What Fort Wayne Needs: A Speakeasy

At Pique, we sure-as-heck love this city, and there are more than a million reasons to keep loving it. However, there are about a million businesses, clubs, attractions, and improvements that Fort Wayne could acquire (preferably this decade) to make things even better here.

Like any city, there is always room for improvement. So each week we’re going to highlight one potential improvement with hopes someone out there is reading who can #MakeItHappen.


Vol. 3:

A Speakeasy

Low lights. Soft music. Quiet conversation. The unmentioned sleaze that probably isn’t taking place, but it’s fun to imagine anyway.

Now I’m aware that prohibition ended in (quickly Googled “When did prohibition end?) 1933… but speakeasies are the epitome of cool. I can’t think of anything more suave than taking someone out on a date and after dinner leading them down a dark alley (now just hold on) to some random door or passageway. With a triple knock and the utterance of some crazy password like “fallopian” to a set of eyes that inevitably appears behind a tiny sliding window. You’re becoming more impressive by the minute. Whoever you’re with is likely to be quite concerned until you walk past the entranceway, and they’re assured you’re not in some taboo sex spectacle like in Requiem for a Dream.

The drinks almost certainly have to be expensive and good-quality. You don’t go to a speakeasy and order a PBR, right? So top-shelf liquors and a rotating cocktail menu could keep things interesting. If you want cheap drinks, go to Henry’s or the Brass Rail. And you can forget about food trucks. That would give it away immediately. No televisions or Wi-Fi; nothing that they wouldn’t have had when speakeasies were an actual necessity.

Maybe a monthly subscription could be worked in. Take that MeUndies money, and put it toward high-end cocktails instead. Every month, you’d receive an email, or even better an envelope in your mailbox(!), with each week’s password. That sounds pretty baller to me. Maybe the speakeasy could even offer non-alcoholic craft beverages to appease those who don’t drink or don’t love the typical bar atmosphere.

If a speakeasy already exists in Fort Wayne then it needs to be just a little less secret. I’ve never heard anyone mention one, though maybe it’s like Fight Club (dang I already broke that rule), and you’re not supposed to speak of it past its own walls. If so, then so be it; that’s the game we’re playing here. If not, let’s get something started (very quietly of course), and watch peoples’ eyes widen as the dimly-lit chandeliers or lanterns take them back in time and ***into*** an entirely new experience.


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Benjamin is a writer and photographer for Pique: Fort Wayne Art & Culture. He also writes for Whatzup Weekly. He studied Photojournalism, Communications, and Creative Writing at Ball State University. In his free time he enjoys consuming literature, film, television, music, and comedy, spending quality time with his wife and friends, and biking around the city.


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