Conductor Club The 1853

The 1853 is a take on a 1934 Cosmopolitan that uses Restless Spirits Builder’s Botanical gin and raspberry instead of vodka and cranberry. 

Pierpont’s at Union Station has now reopened for distanced dine-in and curbside carryout, and their top-notch bar management team has repurposed a party room next door to the popular steakhouse into a brand-new cocktail experience.

The Conductor Club is a new tasting club that hosts unique spirit and cocktail experiences from Pierpont’s Belvedere Room, located on the 2nd floor of Union Station with bird’s eye views of the Grand Hall.

Accessible through a secret stairwell inside Kansas City's Union Station, the repurposed party-room-turned-cocktail-club has limited seating and will be following all the necessary guidelines set by the city to ensure proper social distancing.

“We are basically taking our private event space that is under-utilized today with the coronavirus having cancelled so many events, and we are bringing new energy into it with the Conductor Club,” says Stephen Valenti, vice president of marketing and public relations for both Hereford House and Pierpont’s at Union Station.

Looking to draw a serious craft cocktail crowd, the re-imagined space will still function as a party room when that business returns, but for now, it will be used to host tasting events on Thursdays with national and local distilleries.

Tonight, the Conductor Club will meet for their third tasting event featuring Benay Shannon, co-founder and master distiller for Restless Spirits Distilling Co., and Michael Shannon, co-founder and president, who will both discuss the history and secrets behind their local spirits line.

Guests will pay $49 per person to hear from the Shannons, enjoy some light food, sample each spirit individually and then enjoy a mini cocktail featuring each spirit to understand how expertly crafted liquor can change the essence of a cocktail.

Everyone will start with a welcome cocktail featuring Duffy's Run vodka, and from there, guests will taste Restless Spirits Builders Gin, Stone Breaker Whiskey, Sons of Erin Irish Whiskey, Gullytown Malt Whiskey and Stone Breaker Cinnamon Whiskey with cocktails highlighting each spirit afterwards. There are just a few tickets left for the Restless Spirits tasting; those can be purchased here.

Service for this tasting event will be provided by Scott Deigert, bar manager at Pierpont's, and Kenny Cohrs, director of guest services and special events for Hereford House Restaurant Group. The two have been working together on the bar program for the restaurant group while kicking around this idea of starting a cocktail club.

“When Union Station was closed during the quarantine, Scott and I explored every inch of this place, and that’s how we discovered this cool, old staircase that led to the back of the Belvedere Room next to Pierpont’s on the second floor,” says Cohrs. “With no real money to throw at a separate space right now, repurposing this private party room into the Conductor Club was a way to take advantage of this little known space we already had.”

Starting in early July, they plan to open up the Conductor Club on Fridays and Saturdays, making it a hidden spot where guests can grab a drink and a meal while sitting and listening to some live jazz with second story views of the amazing architectural details of Union Station.

Deigert and Cohrs have big plans for how they would like to eventually remodel the long, narrow and rectangular space into something fitting for something called the Conductor Club.

“We have been looking at old bar cars on trains for design inspiration for this space,” Deigert says. “Movies like Holiday Inn, and even Polar Express, give us ideas on how we could make this space feel like people are drinking inside of an old bar car on a train with a full bar and bar stools, a curved roof and tufted leather booths that sit underneath luggage racks full of suitcases."

They don’t want anything too posh or too shiny; they want the Conductor Club to look lived-in. The food, wine, beer and cocktail menus will all be limited, just like you would find in a bar car on a train.

Those looking to find the Conductor Club will need to park in Union Station's main parking lot and come in through the east side doors. Stop by the Pierpont's host stand and they will direct you to the secret staircase.

Like and follow Conductor Club on Facebook or Instagram to learn more about their tasting events, and send a direct message to either account to be placed on their email list to be notified of future events.

Conductor Club by Pierpont’s at Union Station, 30 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.221.5111, instagram.com/conductorclubkc