[Content from original press release.]
Grand Illusion Hard Cider, Carlisle Pennsylvania’s only urban cidery, will soon become a trendsetter in the state when it opens its doors at its Grand Opening on Friday, February 23rd at 4 pm. This hard cider and wine bar will showcase 15 innovative hard ciders (produced both in house and available from cider makers throughout the state and region), 5 hard-to-find craft beers, and 6 of the most enjoyable state wines, all on tap and available by the glass. Grand Illusion will also serve artfully crafted local cheese and charcuterie boards, a few inspired small plates, and a variety of hand-made flatbread pizzas.
“We are so close I can taste it,” said Chad Kimmel, owner of Grand Illusion Hard Cider with his wife, Andrea. “We’ve been at it for a while, but everything is coming together now in the final few weeks.” Painting is done, lights and speakers are being installed; the draft system is going in; the cooler is built and powered up; and the staff are hired and being trained. This cider and wine bar is operating under a unique model. Rather than sell its own, much like a microbrewery, Grand Illusion wants to showcase the bounty of hard ciders from PA and the region, in addition to beers and wines. And what sets them apart is the training they give to staff. “All of our servers must achieve Level 1 Certification from the United States Association of Cider Makers, a 75 question exam,” explained Kimmel. “They can’t touch the floor until they pass it. That’s how much we care about what we are doing,” he continued. “We aren’t just selling cider, beer and wine, we are sharing the stories of the makers, the history of the product, how it’s made, what makes it special, etc.” Grand Illusion aims to showcase cider’s many personalities.
Grand Illusion will occupy an early 19th century brick building (26 West High Street) located in Carlisle’s most prominent commercial block, with large front windows and a grand entrance. This 5,000 square foot building will provide space for cider production, kitchen, administrative offices, and staff training and break rooms. Approximately 1,400 square feet will be divided between two floors, totaling 99 seats. Each floor will have its own bar and entertainment space. The second floor will also have two private rooms that can be reserved for those special, magical, occasions. Turn-of-the-century magician posters inspire the décor and brand. “There will be something interesting at every corner,” laughed Kimmel. “The hidden bathroom on the second floor will be a showstopper.”
Grand Illusion’s hours of operation will be Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 4-10; Friday 4- 11; Saturday 12-11; and Sunday, 12-7. It is holding its final pre-opening sampling event 2 during Carlisle’s Ice Fest on Saturday, February 10 from 10-2 pm. Stop by for a peek, a taste and a sip or two. You won’t be disappointed. More information can be found at www.grandillusioncider.com or on social media.
Two floors, two bars, two worlds…that’s The Grand Illusion Experience.