The Mob Museum Underground Speakeasy and Distillery located in Las Vegas, Nevada was recently recognized with two awards one for the restoration of the museum built inside a former post office and for a Gold Medal for one of its Moonshines. Yes, this Museum has a fully operational distillery hidden below street level. It’s kind of ironic that a one-time U.S. Government Post Office building is running a legal still.
The Restored 1933 Former Courthouse and Post Office
The Mob Museum is the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. Interesting juxtaposition here. The Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides a world-class, interactive journey through true stories—from the birth of the Mob to today’s headlines. The Mob Museum offers a contemporary look at these topics through hundreds of artifacts and immersive storylines. It debuted a major renovation in 2018, including a Crime Lab, Use of Force Training Experience, and Organized Crime Today exhibit as well as The Underground, a basement-level Prohibition history exhibition featuring a speakeasy and fully licensed and operational distillery. In 2015 the museum was named one of TripAdvisor’s “Top 25 U.S. Museums.”
A Two Time Urban Design Award Winner for Historic Preservation
In 2006, then Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman created the Mayor’s Urban Design Awards (MUDAs) to promote and encourage premium urban design principles. The Historic Preservation Adaptive Reuse category includes buildings that are over 50 years old, have been preserved and rehabilitated for adaptive reuse, or have incorporated green energy technology. Priority to the category is given to the entries and projects that have retained as much of the significant historic fabric as possible.
This year’s award is the second Mayor’s Urban Design Award in the Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse category, this time for The Underground Prohibition history exhibition in the Museum’s basement. The Underground is an immersive Prohibition history exhibit, featuring a distillery, speakeasy and private VIP room located in the basement of The Mob Museum.
“We’re honored and thrilled to be a recipient of another MUDA award,” said Jonathan Ullman, president and CEO of The Mob Museum. “We are proud to occupy our historic building, which is on the National Register of Historic places. It’s also tremendously gratifying to be recognized by the City for our most recent preservation efforts.”
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The Underground Prohibition Era Exhibit Featuring the “Virginia Still”
The distillery features a custom-made, copper-pot still, dubbed “Virginia Still” after mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s notorious girlfriend Virginia Hill, has a capacity of 60 gallons and can serve up to 250 750-mL jars of moonshine per week. The Underground also brews and serves craft beer onsite. Artifacts from the 1920s and 1930s on display tell the intriguing story of the Prohibition era, which not only saw a proliferation of bootlegged booze and the meteoric growth of outfits, but also had a profound, lasting impact on society and culture.
“The Fifty Best” Award for Moonshine
I’m not too familiar with this award but they did have many recognizable names in the competition so we’ll share the news in their words. “The Fifty Best recently hosted a moonshine tasting where entries were evaluated using professional criteria, and a panel of judges blind-tasted the American unaged white whiskeys. After tallying scores of the contestants, medals were awarded to highest scoring contenders based on the judges’ critique. The Underground Moonshine’s Double Gold award was the highest recognition granted in this year’s tasting.”
“We’ve worked hard to produce a truly authentic 100 percent corn moonshine,” remarked Cole Miller, distillery manager. “We are thrilled people love the taste and receiving the Double Gold Medal recognition is a true honor!”
Want to Get Free Admission to the Underground? We Know a Guy
If you are in Las Vegas, this place looks like it’s worth a visit. They do charge for admission but, “Hey, we know a guy.” We know a secret that you can’t tell anyone. We know how to get free admission to the museum but you can’t tell anyone or someone’s going to hear about it. You wanna’ try it? We dare you, in fact, we double dawg dare you.
Go to the Mob Museum’s second Instagram account (you know kind of like your kids have two accounts, the one you know about and the other one) and grab the code. Go to the Mob Museum Underground Instagram account and click on the story mark Password. Pretty clever!
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