Distilling has begun and meals are being served at Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse in downtown Lancaster.

The art-house theater, which previously operated at 315 W. James St., began showing movies last spring at 112 N. Water St. as it continued to work on its restaurant and distillery.

The roughly 60-seat restaurant opened last month adjacent to the theater, while stills for Lancaster Distilleries — set up in a corner of the restaurant — began operating this week.

Lancaster Distilleries will specialize in spiced and aged rum while also making vodka and gin.

Zoetropolis takes part of the former Phelan’s Furniture space, which is now also home to a Cocina Mexicana and a taproom for Columbia Kettle Works. The three businesses share the courtyard at the complex where Zoetropolis has seating for around 20.

The restaurant at Zoetropolis features plates of food that are meant to be shared, explained Cheila Huettner, one of Zoetropolis’ managing partners. She said the emphasis is on dishes made with ingredients from local, organic growers.

The menu includes tacos and tostadas as well as flatbread pizzas and a variety of sliders. There are also salmon and chicken entrees. The drinks menu has a variety of specialty cocktails, as well as a selection of beer and wine from Pennsylvania producers.

Huettner said she and her partners have been working on the restaurant and distillery project for three years, saying it cost “several hundred thousand dollars” to complete.

Huettner said the restaurant space is like “an art project,” pointing out a 28-foot shuffleboard table that became the bar top, the handmade concrete tiles around the bar, and the lumber salvaged from Molly’s Pub in Lancaster, which were used to make a frame around the stills, which are behind glass.


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