Speakeasy-‘Speakloudly’ Planned for Avenue B

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Last year Marc Shapiro, a rock-music marketer, announced his intentions of opening a bourbon bar, and he tells us he’s now settled on a location — specifically, the former Rehab/Midway space (at one point up for grabs for $350,000 plus $8,195 per month) that once housed infamous after-hours party Save the Robots. Shapiro and a couple of industry friends (Dave Ciancio of Burger Conquest and bourbon aficionado Rob Morton) hope to open the “Bourbon. Beer. Rock”–themed Idle Hands in the basement space around Memorial Day (pending liquor-license approval), while upstairs a group with ties to Thunder Jackson’s and Point Break will open Billy Hurricanes, a Mardi Gras–themed bar trafficking in frozen daiquiris, Cajun food, and a signature drink that will be limited to two per person.

The concept, per the Billy Hurricanes Facebook page, is a “speakeasy downstairs ... and Speakloudly upstairs!” But before you wince over the word speakeasy, know that Shapiro wants to make the basement joint “just a regular bar” — there’ll be no more live music (though the space will host listening parties and concert after-parties) and no emphasis on mixology. Instead, expect a list of craft beers by the bottle and 60 or so bourbons, including many limited editions. As for the design, what’s now a blue box is being dressed up with dark woods, sepia-tone lighting, and silk-screen concert posters.