News Bites: The Return of ISCO’s Blue Velvet Bourbon / Basil & Bunny Opens in Bristol / General Stanton Inn Reopens / Introducing Land & Sea Together / Neon Marketplace Launches “Pizza Twos-day”

by David Dadekian

Current news releases—Eat Drink RI is not the source for these items—please follow any links for more information.


The Industrious Spirit Company Announces the Return of Blue Velvet Bourbon

ISCO Blue Velvet Bourbon with Glass and Palm, photo by Rachel Hulin
ISCO Blue Velvet Bourbon with Glass and Palm, photo by Rachel Hulin

Today, The Industrious Spirit Company (ISCO) announced that their Blue Velvet Bourbon will rejoin their spirits line up of Ostreida Oyster Vodka, Structural Vodka, Ornamental Gin and Patina Bourbon Barrel Aged Gin. The company’s initial experimental run of Blue Velvet was released in January 2021 and sold out in mere hours, now the wait for more is finally over.

“We are proud to bring back Blue Velvet Bourbon,” said Dan Neff and Eric Olson, Head Distillers at ISCO. “This continues to be a very special project for us. While good things take time, and bourbon generally ages for at least two years (as will most of ours), the unique nature of the corns that we used for this special project has allowed us to create something youthful yet fully expressive, showing off our passion for flavor. Our favorite way to enjoy Blue Velvet is sipped neat or on the rocks.”

This unique bourbon is created from 100% blue corn using a blend of two very special and distinct varieties—an organic strain of indigo developed in Kentucky and a landrace blue variety from Oaxaca, Mexico (“landrace” indicates a plant grown in its original region with a nearly identical genetic makeup to its wild ancestor). After being cooked and fermented (fun fact: blue corn turns pink when you ferment it due to a pH change!), ISCO carefully distills this bourbon in small batches before resting it in charred new oak barrels for six to twelve months “to taste”— their goal is to ensure the corns’ flavors remain the star of the show. A unique marriage of cultures and places, Blue Velvet boasts heaps of caramel, chocolate and vanilla flavors and a signature note of blue corn tortillas. Bottled at a whopping 100 proof to preserve the rich flavors and robust mouthfeel, it lingers for a lasting finish of toast and oak—a bourbon you won’t soon forget!

In celebration of Blue Velvet, ISCO will kick off a weekend of events beginning on Thursday, September 15 with a raucous-yet-refined VIP launch party from 5-10pm. Tickets can be pre-purchased for this beautiful evening that will include passed hors d’oeurves and luxurious bites highlighting local food producers from The East End, the opportunity to sample some as-of-yet unreleased spirits, access to tours and a raffle ticket to be entered to win a very special artist-made, one-of-a-kind Blue Velvet Bourbon bathrobe and two opulent handcrafted Blue Velvet tasseled pillows!

While ISCO created significantly more Blue Velvet than for its first release last year, this second release will certainly also sell out. First bottles will be available for purchase at the distillery that evening and over the following days.

The weekend continues with raffle sales ($3 each) throughout the weekend and culminates on Sunday, September 18 with a free, open-to-the public party from 12pm – 6pm, featuring live music by Da Huey X, food by Durks and a photobooth.

ISCO is deeply invested in creating beautiful, delicious products that tell stories about where they come from. In honor of Blue Velvet’s mash bill that blends organic blue corn from the US with a landrace blue corn from Mexico, proceeds from the raffle will be split between The American Farmland Trust https://farmland.org/about/, an organization that works to protect agricultural land, promote environmentally sound farming practices and to keep farmers on the land, and Fundación Tortilla, https://fundaciontortilla.org/nosotros, a Mexican nonprofit organization that promotes corn as a fundamental element of the culture, nutrition and economic development of Mexico via educational programs, policy reform and direct work to improve biodiversity of Mexican maize.

