A SpeakEasy Grows in Brooklyn

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Today is your lucky day. At my speakeasy (not that there was one, hypothetically only of course), patrons were not allowed to disclose the address (not that it existed) nor take photographs of the goings-on nor even blog about the experience (what experience? ….exactly). However, I recently attended a newly created SpeakEasy in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn and was given permission to pass on some information to the public.

This past Thursday, I first attended an HBO screening of the Oscar nominated documentary, “The Final Inch”. One of the producers of the film, Tom Grant, is a dear friend and I was all too happy to see the film (incredible yet staggering account of the fight against polio in India). Although this post is about the Speak Easy that I visited afterward, I have to mention the screening where I experienced the most extraordinary piece of customer service ever. And it deserves some attention. As mentioned, the screening was at HBO on Sixth Avenue. It was a wonderfully catered affair. I enjoyed the shrimp ceviche, the baked brie (maybe enjoyed that too much) and the Pinot Noir. While I was chatting with Tom, a waitstaff came over to us and offered a small dish of mac n cheese. I was beside myself. Mac n Cheese is my drug of choice. As I reached for it off her serving tray, she continued “yes, Mac n cheese, with truffles (yum) and bacon (oh no!)”. At the mention of bacon, I returned the dish to her tray and said I did not eat meat. No big deal. I came to the screening to see the film and support my friend. It was all good.

About 15 minutes later, I am chatting with some new friends and a different waitstaff comes towards us. It looks like she is carrying crabcakes (yum! I’m fine with seafood). Yet, I notice her looking at us yet still keeping her distance. “Whatcha got there?” I asked. To which she immediately replied that she was so sorry but she was serving meatballs but there were plenty of different vegetarian options on the main table and again she was very sorry. Astonishing. In case you missed why my amazement: there were at least 150 people there and somehow in a matter of minutes, the other waiters were made aware that I was a vegetarian. Wow. I was honored.

Ok. After HBO, I took the A Train (sing if you wish) to Bed Stuy, a Brooklyn neighborhood brimming with black artists and entrepreneurs. Once there, I walked about 4 blocks from the subway station, made a right, entered a gate and used the side door to a lovely brownstone. Even before entering, I could hear the lively thump thump of music playing and saw the warm glow of the interior lights. Zero drama at the door. My friends were DJing: a nice blend of African jazz, 70s soul. The bartender poured me a glass of Makers Mark and I made my rounds. An intro here and there. There were only about 20 people there which was fine by me. The previous week, I heard, was jam packed, but I was in the mood for some music, bourbon and an easy chat with friends.

I played a few games of pool, watched some of the Utah v Minnesota NBA game on the flat screen and prepared for my leave.

The vibe was exactly what I desired. What I loved about my Speak Easy was that people could come and go as they pleased, early before another party or late late before heading off to bed. Get a quality glass of nip (their bar is very well stocked. Plus there was some tempting looking cupcakes). Meet some new friends. Girls looked stylish. Men had their shit together. Play a game of pool, chess or cards. Relax like it was your basement or living-room.

If you are interested in attending The Get Together Speak Easy, email my friends. There is no cover (a Speak Easy that charges a cover is a scam and should be ashamed) however, the space is limited. Its in your best interest to rsvp and tell them how many people are in your party. Ideal spot for a birthday party, a reunion with some good friends, maybe even a film wrap party.

Just tell them Auntie Carrie sent ya.

ps That image is an oil painting I did inspired by another Speak Easy of sorts.

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~ by Cybel Martin on April 4, 2009.

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