Ryan Maybee is a restaurateur with expertise in the fields of wine, spirits and mixology. He began his career in the industry as a bartender at a Kansas City icon, Pierpont’s at Union Station in 1999. By the time of his departure in 2004, he held the position of sommelier and created the bar’s 48 page cocktail menu. In 2006, he opened JP Wine Bar and Coffee House in Kansas City as co-owner and general manager. JP’s phenomenal success allowed Maybee to invest further in his beverage education and pursue other ventures.
Maybee’s educational efforts paid off as he passed the introductory level sommelier certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers, became a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) from the Society of Wine Educators, and in 2012 became the first person to complete the Bar Master Certification from Beverage Alcohol Resource in New York City. Beverage Alcohol Resource is an internationally accredited mixology and spirits organization equivalent to the Court of Master Sommeliers. Further, Maybee was named Bartender of the Year through the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association (2003), was a finalist in the international Vinos de Jerez Cocktail Competition (2007), and world-finalist in the Angostura Bitters Global Cocktail Challenge (2012). He also co-founded the Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition, now in its 6th year, The Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival, and the Kansas City Bartenders Alliance, a local guild of creative and passionate bartenders.
His creative libations have received national acclaim being featured in such top-tier publications as Wine Enthusiast, Food and Wine, Market Watch, The New Yorker, Vogue, GQ, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s Guide, Imbibe, The Bartenders Gin Compendium, and Bartender Magazine. Gaz Regan’s Annual Manual for Bartenders named him one of 8 “Fabulous Innovators” in 2011 for his technique for smoking whiskey, and his original cocktail, the “Smokin’ Choke” was awarded Innovative Cocktail of the Year in 2010 by the Institute for Cocktail Excellence.
In 2009, he opened Manifesto, a small, speakeasy like bar focusing on classically inspired cocktails using all fresh and homemade ingredients. The bar has received overwhelming local and national attention by being noticed in The New York Times, Esquire, Food & Wine, Imbibe, and winning Small Wonder Bar of the Year 2010 by Nightclub & Bar Magazine. In 2011 he partnered with Chef Howard Hanna to open a restaurant, The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange, in the same building as Manifesto.