The Spirits of RI: Distilling a New Home

Commuters getting off at the new Pawtucket/Central Falls train station after a long day of work or studies don’t have to go far to enjoy uniquely crafted cocktails/mocktails and low-toned conversations at the new home of Rhode Island Spirits. Now residing among the renovated mills and warehouses on the corner of Bayley and Commerce Streets, the loft-style bar provides a cozy environment with bar seating, table seating, and relaxing living room setups including sofas and a coffee table. Adding to the flair are tabletop parlor games, a variety of books, and décor of unique art without the distraction of loud, blinding flat screen TVs. It is more of a community escape than a traditional downtown bar, leaving the door open to create spaces for many groups including RI Feminist & Queer Happy Hour.

RI Spirits take pride both in the LGBTQ+ community and in their own brands of spirits, which are corn-based, gluten free, organic, and non-GMO. Even when it comes to their fresh fruit and botanicals, they outsource from local growers to provide the freshest and healthiest options. Founded by Cathy Plourde and Kara Larson, RI Spirits operate New England’s only LGBTQ+-owned spirits brand Rhodium, which includes gin, vodka, limoncello, and grapefruitcello.

Rhodium offerings include Coffee & Black Walnut Vodka: a Guatemala Antigua coffee sourced and roasted by Downeast Coffee Roasters combined with kosher-certified black walnuts. And if you desire a more tart flavor, Rhodium’s Rhode Island Red Vodka infuses local cherries and cranberries with a mix of hibiscus, rosemary, and pure sugar cane.

Before selecting bottles of Rhodium to go, you may sample a flight of three spirits for $7. It’s during this sampling of RI Spirit’s various mixological concoctions that one really experiences the variety of their recipes, including their premium mocktails. You may also indulge in their craft menu brimming with options — lavender syrup, bitters, zests, sodas, and teas — and design your own spirit and tonic, or create your own signature martini.

With a private parking lot across from their front doors, RI Spirits is  looking to expand their offerings to include an outdoor seating area. They hope to work alongside local food trucks to provide guests with light dining options to complement the flavor of their selection of beverages. This is only the first step, as RI Spirits is looking to add both indoor and outdoor experiences with the community. In the meantime, you may be able to sample some of their Rhodium at local events, fundraisers, and others LGBTQ+ aligned causes.

To order online, find a local store, and stay up to date on events, visit

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