Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange

Top shelf of bar
I got the opportunity today to meet Ryan Maybee of Manifesto and now the Rieger in the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange, formerly 1924 Main. They've done an immense amount of work brightening the place up. Gone are the red walls and wood painted black. Now the space is painted a nice shade of green  which is coincidentally (or maybe not) very similar to the green walls in the dining room at la manse du Vard. Gone are the glass separators that divvied up the room leading to a much more open restaurant. The bar has been completely redone and, right now, while liquorless, has a nice little framed drawing of the bar drawn by Ryan. The stunning 90 year old original floor with original Rieger logo remains untouched.

The famous original floor
The walls are adorned with art from local artist Kale Von Leeuwen, a French artist, and a very large painting by Alexandra Nechita that was painted when she was 10. The kitchen, which was previously very open is closed off a little bit so you can't see all the way back. A bar has been added to make a little chef's table for use by either single diners or those wishing to let chef Howard Hanna serve them what they want. Some new lighting has been added brightening the place up from the 1924 Main days.

Ceiling in private room
16 foot long cypress table
We went back into the other dining room which will be used for private parties at the Rieger. My prediction is that this will be a sought after room to have small parties. The room seats 40 with one wall adorned with a mural celebrating the Rieger's name and history. Apparently, and this comes from Ryan Maybee's mouth, the Rieger name adorned a large whiskey company, J. Rieger & Co. that was killed by Prohibition. The logo from J. Rieger & Co. makes up a large portion of the wall. Plus, the highlight of the room for me were the 2 16 foot long wooden tables made from 150 year old cypress. On the occasions where the private room is used for regular dinner seating, the tables will be utilized by banquet style seating.

Skylight in main dining room
The menu is going to focus on fresh, seasonal items. The one menu item Ryan was excited about is rabbit pot pie. I don't know if I've ever mentioned my anti-pot pie stance (too much like a casserole), but the inclusion of rabbit, an underutilized meat, has me curious. I love rabbit and I can't wait to eat some. They're looking to open the Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange and Manifesto near Thanksgiving. No date has been set, when they're ready to open, they'll open.

Photos were taken by friend of Hot Blog and KC Beer Blog, Ryan McElwain and are a welcome sight compared to the photos I'm capable of taking. For more of Ryan's photos of the Rieger Hotel visit (and become a fan of) the Hot Blog on a Stick Facebook page.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If a urinal cake is also described as "stunning" then that floor is indeed quite stunning. Sometimes 99 year old things are cool, and sometimes they are just old and crappy.