Classic Finds + Design: Speakeasy Style
There’s something deliciously secretive and sexy about speakeasies—those Prohibition-era liquor establishments that illegally catered to the 1920s and ’30s up-market, underground cocktailing crowd. Step into Seattle’s Canon Whiskey & Bitters Emporium (First Hill, 928 12th Ave.; 206.552.9755; canonseattle.com) and you’ll feel magically transported to a gloriously Gatsby-esque, swank urban saloon. Named “Canon” in reference to owner and mixologist extraordinaire Jamie Boudreau’s beloved body of work (his vast collection of fine and rare spirits), the room features damask wallpaper, a silvered-tin ceiling and a gorgeous wooden bar. As you also take in Canon’s impressive assortment of antique furniture, chandeliers and barware, you’ll be inspired to bring this saloon-inspired setting home.
Start with a few speakeasy-style staples, such as Hickory Chair’s Atelier armchair upholstered in a gray houndstooth, and Stickley’s tufted leather Leopold’s ottoman, both from Masins (Bellevue, 10708 Main St.; 425.450.9999; masins.com). Next, add some fabulous finds from the sensational stock of vintage and designer treasures at Susan Wheeler Home (Georgetown, 5515 Airport Way S; 360.402.5080; susanwheelerhome.com), such as a distressed steel side table, huge silver-plate handled tray and choice cocktail pitcher, crystal decanters and silver flasks. An antique 1920s black marble clock and circa 1900 model cannon (artillery that Boudreau uses as a design element in his bar’s logo) add a touch of old-school cool, both recent offerings at Klein James’ Seattle Auction Gallery (Westlake, 2710 Westlake Ave. N; 206.282.0399; seattleauctiongallery.com). An old brass umbrella stand (brimming with bumbershoots and walking sticks) and unusual wirework magazine rack from TroyBeck Antiques (Snohomish, 923 First St.; 360.568.1031; facebook.com/troybeckantiques) will impart a relaxed, clubby vibe. The final touch, of course: an expertly crafted, Prohibition-era cocktail. Now you’re stylishly set to sip away the hours—at least until there’s a police raid. Cheers!
John Stevens (email@example.com) is a design writer and publicist.
Photos: John Stevens pictured amongst some Speakeasy-inspired furnishings at Seattle's swank Canon bar. An arresting clock and cannon from Klein James' Seattle Auction Gallery.