Midtown ‘Speakeasy’ to Open After Prohibition-Like Dry Spell

Don't tell anyone you saw this photo.Photo: Melissa Hom


When we first brought you news of the Volstead, it was slated to open in October 2006. Partner David Willner of PS 450 admits it took a tad longer than expected to convert the former Light lounge into what the press release calls (what else?) a speakeasy — “I don’t think we’re going for a speakeasy thing,” Willner admits — but it looks like the wait was worth it.


Aside from the spiffy décor across four “semi-private” rooms (pick one for that next cantaloupe-daiquiri-fueled office orgy), the Volstead will offer, when it opens on Thursday, something that other midtown speakeasy doesn’t: “pops”! That is, buffalo wings, macaroni and cheese, and crab cakes on sticks. There’s also an assortment of sliders, sandwiches like a tuna burger and lobster roll, and a few entrées for good measure. Oh, and the entry is really cool (for midtown). “You have no idea what’s going on downstairs,” Willner teases. “There could be five hundred people, there could be five.” Let’s hope for his sake that it won’t be the latter.

The Volstead, 125 E. 54th St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-583-0411.