A long dormant 1920s speakeasy is about to again see the light of day — or rather, the glow of low lamps and sound of cocktails being shaken.
Charlotte’s Speakeasy opens at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24, and can be found behind a “secret” door (disguised by a bookshelf) at the back of an ice cream parlor on Farmingdale’s Main Street.
That door, which creeks ominously when opened, reveals steps that descend into a cellar space reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties with ornate wallpaper, tin ceilings, a mirrored bar, plus couches, wingchairs and wooden tables. Another set of steps lead up through an archway to a back patio, and the menu is devoted to craft cocktails, wines and beers, plus a handful of small plates.
The bar’s retro details were uncovered and revived by owners Nick and John DeVito, who are also brothers. “It’s a one-of-a-kind bar,” said Nick DeVito.
In 2013, the DeVitos purchased the 1907 building and opened Charlotte’s, a bright ice cream and frozen yogurt parlor named for their mother. Eventually, they learned their cellar once held a Prohibition-era speakeasy, and gradually unearthed its remnants — that ornate tin ceiling, a tin wall covering, an arched exit to the backyard and another secret exit into a neighboring store.
After a six-month renovation, the brothers have revived the speakeasy, using support beams from the cellar to build the bartop and bits of the tin wall covering for the menus. “Everyone who is holding a menu is holding a piece of history,” DeVito said.
Nine signature cocktails include a Bourbon Beach Palmer (Bulleit Bourbon, apricot brandy, peach nectar, iced tea, lemonade, honey, and sliced peach and lemon, $12) and a Gin Rickey (Hendrick’s Gin, St-Germain, club soda and lemon peel, $9.50). Charlotte’s Speakeasy will also pour 12 wines by the glass and a range of beers — including draft pints of Montauk Brewing Company Wave Chaser IPA ($7).
The succinct food menu centers on small plates that go with cocktails: Charcuterie or cheese plates ($13 each), meatball or sausage sliders ($9), wings ($13, buffalo or scarpariello) and pizza ($11) among them.
Charlotte’s will be open Thursday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m. to midnight or 1 a.m.
Charlotte’s Speakeasy, 294 Main St., Farmingdale. 516- 586-8530.