Preserving Lexington: U-Haul Shares Plans for Historic Whiskey Rickhouse

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2021) — U-Haul® will soon serve customers with a new 1,400-room self-storage facility at 1170 Manchester St. in Lexington thanks to the recent acquisition of the former James E. Pepper® whiskey rickhouse.

U-Haul Moving & Storage of Distillery District will cater to Lexington residents, University of Kentucky students and other local colleges. The store will have indoor climate-controlled self-storage units for rent, truck and trailer sharing, towing equipment, boxes and moving supplies and more.

U-Haul acquired the sprawling 197,504-square-foot building on Oct. 20. It sits on 7.96 acres.

Christopher Minnich, U-Haul Company of Louisville president, said that his team is working closely with the tenants who are operating out of the building and will remain on the first floor indefinitely. This group includes the Old Wm. Tarr Distillery®, Brevede Coffee Co., Rickhouse Pub and Battle Axes.

Additionally, Minnich said he intends to maintain as much of the building’s original character as possible during the renovation process as the upper floors are converted to storage rooms.

“This building dates back to 1933 and is full of the rich history this state is famous for,” Minnich stated. “We are honored to preserve this piece of Lexington’s past while giving it a new purpose. U-Haul has been renovating historic buildings for decades through our adaptive reuse program. We know the people of Lexington will love the finished product, and we’re excited to grow our investment in this community.”

The former James E. Pepper rickhouse was built as storage space for whiskey barrels during the aging process. The iconic Kentucky whiskey brand originated during the American Revolution.

U-Haul of Distillery District will be the third U-Haul-owned and -operated store in Lexington, and the Company’s 15th store in Kentucky. There are also 34 independent small businesses in Lexington serving do-it-yourself movers as U-Haul neighborhood dealers.

Acquisition of the distillery property was driven by U-Haul Corporate Sustainability initiatives: U-Haul supports infill developments to help local communities lower their carbon footprint. The adaptive reuse of existing buildings reduces the amount of energy and resources required for new-building materials and helps cities reduce their unwanted inventory of unused buildings.

While U-Haul Moving & Storage of Distillery District is being renovated, other U-Haul stores and neighborhood dealers in the region are available to serve customers. U-Haul Moving & Storage of Masterson Station at 2425 Merchant St. is open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Saturday; 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Once U-Haul of Distillery District is fully operational, Minnich aims to staff the facility with local hires to promote employment in the Lexington community. U-Haul, honored as a “Best for Vets 2020” leading veteran-friendly employer by The Military Times, actively recruits veterans and gives them preference in the hiring process. Find U-Haul careers at

As an essential service provider, U-Haul continues to serve communities during the COVID-19 recovery while offering contactless business programs and enhanced cleaning protocols, including added steps for sanitizing equipment between customer transactions. U-Haul products are used daily by First Responders; delivery companies bringing needed supplies to people’s homes; small businesses trying to remain afloat; college students; and many other dependent groups, in addition to the do-it-yourself household mover.

About U-HAUL 

Since 1945, U-Haul has been the No. 1 choice of do-it-yourself movers, with a network of more than 23,000 locations across all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. U-Haul Truck Share 24/7 offers secure access to U-Haul trucks every hour of every day through the customer dispatch option on their smartphones and our proprietary Live Verify technology. Our customers' patronage has enabled the U-Haul fleet to grow to approximately 176,000 trucks, 126,000 trailers and 46,000 towing devices. U-Haul offers nearly 825,000 rentable storage units and 71.6 million square feet of self-storage space at owned and managed facilities throughout North America. U-Haul is the largest retailer of propane in the U.S., and continues to be the largest installer of permanent trailer hitches in the automotive aftermarket industry. U-Haul has been recognized repeatedly as a leading “Best for Vets” employer and was recently named one of the 15 Healthiest Workplaces in America.


Andrea Batchelor

Jeff Lockridge


Phone: 602-263-6981


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