The motto at Vintage ’78 Wine Bar is to drink well more often. Featuring one of the largest and most diverse selections of wine by the glass in the country with incremental pour sizes and flights, this world-class wine experience located in the heart of Downtown Overland Park is a fun and accessible way for all to enjoy life’s little indulgences.
Owner Michael Scherzberg put ’78 in the name because it was an excellent year for California, French and Italian wines, and also the year he was born.
“1978 was an exceptional year for wines in the Rhone Valley, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Piedmont, Tuscany, and California. It also happens to be my birth year,” says Scherzberg. “We wanted a name that would resonate with our target market: Gen Xers, younger Baby Boomers and Millennials. Part of the design of our space is meant to look like a timeless wine bar that has been there for decades, as if the apartment building we are housed in was built around us.
“I’ve been developing and refining a number of restaurant concepts over the past ten years. I’ve reached a point in my career where I felt it was time to create something of my own. When my team and I began to flesh out the details of this smaller concept, we knew there was a need for a place to enjoy exceptional wines in a way that was far more accessible and approachable than our competitors.”
First-time guests can expect a chic new spot to pop a cork with genuine hospitality—their service team is ready to help anyone discover a new favorite.
“We want our space to feel like Cheers, but for wine lovers. All of our wines are served in varietal specific Riedel crystal, and pricing on our higher-end wines is below retail pricing. Beyond wine, we have a large selection of artisan and farmstead cheeses from around the world, as well as a large selection of charcuterie from some of the world’s best producers. Our staff is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and can help our guests to craft whatever kind of experience they would like to enjoy. When you walk into the space you will see a giant 15’ x 6’ window into our wine cellar, charcuterie hanging in the window, a large cheese grotto at the end of the bar next to the kitchen, and shelf after shelf of beautiful Riedel crystal behind the bar. Everything was created with the goal of being the absolute best place in Kansas City for wine lovers and to encourage people to drink well more often.”
Pair your wine with appetizers and snacks like truffle popcorn and assorted olives, paninis and sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts like affogato toast and rum cake.
"We don’t have a full kitchen, so there are a few limitations –most wine bars are limited by this and often serve very similar, somewhat uninspired, menus. We looked at this as a challenge and have developed a menu of craveable American classics such as grilled cheese and tomato soup and homemade chicken noodle soup—these are two dishes that I’m often let down if I don't find them available. We also have some of my favorite things to eat, like steak tartare and our ahi sashimi. We have tried to keep the flavors simple, execute with classical technique, and over-deliver on wine bar cuisine. Having a talented Chef like Kyle Ketchum on the team means there is no limit to the creativity of our menu, despite the limitations.”
As for the future, Scherzberg has plans to open other locations when the timing is right.
“We believe in controlled growth—we aren’t looking to quickly open several restaurants. We want to develop our team and ensure we have enough strong people to help us open new locations and maintain our culture. To do this we have developed an industry-leading benefits package that includes ongoing training onsite, professional certifications and development with a number of trade organizations, and we cover the cost of tuition and books for those wishing to continue their education in hospitality, culinary arts, or a number of other business-related degrees through JCCC. Our plan is to develop leaders who can help us grow.”
Vintage ’78 Wine Bar is located at 7251 West 80th Street in Overland Park. For more information, visit vintage78winebar.com.
Article by Allison Swan
Photography by Janie Jones
Originally published in Johnson County City Lifestyle