After the Lord Baltimore Hotel opened its rooftop hangout LB Skybar for its first full season this summer, word spread fast. Warm weekends were typically busy, and after it closed for the season, visitors were still stopping by to see if it were open, despite 40-degree weather.
On Dec. 7, the downtown hotel hopes to replicate the Skybar’s success — but indoors — with the opening of its new bar, LB Speakeasy. The room holds 60 people, and will be open 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday nights.
“The idea was just to make it sexy,” said Lord Baltimore Hotel general manager Gene-Michael Addis on Wednesday, standing next to the circular, quilted-patterned white bar. “It’s not a normal bar. It’s not a normal room, but it’s very inviting, I think.”
The LB Speakeasy space was an actual speakeasy that discretely served alcohol during Prohibition, Addis said. After the alcohol ban was lifted, the area went unused for decades. After Rubell Hotels purchased the hotel in 2014 and began renovating it, the former speakeasy area was found again behind a wall of the hotel’s restaurant, the French Kitchen.
The new speakeasy was built out this summer, Addis said. With high ceilings, large mirrors and a bold white bar in the space’s center, the speakeasy makes a striking first impression.
“The quilting and the white bar and the white leather [seats] are really indicative of that decadent ‘20s and ‘30s era,” Addis said. “It’s not something you’ll see very readily.”
A smaller lounge is attached to the bar, and in true speakeasy fashion, its entrance blends nearly seamlessly into the mirrored wall. (Look for the silver handle in the back right corner after you walk in.) The extra room features a fireplace, a couch and chairs, and further renovations in January will add a second-floor extension, accessible via a spiral staircase.
The bar will sell beer, but it doesn’t have draft lines. Instead, the focus is on the cocktail menu, which features a dozen choices, including the Mary Pickford (Havana Club rum, Maraschino liqueur, pineapple juice and grenadine) and the White Manhattan (Hudson White Whiskey, Luxardo liqueur, rhubarb bitters and cherry). All cocktails are $12.
Food can also be ordered from the menu of the French Kitchen, whose dining room is next to the speakeasy.
The LB Speakeasy will be open to the public, and has a “smart casual” dress code, Addis said.