The Wilmington Distillery is now open in the former Wilmington Oyster Bar

After hosting a soft opening, the Wilmington Distillery, located at 12 Dock St. in the former Dock Street Oyster Bar, is officially open for service on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

With house-brewed spirits and a DJ booth for entertainment, owners Matt and Nicol Karn aim for a “distillery by day, club by night” atmosphere.

“We’ll be Bruce Wayne during the day and then we’ll be Batman,” Matt “Chewy” Karn said.

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Locals may know Karn as the maker of IZZYz rum. At the Wilmington Distillery, he uses the on-site copper pot still system to make rum, both white and spiced, as well as other spirits.

One is Honey Cornbread Moonshine. Another is a unique Polish-style potato vodka called Von Vodka.

Von Vodka, a Polish-style potato spirit, is one of Wilmington Distillery's offerings downtown.

“As far as I know, we’re the only local distillery making something like this,” Karn said.

At the distillery, look for entertainment from acclaimed local DJ Slim Deluxe and specialty cocktails featuring house-brewed liquor and other premium spirits.

Hours right now are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; they will also be open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. and will serve Bloody Marys and mimosas. Karn hopes to add hours, including Sundays and a night with service industry specials soon. Those interested can also call Karn at 910-399-1945 to schedule a private tasting.

Allison Ballard is the food and restaurant reporter at StarNews. You can reach her at

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