Bringing back the glamour of the 1920s, Charlotte’s Speakeasy in Farmingdale has sprung to life as a prohibition-era speakeasy where, beyond a bookcase, gold wall covering whispers stories of a roaring era. Hidden with much history, it took the owners by surprise.
Brothers Nick and John DeVito, who opened the spot in November, were looking for a mixed-use building to move their NYC-based printing company Manhattan Business Forms. After about two years, they found a building that met their requirements on Farmingdale’s Main Street.
“I always liked the village because it was like an old-fashioned Main Street,” Nick said. “There aren’t a lot of those kinds of places left on Long Island.”
The duo bought the property in 2013 and decided to open Charlotte’s Frozen Yogurt in the main retail space. Unbeknownst to them, it sat directly above a basement with 12-foot ceilings, tin walls, a beautiful archway and an alternate exit leading into the building next door. Once they discovered it was a speakeasy, the brothers knew they had to revive history.
Everything in the basement was used or repurposed including the old wooden posts and the tin ceiling. What remained to be completed: the secret door. A contractor turned a bookcase in Charlotte’s Frozen Yogurt into the speakeasy’s entrance. Changed weekly, the speakeasy’s password can be found on Charlotte’s website.
Matt Zeiss, the speakeasy’s head bartender, developed Charlotte’s drink menu. Thirsty bar-goers will find several signature drinks: 1920’s Mule, The Capone, Sidecar, Gin Rickey, Prohibition Fizz, Bourbon Peach Palmer, The Georgia Special, Blueberry Pancake Martini, The Bombasil and New Old-Fashioned. Wine and domestic and imported beer are also available.
The food menu features light fare with bar staples like pizza, chicken wings, pommes frites and meatball sliders.
“If you are looking for a big meal, I encourage people to go to one of the great restaurants on Main Street, then come to us for drinks and jazz music in a cool, comfortable atmosphere,” John said.