J. Rieger & Co. has an exciting new outdoor space on deck for fall.
The distillery has long been a destination for Kansas City residents with concepts like the Monogram Lounge restaurant and cocktail bar, as well as the speakeasy-inspired Hey! Hey! Club. But the team is now building up excitement for their latest idea: the Electric Park Garden Bar, an outdoor bar and restaurant inspired by the distillery's historic location.
Sarah James, the general manager of hospitality for J. Rieger & Co., says they've always wanted to do something with the outdoor space at the distillery, and they're excited to be able to provide an outdoor patio space for people to enjoy.
"Electric Park Garden Bar is going to be unlike anything in Kansas City," she says. "We really wanted to create a space that people could come and spend the entire day socializing, eating and drinking. We want everyone to feel welcome and safe in this incredible new area at the distillery."
The outdoor garden bar is a nod to the long-gone Electric Park amusement park that operated in Kansas City at the turn of the 20th century. The park was owned by the Heim brothers, who also owned the brewery in the building that is now home to J. Rieger & Co. Electric Park Garden Bar is striving for a fun and energetic environment inspired by the theme park, and James says it will be the most casual outlet of the different spaces offered at the distillery.
"Everything we're doing here is a nod to that theme park atmosphere," James says. "[Beverage director] Andrew Olsen has had a blast creating fun, inventive summer cocktails, and we'll also serve plenty of frozen cocktails and things like snow cones. Our food options are also inspired by classic carnival fare, so there will be tons of great ways for people to indulge and order some nostalgic favorites."
The vast majority of the items served at the Electric Park Garden Bar have been designed exclusively for the space. A few favorites from the Monogram Lounge might make their way over, but the team is leaning heavily into carnival inspiration at this concept. James is excited about items like the Horsefeather float and a currently-unnamed cocktail infused with peanuts for a circus-y flare. Guests will also be able to pick up an Electric Park Punch or Caffè Amaro Piña Colada to help beat the Kansas City heat.
Of course, any trip to a carnival or amusement park wouldn't be complete without some fried goodness, and James points to the Electric Park Fries to fill that need. Topping variations will range from Southwestern to barbecue to a loaded baked potato-style.
Electric Park Garden Bar will seat more than 130 guests and boasts several firepits, a variety of different seating arrangements (including an eight-person swing table) and much more. Many of the different areas can be reserved, but there is also plenty of space for guests to wander and take in the sights. It's also dog- and kid-friendly with N/A cocktail and soda options available.
Construction is currently finishing up construction, and the J. Rieger team is looking for new staff for the concept. There's no opening date yet, but James estimates mid- to late September and encourages interested guests to follow J. Rieger & Co. on social media for updates. The outdoor space will also close for winter, but the team at J. Rieger plans to reopen Electric Park Garden Bar in the spring to operate for about nine months of 2022.
Electric Park Garden Bar at J. Rieger & Co., 2700 Guinotte Ave., Kansas City, Missouri, www.jriegerco.com