#80 – Manifesto
1924 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64108
Good for: Drinking with your pinky up.
Features: Hand-crafted cocktails made with local liquor.
Tip: Order off their seasonal menu for especially delightful cocktails.
Manifesto is a secret speakeasy-style bar located in the basement of the The Rieger restaurant and hotel in Kansas City. Manifesto pays homage to Kansas City and The Rieger’s vast Prohibition-era history.
Shhhhh. It’s a secret. (Thanks for the opening line, Q).
In the hey-day of the Prohibition, the space that now holds Manifesto was a real speakeasy and visited by gangsters like Tom Pendergast and Al Capone. Manifesto reopened in the basement of The Rieger in 2009.
Reservations online or via text are required as the bar is small and fills up fast.
You can get to Manifesto through the front doors of The Rieger, or through the back entrance in the alleyway. A host will lead you down to the bar. Watch your step – Manifesto is lit by only candles to encompass the speakeasy vibe. It can be a bit disorienting at first, but a fun and relaxing ambiance once your eyes adjust.
What to Get at Manifesto
Upstairs, The Rieger has fantastic cocktails, but a trip downstairs will blow you away.
These craft cocktails are a step above the rest. Some of the drinks even feature the J. Rieger & Co. whiskey, vodka and gin. While Manifesto’s menu changes seasonally, they have wonderful classics you can enjoy year round. A few of my favorites:
- Winter in Buenos Aires – Cachaca, honey, lemon, roasted butternut squash. (I know – butternut squash in a drink? It was delightfully subtle and delicious)
- Girl from Cadiz – Gin, sherry, lemon, mint and dried juniper berries.
- Devil’s Advocate – Tequila, crème de cassis, lime, ginger and pear cider.
As long as you know your favorite liquor, the wait staff is happy to suggest something you will enjoy.
The drinks are pricey – you’ll pay $10-15 for one drink. Other craft cocktail bars in the area, like Tom’s Town and P.S., are similarly priced, so hang out for a drink or two, but not the whole night. xx, Libbie.