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New Year’s Eve speakeasy party; a Roaring (Twenties) good time of dinner and dancing

December 23, 2013

HAWLEY, PA — The idea of the Roaring Twenties evokes images of jazz bands; flappers with bobbed hair; couples dancing the Charleston, the Foxtrot and the Black Bottom; Art Deco design; Prohibition booze and speakeasies. Next Tuesday evening, a recreated speakeasy will take over the restaurant and lounge at in Hawley’s Silk Mill, as a crowd of revelers rolls back the clock to the 1920s before ringing in the New Year.

A convergence of circumstances led to the idea of creating a speakeasy on New Year’s Eve, according to Justin Genzlinger, proprietor at Ledges Hotel in the Silk Mill. First there was an enjoyable evening at a speakeasy in New York City spent by one of the Silk Mill’s owners. That planted the thought, soon to be followed by a chance meeting with a local distiller making Prohibition-style whiskey (The Catskill Distilling Company in Bethel, NY).

Interestingly, long before the Silk Mill project was even conceived, the Genzlinger family used to host speakeasy parties at The Settlers Inn in the 1990s. “We all thought it would be kind of fun to bring back the idea for a different generation,” Genzlinger said. “And we felt The Ledges was perfect with its underground bar, which has a kind of industrial feel.”

Earlier this year, in June, to prepare for this New Year’s Eve, in The Ledges hosted a casual evening where Prohibition era cocktails were served, followed in November by a dress-up event WITH guests who were invited to wear Roaring Twenties costumes. And now, on December 31, there will be a special meal, guests and staff wearing 1920s costumes, period music and dancing, all followed by a toast at midnight.
To start the evening “we will take over the hotel lobby and the Great Room for a welcoming area,” Genzlinger explained. “There will be whisky sampling, charcuterie and hors d’oeuvres upstairs in the hotel. We don’t do that very often.”

Downstairs, the bar will offer a special cocktail menu, and then dinner in the restaurant with a five course menu of the chef’s contemporary take on dishes inspired by some that in vogue in the 1920s. There will be two seatings. See the menu at