The New Ligonier bottle store focuses on native wineries and distillery manufacturers

A lot of ideas get whirled around over a few drinks, but most don’t survive until daylight. One of these led to Wandering Spirits, a boutique bottle store that opened in Ligonier on October 8th.

Owned by Emily and Ty Honhart, who live with their three young children in nearby Laurel Mountain Park.

“A small seed was planted in my head in September 2020,” said Emily Honhart. “What really started was that during Covid we sat around a campfire with our friends and neighbors in our little bubble. Somebody brought a bottle of something – a new kind of whiskey, a new kind of gin – and we made a drink and talked about it. It became a thing.

“We noticed how little access there is to some of these local wineries and distilleries,” she said. “Your options are either selling in the state store, the people who come to your distillery or winery, or the farmers’ markets and what not.

“We offer a very different experience than going to a state shop where you are left to your own devices to find out what you want,” she said. “People can come here and taste the liquor or wine and know they like it before they buy it.

Shirley McMarlin | Grandstand review

Products from the distilleries in the region are available in the Wandering Spirits bottle shop in Ligonier.

“Ligonier is so big on artisans, manufacturers and growers that I thought this type of business here would be great for bringing people into contact with these smaller brands,” she said. “Ligonier didn’t have anything like that; it has no wineries or distilleries. The small boutiques and shops do very well here as there is a large tourist base.

“We realized that this is an untapped market.”

Wine and spirits

Wandering Spirits currently stocks Altered State Distillery in Erie, Blackbird Distillery in Brookville, Kingfly Spirits in Pittsburgh’s Strip District and Lucky Sign Spirits in Millvale.

Recommended wineries are Tattiebogle Ciderworks in Acme and B&L Winery in Johnstown.

“We’ll be adding another distillery by the end of the year, maybe two, plus a Meadery and another winery,” said Honhart.

Wandering Spirits is not only the first of its kind in Ligonier, it is also unique in other ways.

“To the best of our knowledge, we’ve been talking to our attorney and the Liquor Board and we’re the first place in Pennsylvania to sell distillery and winery products in the same store,” said Honhart. “The LCB actually regards this as two separate shops because we have two separate sales systems and two entry points.”

Distilled products are displayed in one area of ​​the store while wines are displayed in a second area. There are four types of cider on tap, with growlers.


Shirley McMarlin | Grandstand review

Tailor-made gift boxes are available from the Wandering Spirits bottle shop in Ligonier.

The store also has packaged takeaway cocktails, mixers, artisanal foods, glassware, gift boxes, and works by a local artist for sale. Everything the Honharts sell is made in Pennsylvania.

They also offer mobile event services and full service brokerage for restaurants and resorts. At some point, they hope to add in-house tasting events.

Feet to the fire

Prior to opening the shop, Emily Honhart worked as an independent scholarship holder for nonprofit organizations. While she runs the store, Ty Honhart continues to work as a sales manager for a Pittsburgh company. You moved to the Ligonier area from Pittsburgh about 4 years ago.

They intend to keep the number of brands they represent small.

“We don’t want anyone to come in and be flooded with choices,” said Emily Honhart. “We want to give people options, but we don’t want to oversaturate our market. It is important that (our brands) are well represented by us. ”

Wandering Spirits is located on the second floor of a historic brick building at 201 E. Main St. above the Crumpets Tea Shop. With wooden floors and lots of windows, the room used to be a photo studio.


Shirley McMarlin | Grandstand review

Wandering Spirits bottle store opened on October 8, 2021 on East Main Street in Ligonier.

“We brought home furnishings from estate sales and auctions, along with some antiques,” said Honhart. “The cool thing is that all of our products have a story to tell and every piece that is in here has a story to tell.”

Neighboring shopkeepers were friendly and business was doing well, she said. Its opening day coincided with the start of the Fort Ligonier Days.

“It was pretty crazy, but we had a great turnout and a lot of fun,” said Honhart. “It was the feet to the fire – but if we can, we can do anything.”

Shop opening times are from Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an additional hour until 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Hours of operation may change as winter sets in, Honhart said.

More information is available at

Shirley McMarlin is the author of Tribune Review. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750,, or on Twitter.

Comments are closed.