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Best New Restaurant 

The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange

1924 Main | 816-471-2177

When bartender Ryan Maybee and chef Howard Hanna decided to pool their talents and resources to open a restaurant, they looked at other venues but couldn't shake their vision of claiming the tiled lobby of the 96-year-old Rieger Hotel. Over the decades, the place had been a country-western saloon, a decadent gay bar and, most recently, an upscale boîte called 1924 Main (under which Maybee had already established a swanky basement speakeasy called Manifesto). The Maybee-Hanna collaboration has turned the old building into something altogether new and thoroughly exciting: an immediate hit with diners that fires on all cylinders every hour it's open. And no wonder — there's a surplus of talent here, with the best bartenders and servers in the city and Hanna's imaginative but comfortingly familiar array of dishes. The Rieger was an immediate culinary sensation in the Crossroads, and since opening last December, it has become a citywide destination. KC has no more convincing proof that brilliant food and the right location add up to art.

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