It’s been a hard year. Time for a speakeasy.
The owners of Dr. Tumblety’s Time-Inspired Specialty Shop at 753 E. Warrington Ave. in Allentown are adding a boozy addition to their business, complete with a hidden passageway to the action.
Storyville Lounge, named after New Orleans’ infamous red-light district circa 1900, will boast burgundy walls, Victorian-era décor and a bar stocked with local beers and Pennsylvania-made libations, including the establishment’s own. You’ll be able to access the haunt through a custom-designed bookcase, which may or may not be a time portal.
Inside, you can sip a classic cocktail and listen to Big Easy blues and jazz. The spot will be available to rent if you want to add some French Quarter mystique to your private event.
The lounge is expected to open this fall.
Co-owners Jesse Mader and Mike Miles say everything they do is inspired by spirits, both liquid and ethereal.
“I love exploring haunted hotels and bars and drinking classic cocktails that have been around for centuries,” Mader says. “We wanted to infuse that into our business.”
Miles will operate the 100-gallon copper still he built in the rear of the 5,000-square-foot space. Their company, Inspired by Spirits Distilling Co., will produce, bottle and sell bourbon, brandy, rum, gin, vodka and more. Miles hopes to partner with Hilltop Urban Farm to supply fresh ingredients for the old-fashioned elixirs.
To raise funds for the project, the friends — both Hilltop natives — launched a Honeycomb Credit campaign and are selling hand-crafted copper pot and reflux stills ranging in size from six to 50 gallons, with options to customize. Miles says their construction, like the distilling process itself, is more of an art form.
“It’s a hobby that turned into an obsession,” he says. “It’s functional art rather than a piece of equipment.”