Gateway to La Salle projects continue

Launch Kitchen, Bottles and Barrel Room aims to provide cocktail experience

The newest addition to the ongoing Gateway to La Salle project, located on the corner of U.S. 6 and Bucklin Street, is nearly set for a grand opening as Launch Kitchen has welcomed community members into its Bottles and Barrels room.

Launch Kitchen is a commissary / cloud kitchen that will offer many different services to those across the Illinois Valley. The location’s commercial kitchen will be available for leasing by those interested in mass producing a food product.

The customer may then take the produced food items with them for their use or can be displayed and sold in Launch Kitchen’s storefront.

The space will offer pop-up kitchen nights where chefs come in and create two to three items that customers can enjoy, various cooking and food certification classes, and other activities in the future.

The storefront has begun to offer locally produced Country Village Meats to customers. They have been a popular item already as they offer various steaks, pork chops, wings, brats, burgers, jerky among other items.

“People are happy to see these locally produced meat products for sale and it’s something that we’re really excited to offer,” said owner Eric Pyszka. “Things are continuing to change and grow as we go.”

Pyszka said the feedback they have received from the community has been priceless as they continue to discover what can be done and offered as the business moves forward.

Fans of specialty drinks, such as old fashions, New York sours and various martinis will have a place to gather as the Bottles and Barrels Room at Launch Kitchen has begun to open — attached to Launch Kitchen and adjacent to Nick’s on 6.

This space has become a bar with a “speakeasy feel” that offers specialty cocktails, wines and craft beers. Pyszka said the relationship with Nick’s on 6 offers customers a unique experience that may be hard to come by.

While Nick’s on 6 offers a more traditional sports bar feel, the Bottles and Barrels Room gives a more specific cocktail experience. The room is located in the same building between Launch Kitchen and Nick’s on 6.

One main draw Pyszka said is customers may grab a drink from both locations and travel freely between the two or the outside greenspace.

This gives customers a larger drink menu that either of these businesses would be able to offer on their own. The Bottles and Barrels Room has hosted multiple soft opening events to gather public input.

“The public has been nothing but positive and we’ve been thrilled,” Pyszka said. “They’ve come in and have enjoyed themselves. It has really been encouraging to see.”

Pyszka was excited about the opportunity to open Launch Kitchen and the Bottles and Barrels Room in the Gateway to La Salle project. For him, the communal feel between his business, Nick’s on 6 and the rest of the Gateway has been a huge benefit to getting things rolling.

“It’s been great to be a part of the Gateway project,” Pyszka said. “I’ve worked with Gary Hammers and I couldn’t speak more highly of him. We really help each other and while we are three businesses doesn’t feel that way.”

While no set opening date has been set for Launch Kitchen, things are coming together quickly. The Bottles and Barrels Room has begun to have open hours to offer cocktails in the meantime.

For additional information go to Launch Kitchen’s Facebook page at

Jayce Eustice

Covering local government, breaking news and whatever is thrown at me for the La Salle News Tribune