For some time, I’ve searched locally for a bar/lounge spot that whether I’m there solo or enjoying a cocktail with a client after a closing a deal, I feel comfortable and welcomed. Further, when it comes to cocktails, it must be the type of place that when you order a Manhattan or Negroni, the bartender doesn’t look at you like you’re speaking a foreign language and knows exactly how to make it. There’s more.

My ideal spot would play music at a decent level so you can enjoy a conversation with the person next to you and not feel like you’re yelling in a stadium. Speaking of music, the music selection should match the atmosphere and the time of day – perhaps some uptempo vibes around 6pm and then slowing things down later with some Thievery Corporation or a chill-out mix around 10PM. No on the heavy metal, hard rock, rap or country.

You might assume I’m being bougie but that’s not the case. I have my preferences and at this stage of my life, loud pulsing music, shot contests, and dealing with immature assholes isn’t on my tolerance radar. It’s pretty simple: A nice environment; well-made cocktails, good music, and cool people – that’s it. Recently, I discovered a place that meets my criteria.

… the type of place that when I order a Manhattan or Negroni, the bartender knows exactly how to make it and doesn’t look at me like I’m speaking a foreign language.


Speakeasy Lounge, Warren, Ohio. Photograph by DeShawn Scott

Speakeasy Lounge: The Visit

A friend told me about the Speakeasy Lounge about a month ago. Afterwards, I started following them on Facebook, and two weeks later, I finally stopped in with some family and friends. Since that time, I’ve been to the Speakeasy Lounge three times and each time, the experience was excellent. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Speakeasy Lounge owners, Pat and Tony. Photographed by DeShawn Scott

The Owners: Pam and Tony are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. You can easily tell their friendliness is authentic and not a “Grand Opening Script”. On a recent visit, I had a chance to talk with Tony for a few minutes. Our conversation ranged from, why they opened the business to raising teenagers. I can’t emphasize how welcome they make you feel and the service even when super busy, is all good.

A nice environment; well-made cocktails, good music, and people with relative conversations – that’s it.

Manhattan coktail at the Speakeasy Lounge in downtown Warren, Ohio. Photographed by DeShawn Scott

Paul “The Bartender”: My first drink of choice is a Manhattan – always has and always will be. So when Paul gave me three options after I told him my drink choice, it was if a halo appeared over his head and a choir of angels began to sing amongst bright lights – Paul knows his stuff. The only time I’m presented with those options is if I’m out of town at a mid-to-upscale establishment. His creation was, as they say, “spot-on”. So much so that I ended the night with two… maybe three.

Speakeasy Lounge in downtown Warren, Ohio. Photographed by DeShawn Scott

Ambiance: I really like the vibe. Visually appealing, good music played at a conversational level and an eclectic clientele who are probably there for the same reasons as me.

They’re adding a few more things in the coming weeks but regardless, I highly recommend you stop in… you won’t be disappointed.


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