Kansas City-distilled Tom’s Town is pouring expansion into the headlines as the company’s spirits quench a national thirst for craft liquor, said Steve Revare.
“[Our success] has really exceeded our expectations,” said Revare, founder factotum, describing Tom’s Town’s coming 10-state rollout. “With the quality of our spirits, the packaging, and the rich story behind it — as well as the great people we have working here — we feel like it’s really going to take off.”
Relaunched under less-regionally-specific names, Tom’s Town spirits will soon be available to purchase in New York, Illinois, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Additionally, spirits will be shaken, stirred, and served behind the bars of restaurants in the historic Palm Restaurant Group, which is headquartered in Washington D.C. and operates high-end establishments across the country, Revare revealed.
“We were able to get a partnership with them — our Royal Gold [bourbon] and our gin is on the back bar,” he said. “That partnership is really just beginning and we hope it’ll grow.”
First proofed in 2015, Tom’s Town has seen rapid growth in the distilling space, Revare acknowledged.
“We’re making some spirits that people are really responding to and that excites us,” he said.
USA Today named Tom’s Town the country’s best craft vodka distillery of 2017.
Customers have also reacted positively to the unique look and feel of the Tom’s Town brand — an art deco play on noire-era Kansas City when corrupt politician and company namesake Tom Pendergast roamed the Crossroads, building a legacy for himself by openly ignoring Prohibition rules that outlawed liquor, Revare said, weaving a picture of the inspiration for Tom’s Town.
The company’s slogan — painted aside the Tom’s Town location on Kansas City’s Main Street — echoes Pendergast’s response to those asking how he managed get away with usurping the law and creating his own rules: “The People Are Thirsty,” Pendergast said.
“[The brand] is designed to harken back to those those days — sort of the aesthetic of the time, of The Great Gatsby,” Revare explained. “Building the Tom’s Town restaurant and bar [on Main Street], its representative of that era.”
Ahead of the brand’s national rollout, Tom’s Town completely redesigned its bottles, he added.
“Our designer did a lot of research on motifs of the era. The bottles broaden out at the top. It’s a very optimistic design,” Revare said of the idea behind the new look, inspired by the beacon atop the Power and Light building. “It was designed for people to look up to, and be inspired and hopefully raise their expectations of what their life could be out of the Depression.”
A national launch event is planned for later this fall in New York.