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The proprietor of “The Attic,” located on the T. B. Ripy house grounds, said he hopes the new gift shop will bring awareness of Lawrenceburg’s pre-prohibition history as well as some funding needed to restore the historic residence.
Tom Ripy, a Pittsburgh-based businessman and descendant of distillery owner T. B. Ripy, said he brought up the idea of opening a visitors center and gift shop in the garage next to the mansion during a general meeting with the owners of the mansion.
Ripy said he’s been basically living in Lawrenceburg for the past four months, working to get The Attic, located on 320 South Main behind the Ripy house in an unattached garage, ready for customers.
The gift shop, which has been open to visitors for about two weeks, offers antiques, Kentucky-based products, local honey, bourbon barrel furniture and distillery artifacts among other Kentucky items.
Ripy, who has a degree in fine arts, also drew a sketch of the Ripy house and a redesign of the Bond & Lillard distillery logo to place on T-shirts and mugs for sale at the shop.
The gift shop is also the starting location for T. B. Ripy house tours, Ripy said, offered to visitors on the weekends.
“At this point, [the T. B. Ripy house] sort of belongs to the community, so it’s treated that way,” Ripy said.
Jacob Marraccini, an employee of The Attic gift shop, said most of the traffic they’ve gotten is from local residents wanting to check out the new store and to see the house.
Ripy said he would like to offer more tours of the house during the week, but will be limited as the house is currently undergoing repairs.
“It brings the house alive, which I think is important,” Ripy said of The Attic.
The Attic is a separate business than the corporation that owns the house itself and will operate under a rental agreement with the mansion’s owners, city council member George Geoghegan, who is a joint owner of the mansion along with Ripy’s father and mother, said.
A percentage of the profits from The Attic gift shop will be going toward restoring the T. B. Ripy house, he said.
Geoghegan said the front porch and front columns of the house have been replaced and the foyer and front parlor have been painted. The mansion now has a working bathroom on the lower level, he said, and work continues on the dining room.
The house is nowhere near finished, Geoghegan said, but he hopes to get to a point where events could be held on the downstairs floor of the house. Construction will go as far as to “mothball” the house, that is, restore the building to the point where the house won’t be dangerously deteriorating as the owners save more money for repairs.
“If it’s successful for [son and The Attic proprietor Tom Ripy], and I hope it is, it will certainly help the house out as we try to renovate it,” the elder Tom Ripy said.
Gift shop open for business
Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The gift shop can be found at the back of the property located at 320 South Main St., in an outbuilding formerly used as a garage. A portion of the sales of the gift shop goes to the rebuilding of the T. B. Ripy house.
Tom Ripy, the proprietor of ‘The Attic,’ said the gift shop will offer tours of the T. B. Ripy house on the weekends per visitor request. Tours are limited on weekdays due to construction on the Ripy house.
Contact 502-517-5488 for any questions.