J. Rieger & Co. is investing mightily in the East Bottoms: Best of KC 2019
Our annual Best of Kansas City 2019 issue is out now. Go grab a copy. Alternatively, you can browse the results of the readers’ poll here. The issue also includes a list, compiled and written by The Pitch’s editorial staff, shouting out some of our current favorite things about KC. We’ll be publishing these items online throughout the month of October.
Development is moving so fast in this city that we’ve ceased even batting an eye at news of historic renovation projects and luxury apartment towers in the Crossroads and downtown. It’s a different story in the East Bottoms, though, where new construction signals a promising breath of new life. This summer, J. Rieger and Co. unveiled a renovation at its East Bottoms distillery so beautiful, bold, and transformative that it seemed to immediately represent a sea change for a literally deteriorating neighborhood.
The anchor of what they’re now calling the Electric Park neighborhood, J. Rieger’s distillery now occupies a massive, long-vacant brick building—60,000 square feet—formerly home to the Heim Brewery bottling plant. The Rieger team and its investors spared no expense. Upstairs, the spacious, work-friendly Monogram Lounge is open from morning to night, serving coffee and light breakfast items early and transitioning to snacks and cocktails as the day passes on. In the basement, the Hey! Hey! Club serves as the distillery’s showpiece cocktail bar, offering innovative, high-end cocktails from one of Kansas City’s best bartending minds, Andrew Olson, and his team of cocktail obsessives. The distillery’s ground-level experience includes a historic exhibit and the distillery itself, which is open for tours and features a barrel-heavy dining room available for lavish dinners. We could go on about the details—the game tables, the big, goofy slide—but overall what we love best about the place is the obvious care and attention put into restoring such a significant property in a neglected neighborhood. You may have heard a bunch of hype about this place. Believe it.