The Industrious Spirit Company distillery is located in the Valley neighborhood of Providence along the city’s former “Industrial Corridor.” Their production space and tasting room were once part of Providence Steel & Iron, a business that produced structural and ornamental steel for nearly 100 years. ISCO is proud to carry on this tradition of creation.


Basil & Bunny Now Open in Bristol

Basil & Bunny

Basil & Bunny, comfort food inspired by multicultural flavors and 100% plant-based, is now open at their new location at Unity Park, 500 Wood Street in Bristol. Opening hours are currently Wednesdays through Fridays from 4 – 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 – 8 p.m., with plans to expand those hours moving forward. Their full menu is posted at basilandbunny.com and online ordering is available during open hours at basilandbunny.square.site. Watch for news of a grand opening celebration in September.

Basil & Bunny Dining Room

The General Stanton Inn has reopened its historic doors after a multimillion-dollar renovation

Following a 10-year hiatus, the historic General Stanton Inn is inviting diners back inside. New owners David and Jackie Moore are pleased to announce that the renovation and restoration of the inn’s tavern and dining rooms are complete. The General Stanton Inn reopened for dining on Wednesday, August 17.

“As a Narragansett native and University of Rhode Island graduate, I thought it was very important to protect the original colonial character and integrity of this historic Charlestown landmark, which first entertained guests in 1740,” said David Moore. “While we preserved the architecture, the building needed a major overhaul. The inn now features a state-of-the art kitchen to accommodate weddings and banquets, a refurbished fine dining restaurant and a remodeled, and very comfortable, tavern bar.” 

Located at 4115 Old Post Road in Charlestown, the General Stanton Inn rests on an old 6.78-acre horse farm, which still has original stone walls. The inn was once a gathering place between Philadelphia and Boston during the Revolutionary War, and it’s believed to have hosted George Washington, Marquis de Lafayette and Alexander Hamilton. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Chester Arthur were also guests of the inn.

In the Roaring 1920s, a fine dining room was added as popularity of the General Stanton Inn as a Prohibition-era speakeasy and gambling house grew. Al Capone, Diamond Jim Brady and notorious actress Tallulah Bankhead were some of the more famous guests who partied in Gatsby-like fashion into the wee hours. 

“As we renovated the formal dining room, I was drawn to the original coffered ceilings and art deco chandeliers of the period,” said Jackie Moore. “We’ve preserved that 1920s’ feel and enhanced the room with candlelight and a new sound system, which will feature soft jazz like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. We want our guests to have a memorable evening as they enjoy a white table setting, great food and fine wines.” 

The tavern will be open from 5-10 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. Beginning this September, the fine dining room will be open. Sunday brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a traditional New England Sunday Supper, which will be served until 7 p.m.

Guests can make online reservations and preview the dining menu at thegeneralstantoninn.com or call 401-364-8888.  
Contact Sarah at [email protected] to book weddings, banquets and large parties. The inn guest rooms will reopen later this fall.


Introducing Land & Sea Together: A Network to Support Farmers, Fisheries, and Forestry Businesses and Workers in RI

The Center for Mediation and Collaboration RI, in partnership with RI-DEM,with the support of over 25 other industry organizations, aims to reducestressors facing our food and forest producersthrough the new program, Land & Sea Together.

Land & Sea Together is a collaborative network of services and opportunities, aimed at reducing stress and building personal and financial resilience in the fisheries, forestry, and farming communities in Rhode Island. These professionals tend our land and sea, and are the core of our natural resources sector here in the state. But workers in these fields often face challenging and unpredictable conditions with limited support. From labor shortages to injuries, from price fluctuations to severe weather conditions, these jobs can be devastatingly hard. And folks are feeling the stress across the nation.

Individuals in these three industries AND their families now have access to a local Employee Assistance Program, Coastline EAP, through their help line 1-800-445-1195.

