Speakeasy comes to Rockland
2 Park StreetRockland Maine 04841United States
Rockland — Shhhhhh, it’s a secret. It’s a speakeasy and it is in Rockland.
Although speakeasies were popular during Prohibition, they were also called Blind Pigs and Blind Tigers. It was a secret place that served bootleg alcohol and they waned after Prohibition was repealed in 1933. The Chowder House at 2 Park St., in the Trade Winds Motel, is set to open The Speakeasy Nov. 1, with a Great Gatsby Costume Party.
Owners Kevin and Kathleen LaBree recently acquired The Chowder House and decided to utilize a space that, as Kathleen puts it, lends itself to being a speakeasy.
“It’s underground, it feels very private, there’s a big closed door to it, you enter through an area that you wouldn’t think you’re going to see something nice and all of a sudden you walk into a space that’s kind of special,” she said.
Do I need to know a password?
“We are going to put passwords out there for certain events,” she said. “We’re initially going to be open Friday and Saturday nights, but we are working on doing an open mic night for Thursdays. We will have live entertainment on Saturdays and DJs, too. And as you can see there’s a really nice dance floor. It’s not necessarily going to be for dinner, but there are going to be different styles of platters that will be finger food for two. There will be a Seafood Platter, a Bar-B-Q Platter and an Antipasto Platter, all priced under $10.
What type of a crowd are you trying to attract?
“I would say 35 and above,” she said. “It’s for someone who wants a nice night out, a great date place. The place was actually a bar for quite a while. It was called the Underground. It was a sports bar, they had pool tables here. I don’t think it’s been anything for a couple of years. We took over the Chowder House in August and both my husband Kevin and I thought this would be a great place for a speakeasy as soon as we saw it. We both thought the same thing almost immediately. I feel like it fills a niche in the social scene for this area that’s just not out there right now.
“We live in Thomaston. My son, Kyle Weaver, is bar manager here. Kevin is from Old Town and I’m from South Bristol. I’ve been in this area since 2008 and Kevin has been here a lot longer than that, since the late 1990s. We occupy the busiest corner in Rockland and it’s really central to everything in Rockland. I think this will work very well with the clientele that is in the area right now.”
The Grand Opening of The Speakeasy, featuring the Great Gatsby Costume Party Nov. 1, will bring the swing sounds of Brian Catell and the Jump City Jazz Band. Tickets are $15 per person and included dancing, entertainment and hors d’oeuvres. Also prizes awarded for the best Bonnie and Clyde, Zoot Suit and Flapper costumes. Call 596-6661 ext 606, or stop by the Chowder House for tickets and details — including the password to get in. Happy Hour begins at 6 p.m.