Speakeasy Cafe now open in historic building in the Carondelet neighborhood of south St. Louis
Speakeasy Cafe, a Prohibition-era style coffee shop at 527 Holly Hills Ave. in Carondelet, opened in early March, as reported by the Riverfront Times. The building, which previously housed a fully functioning speakeasy, was remodeled after not having been utilized since the 1930s and is now filled corner-to-corner with original furniture, artwork and decorations from the early 20th century. Owner Michael de Long intends to give anyone who comes into his shop “something delicious and affordable to drink.”
The menu consists mostly of locally sourced food and drinks, including pastries like muffins, Danishes and croissants, and some desserts. For those seeking a heartier and more savory option, the menu also features housemade chicken salad and tuna salad sandwiches, along with a classic breakfast sandwich consisting of turkey sausage and a three-cheese egg scramble on a freshly baked croissant. As for beverages, coffee is available in many formats with a multitude of flavored syrups. In particular, the cafe mocha-mint is a favorite among the customers, described by De Long as a “cornerstone” of the menu. Juices and smoothies of various flavors are also available.
The coffee, brewed in-house, is made from Dubuque Coffee Co.’s cafe noir bean, a product that De Long, a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, speaks highly about. “I've traveled the world and I've had coffee in multitudes of countries. I’m someone who has drunk coffee from as far east, west, north and south as you can possibly go, and this stuff is absolutely amazing,” said De Long. “I have yet to have someone try it for the first time who is not thoroughly impressed by it.”
The 950-square-foot building contains 31 tables and 51 seats within the interior, both on the first floor and basement, a majority of which is refurbished, antique furniture from the Prohibition era, including clawfoot-style tables and chairs from theaters. Additionally, the interior features a hidden room that can be rented out for private events and houses public poetry nights on Saturdays from 7 to 11 p.m. after the cafe has closed.
Currently, the patio near the entrance holds 10 tables outside, along with 14 chairs and a bench. Plans to add an additional 350-square-foot patio with a pergola are currently underway, with hopes to showcase live music, in particular local jazz musicians, when the weather allows.
De Long not only hopes to provide superb food and drink and a welcoming atmosphere, but exceptional customer service as well.
“My main goal is paying attention to the client and catering to their needs, one client at a time. I serve a whole list of walks of life,” De Long said. “Some people are in a hurry, some people just want to hang out. I've got to cater to all of those needs and wants, and that's what I'm focusing on.”
Speakeasy Cafe is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday through Friday, and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. To stay up to date, sign up for Speakeasy Cafe’s mailing list on the website or follow on Facebook.