–The Hey! Hey! Club operates as a stand-alone space – a celebration of the timeless art of the cocktail with a selection of worldwide spirits to complement Rieger products –
(Kansas City, MO) – On September 19, J. Rieger & Co. will open The Hey! Hey! Club, an elegant 51-seat club lounge that captures the timelessness of the classic cocktail experience. Named for the landmark Kansas City jazz and cocktail club that once hosted the likes of Count Basie, today’s Hey! Hey! Club is a classic American bar, a throwback to another era where drinks take time, conversation is welcome and every detail speaks to comfort, beauty and refinement. Unlike most distillery bars, The Hey! Hey! Club operates as a stand-alone space – a celebration of the great drinks and service that showcases a selection of global spirits in addition to Rieger products. The space is guaranteed to help keep momentum in the revival of the historic Electric Park neighborhood.
Timeless Décor and Inspiration
The Hey! Hey! Club is located on the basement level of the historic Heim Brewery bottling plant, now home to J. Rieger & Co.’s distillery in the Electric Park neighborhood of Kansas City. With seating for 51 and capacity for 96, the entrance to the Hey! Hey! Club is by a private stairway or elevator from the main distillery floor. Guests are greeted with a replicated vintage sign from Robert Altman’s 1996 film Kansas City, before entering the door to the club room. The dark blue-green jewel tones on the walls, banquettes and chairs are offset by the vintage mood of a central chandelier and a custom, dark wood bar with nine bar seats. The surroundings include velvet and leather banquettes, steam trunks, plaid wingback chairs and Chesterfield-style sofas, reminiscent of a turn of the century gentleman’s club but updated with modern styling. Seating areas are designed for intimate groups of two to six guests, including a working fireplace area with a refurbished Empire-styled mantle.
An Intimate Club Atmosphere
The gentle roll of rail cars directly to the north of the distillery gently vibrates through The Hey! Hey! Club. At first glance the club could be a private rail car where guests embark on a journey infused with the hospitality and charm of another age. Vintage board games invite guests to stay and play. The walls are decorated with Rieger family portraits and hunting scenes enhancing the sense of intimacy. Above all, the flow of cocktails and service from the devoted bar team ensures that comfort and pleasure reign.
Cocktails with Manifest Destiny
The Hey! Hey! Club stands apart from most distillery bars. It has its own dedicated bar team, a separate reservation platform, and a wholly-inclusive cocktail program that includes spirits from many purveyors and across multiple categories from gin and mezcal to whiskey, brandy and rum. Led by Beverage Director Andrew Olsen and Bar Manager Derek Branham, their debut Fall/Winter list is curated to 15 cocktails and will rotate again in Spring/Summer. This first menu is focused on Kansas City and drink-by-drink explores the theme of a forgotten era: the westward expansion from the late-1700s to the founding date of Jacob Rieger’s distillery in 1887. The boom times of Manifest Destiny drove the country westward, and KC was there to receive it all from the railroads to steamboats, stockyards and bankers. Olsen and Branham’s creative drinks program captures a transformative era that forever changed the people, design and architecture of the city. Perfectly in line with the mood, drinks are served in sexy, long-stemmed “Hepburn” coupes and crystal-etched Collins glasses.
Here are a few selections from the first cocktail menu at The Hey! Hey! Club: MoPac(Jamaican Rum, Mezcal, smoked pear shrub, and Brachetto d’Acqui); Running Gin(Juniper Pisco, muskmelon, aloe, cucumber, absinthe, sage and lime); and the Brand-new Boom (Rieger’s Midwestern Dry Gin, passion fruit, cacao, sparkling wine and creole bitters). A selection of fine wines and Champagne by-the-glass will also be served, in addition to Heim Beer on tap, a traditional German-style Export Helles Lager specially brewed by KC Bier Co.
The Menu: Comfortable and Elevated
Culinary Director Marita Swift set out to create a menu for The Hey! Hey! Club that is as comfortable and elevated as the drinks. Designed for sharing, her menu encompasses a full dining experience that leads with classics such as Smoked Bar Nuts, Cruditéswith chef accoutrements and Shrimp Cocktail with citrus chips and Rieger’s Gin Cocktail Sauce. For the entrées, the Herb Roast Beef Filletis re-imagined on an open-face warm baguette with charred shitake, confit garlic and shallot purée, while the FriedEggplant to easily scoop Rieger’s Vodka Tomato Sauceand whipped herb ricotta. Desserts include Espresso Crème Brulée with Vanilla Bean à la modeand Caffé Amaro Chocolate Truffles. Served on bone china with white linen, hem-stitched napkins, the food and hospitality complete the refined, club ambiance.
Visit The Hey! Hey! Club
The Hey! Hey! Club will open on September 19; hours are 5:00 PM to midnight, Wednesday to Saturday. All guests will be greeted by a host upon arrival. Reservations are available through TOCK and highly recommended; however, multiple tables will be made available for walk-ins only. The Hey! Hey! Club is wheelchair-accessible, and complimentary parking is provided to all guests of J. Rieger & Co. facility.
About J. Rieger & Co.
Jacob Rieger & Company was originally founded in 1887 in Kansas City’s West Bottoms Livestock Exchange district. The distillery produced over 100 alcoholic products on a national basis, including the iconic Monogram Whiskey, but it was forced to close in 1919 with the advent of Prohibition. In 2014, 95 years after Prohibition, the brand was relaunched by business partners Ryan Maybee, creator of Manifesto and co-founder of The Rieger, and Andy Rieger, the great-great-great-grandson of Jacob Rieger. The current distillery is located in the historic Electric Park district within the East Bottoms of Kansas City. The core spirit product line includes Kansas City Whiskey, Midwestern Dry Gin, Caffè Amaro, and Premium Wheat Vodka. For more information, visit www.JRiegerCo.com.