Northside Speakeasy – Hand Crafted Cocktails
When E and I take vacation, we always have our eye out for neat bars and breweries that have a unique feature that we can’t get at home. On our most recent trip to NYC, he found a great speakeasy called the Little Branch in Greenwich Village – fabulous (totally recommend you find it). It was an incredible experience – super small, difficult to get in, everything hand-made, etc.
BUT, I assume you don’t care about NYC right now, you care about Akron. Me tooooo. That’s why I was stoked to hear about/try the new speakeasy in our very own Northside Arts District.
The first rule of a true speakeasy – there needs to be a challenge to enter (look up the history of prohibition). While finding the outside isn’t hard in the slightest, when you enter through the glass doors, you’re greeted with what looks like a wall. Whaaat? You have to play around with the items attached to it to get in. I won’t tell you how, where’s the fun in that?
On a side note, be mindful when you’re trying to get in through this entrance, because the patrons on the inside can see you, so refrain from nose picking or obscene gestures – just helping you save face.
A second entrance can be found inside of the hotel. Hint: here’s where you’ll pop out of that entrance. Once you’re in, there’s a couple of high tops and booths, relaxed seating in the front, and a wrapping bar.
Bryan has been the best host each time we’ve gone in, and he’s super creative. (Thanks, Bryan!) Tell the mixologists here what booze ya like and let them whip up something amazing… it is their craft and all. They do an excellent job executing both the listed cocktails and the improve ones.
The cocktail experience I’m still needing to try is the “Mixology 101” box ($20). It’s a wooden box with all of the ingredients and tools to make your own Manhattan. Not into whiskey or bourbon [yet]? I strongly encourage you to try New York Flip, it has Bulleit Bourbon, ruby port, egg white, simple syrup and nutmeg ($12) and tastes like Christmas. It’s strong, but all of the flavors help ease you into bourbon.
Some of the other goodies we’ve tried include the French 75: Beefeater Gin, freshly squeezed lemon, simple syrup, Prosecco ($10) and the Aviation: Hendrick’s Gin, Luxardo Liqueur, Creme de Violette, fresh squeezed lemon juice ($11). See below.
In my new endeavor to “get into” cognac, I tried the sidecar. Conclusion: Aaa-ma-zing. Hendrick’s and cucumber will always be a dead-ringer for my favorite, but the Northside’s Sidecar is my second. I can’t wait to go into the world and start ordering these delectable little cocktails.
Totally love the spot, and their commitment to extremely good drinks. They’ll soon open up their patio which will be only make the place better, and add a bit more seating. Currently they only seat 28-30, and that’s it. No milling around… I appreciate it and hope they keep it that way.
Northside Speakeasy fills up quick, so if you have your heart set on going, you should plan to get there around 5:30pm.
They have snackables available if you’ll be there for a while: tortilla chips and green salsa, olives, bar nuts, pickled veggies, and a chocolate dessert. But if you want to grab a more substantial meal before/after visiting, Luigi’s, Jilly’s and DBA are within walking distance. (Dante Boccuzzi had a hand in the Northside Speakeasy, btw.)
Park in the Northside loft garage or in the shared parking spots off of Furnace. The speakeasy is attached to the new Courtyard Marriott. Go, like, tonight.
31 Furnace St.
Akron, OH 44308