.  The food is amazing.  The space is amazing.  The drinks are amazing.  You never expect to find places like this in random small towns, but it’s always so comforting when you do knowing that a craft distillery can not only survive, but thrive in what had been known as Michigan’s Wine Country for so long.

Staymaker at Journeyman Distillery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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