The legacy of Tom Pendergast comes alive

October 16, 2019 - 5:43 am
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's not your average speakeasy. The brand new Pendergast Lounge at Tom's Town Distilling Co. on Main Street downtown is an homage to Kansas City's legendary mob boss, Tom Pendergast.

Distillery cofounder David Epstein told KMBZ that what separates the Pendergast Lounge from other speakeasies in town is its tributes to KC's history. 

"He created, and sparked, this cultural revolution in Kansas City," Epstein said. "Since there was not one alcohol-related arrest in Kansas City during prohibition, and that was unlike any other place in the country. And that's all because of Pendergast."

Cheers to everyone who came out to celebrate the grand opening of the luxurious Pendergast Lounge -- Boss Tom would be glad to know the people are still thirsty! Stay tuned for details on upcoming live music nights in the lounge… pic.twitter.com/hH9Wzj5yOq

— Tom's Town (@toms_town) October 11, 2019
Hanging on the walls are portraits of some of the Kansas City area's most legendary residents, who gaze down upon customers enjoying plush leather upholstered couches, velvet-draped ottomans, a cozy fireplace and prohibition-era inspired cocktails.

One of those is of F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose classic novel the Great Gatsby may have had some KC inspiration. 

"Many people think that Gatsby was entirety based on the Tom Pendergast story," Epstein explained. "So we're trying to remind people again, this is, and was, such a cool place."

The entire experience is very Gatsby-esque, and if you get there early enough, or are willing to wait to get in, you'll be able to sip a cocktail inspired by, and in the shadow of, Pendergast himself. 

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