By calling this help line, workers AND their families can receive:

  • Immediate, unlimited contact with Coastline EAP’s Masters’ level, professional staff via a toll-free helpline (1-800-445-1195)
  • Up to 12 FREE sessions with a mental health treatment provider
  • 24 hours/day, 365 days/year crisis support. Assessment and crisis support for aAfull spectrum of work/life challenges offered the same or next business day
  • Unlimited follow-up and support services
  • Consultation for legal, financial, eldercare, childcare, nutrition, career, andAconvenience resources
  • Qualified referral to most effective helping resources in terms of expertise,Alocation, cost and availability
  • Over 100 pre-recorded webinars and 60 skills courses (with certifications) onAwww.coastlineeap.com and live monthly wellness sessions
  • Monthly newsletter in English and Spanish

Individuals in these industries can also apply for micro grant funding until October 15th, 2022 through a simple application to receive up to $500 of support towards the following services:

  • Childcare or Eldercare Assistance
  • Business Development Services (Succession, Tax, Financial, Legal)
  • Wellness Services & Trainings
  • Equipment or Vehicle Repair Services (labor only)
  • Veterinary Services

Always free through Land & Sea Together and CMCRI:

  • Mediation Services
  • Comprehensive Industry Resource Guides

For more information contact program director Laurel Witri
Land & Sea Together, a program of the Center for Mediation and Collaboration RI [email protected]


Forget Taco Tuesday – Neon Marketplace Launches ‘Pizza Twos-day’

For a limited time, customers can pick up any two Roman-style pizzas for $15.00 every Tuesday

Supreme Pizza
Supreme Pizza

Neon Marketplace, the newest, most innovative and elevated brand in the convenience store industry, with locations in Warwick, Rhode Island and Seekonk, Massachusetts and express locations in Middletown and Portsmouth, Rhode Island, is pleased to announce ‘Pizza Twos-day,’ when customers can pick-up any two of Neon’s Roman-style specialty pizzas topped with house-made sauce and Neon’s signature three-cheese blend for just $15.00 at the Warwick and Seekonk locations. 

Each pizza feeds three-to-four people and makes for a perfect, hot and fresh dinner for busy families on-the-go, or a perfect lunch at the office. The offer is valid on cheese, pepperoni or any of the signature pies. Additional toppings may be added for an additional fee.

Developed in conjunction with James Beard award-winning chef and restaurateur Michael Schlow, Neon’s artisan hand-pressed pizza pies are baked light and fluffy onsite in Neon’s traditional brick ovens. Each hand-crafted pizza pie starts with dough that is proofed for several hours to give it a light and airy texture, and is then baked in Neon’s brick ovens. Customers can order a variety of set toppings or completely customize their pies for a fast, hot, delicious pizza experience to enjoy in Neon’s café or to take on the road.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Buffalo Chicken Pizza

In addition to cheese, pepperoni, meat lovers, supreme and margherita, Neon’s specialty pizzas are also available in BBQ chicken, buffalo chicken, Hawaiian, white-hot honey chicken, and pesto sausage. The build-your-own toppings include pepperoni, Italian sausage, grilled chicken, ham, bacon, tomatoes, onions, banana peppers, black olives, roasted red bell peppers, pineapple, jalapeños, hot honey, and oregano. Sauces include marinara, alfredo, pesto, buffalo, BBQ and ranch. 

Neon Marketplace also offers a full array of breakfast options, including pastries, freshly made-to-order egg sandwiches, artisan coffee and lattes; hand-made grinders and sandwiches; a variety of salads; snacks; all-natural lemonade and fresh-brewed iced tea, fountain, and cooler drinks. 

Neon Marketplace caters to today’s modern traveler by delivering a uniquely refreshing and stylish experience designed to create loyal customers. Neon locations are targeted to areas where the convenience store customer is currently underserved and in areas where growing populations and/or business growth has resulted in increased vehicle traffic and consumer demand.

Follow Neon Marketplace on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to learn more about the growing brand.

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