A piece of Kansas City history — now an in-the-works east side business development near one of the city’s famed entertainment districts — is expected to be the home of KC’s first Black-owned brewery, Kemet Coleman confirmed Monday.
“The cat’s out of the bag,” said Coleman, revealing plans for the soon-to-debut Vine Street Brewing company to tap thirsty customers within the just-announced 2000 Vine Street project. The similarly named efforts do not share ownership.
The 2000 Vine Street project — led by three Kansas City entrepreneurs-turned-developers — will see the revitalization of a 140-year-old pair of stone buildings that previously housed the city’s water and street departments just south of the 18th and Vine Jazz District.
Located between The Paseo to the west and Vine Street Studios and the historic Kansas City Workhouse to the east, construction on the 2000 Vine Street project has already begun.
“I truly think it will be the bridge between east and west,” Coleman, an urbanist, rapper and jazz performer, told Startland News.
Vine Street Brewing — led by Coleman, Woodie Bonds and Elliot Ivory — is expected to offer five beers, focusing on core products like pale ale, wheat, and IPA; but the brewery’s real goal is to unite community, Coleman said in a previous story with KCUR, a nonprofit media partner of Startland News.
Click here to read KCUR’s story announcing Vine Street Brewing.
“We see the space being a significant differentiator between us and other breweries,” Coleman said Tuesday, describing the relevance of locating within the 2000 Vine Street project and its proximity to 18th and Vine. “We are in an area that attracts locals, tourists and locals who have yet to spend time on Kansas City’s most famous street. We intend to fully embrace the musical heritage soaked in to the soil and hopefully become a catalyst for the next wave of musicians from Kansas City.”
“From a historic preservation perspective, we really enjoy the ability to create something new in such a historic space,” he continued. “Saving these old buildings is important to our concept.”
Behind the stone walls
The 2000 Vine Street project is a prime location for what Coleman called a “third space,” with its developers adding that the location will also serve more traditional — but needed — business uses.
“We chose these buildings on Vine Street because of their rich history and our desire to help transform the corridor,” said Tim Duggan, principal landscape architect at Phronesis and one of three business owners leading the redevelopment.
Shomari Benton, partner at Benton Lloyd and Chung, and R. Jason Parson, president and CEO of Parson + Associates, have partnered with Duggan to reimagine the buildings.
Once completed, the north end of the site will house the three partners’ businesses and is set to boast an additional 4,500-square-feet of mixed-use retail and office space.
The building’s south end is expected to house Vine Street Brewing, with the developers saying the space would expand such opportunities with a focus on “cultural amenities and potential food options.”
The project also includes plans for widened sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, and a pedestrian-friendly streetscape that connects the mixed-use site to the larger 18th and Vine Jazz District to its north.
“The 18th and Vine [Jazz] District is one of the most recognized Kansas City neighborhoods within and outside of the region,” Benton said. “It’s the founding place of Kansas City barbecue, jazz, and the Negro Leagues — the center of Black Kansas City culture and professional achievement.”
“In order for Kansas City to be at its best, Vine must be at its best.”
Click here to learn more about the 2000 Vine development and its partners.
Stewards of Vine
The partners are guided by their desire to strengthen the heartbeat of the 18th and Vine corridor by creating a space that compliments existing developments and amplifies current business operations and community activities, they said.
“As a minority-owned, service-disabled business owner with an office currently located in the [18th and Vine] district, I’m thrilled to invest in this area which has tremendous meaning to me, both personally and professionally,” Parson said.
“This transformative project has the potential to impact the surrounding community, District and Kansas City in meaningful and powerful ways.”
The project was announced on the heels of a new commitment by the city council to expand existing support and reinvest in projects that would rehabilitate the outdated 18th and Vine District.
Click here to learn more in this KCTV5 News report.
Coleman sees the potential to prove Vine Street Brewing’s concept within the 2000 Vine Street project, he said.
“It’s huge for us. We are excited at the boundless opportunities that could come from Kansas City’s first owned brewery and we are committed to being the best stewards of 18th & Vine as possible,” Coleman said. “We see how breweries have benefited the local economy and culture. The pressure is on, but we are up to the challenge of being a gateway to a thriving Jazz District to be an of how communities of color can add commercial, social and cultural density without displacement.”
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic development. The Foundation works to change conditions, address root causes, and break down systemic barriers so that all people – regardless of race, gender, or geography – have the opportunity to achieve economic stability, mobility, and prosperity.