Don’t worry about needing a password to get into Plymouth’s newest speakeasy. There’s no one asking for it as you approach the doors, and once inside you don’t need to worry about police breaking up the festivities.
But everything else looks and feels like you’ve gone back in time 100 years to an era where bootleggers ruled, flappers were the style and dancing the Charleston was all the rage.
Welcome to The Ebenezer, a new speakeasy bar that opened in downtown Plymouth last month. But unlike some others gunning for the full Prohibition experience, the owners hope to bring in a wide crowd looking to just unwind and grab a drink.
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“I wanted to do the speakeasy concept, but not be a true speakeasy. There are some speakeasies — I won’t mention the names — that get offended if you order a vodka soda. I don’t want to be that,” said Andi Numan, one of the co-owners of the bar. “I want someone to feel comfortable ordering a vodka soda or a scotch on the rocks or a draft beer.”
The bar, located at 305 Fleet St., is unique in that its main entrance can’t be found along the main thoroughfares of downtown Plymouth. Accessing it requires patrons to enter off the alley near the parking deck where an awning sign greets guests.
Once inside, visitors are instantly taken back in time to the 1920s: the bar has several old-timey photos hanging on the walls and has lounge furniture inspired by the Roaring ’20s, some of which is truly antique.
Inside, guests can order one of the speakeasy’s signature cocktails, including its namesake, the Ebenezer. Several others have been hits with customers, Numan said, including the Bumble Bee’s Knees, made with gin, lemon juice, honey syrup and muddled blueberries.
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Those who come hungry have a variety of food to order as well, including wings, lamb shank, shrimp cocktail and grilled peach salad.
The space is designed for a more relaxed feel, but Numan said the atmosphere does change a little bit on weekends as a different crowd stops by. Softer music like jazz and Motown classics give way to more livelier tunes as a different mindset kicks in.
“The music gets turned up a little bit,” he said. “It’s what the masses want at that time.”
More than a year of planning
The bar has been in the works since January 2019 between Numan and his business partner, Stefan Stefanakis. The two are involved at the Greek Islands Eatery above the Ebenezer and they then turned their eyes to the restaurant’s basement to create the bar.
“The first initial thought (when coming downstairs) was, ‘This would be an awesome bar,'” Numan said.
Building in the former Plymouth United Savings Bank vault dating back to the 1800s, Numan said it was a no-brainer to name the space after a well-known Plymouth resident and former president of the bank, Ebenezer Penniman.
The bar had hoped to open in late March but had to delay opening due to bars being ordered closed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since opening in mid-June, the space has been conscious to keep customers and staff safe. Numan said even before the pandemic they had ordered top-of-the-line heating and cooling systems to keep airflow moving in the bar, which has no windows. Seating capacity is already reduced from its maximum allowed to help keep the ambiance of a speakeasy bar and employees clean the space regularly.
Despite the challenges, Stefanaski said they’ve seen success in the short time since opening and look forward to serving a different experience to Plymouth.
“Definitely excited to finally be open,” Stefanaski said. “Things have definitely been going well, considering what’s going on.”
The bar is open from 4 p.m. to midnight Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. More information, including a full menu, can be found at theebenezerplymouth.com.
Contact reporter David Veselenak at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-678-6728. Follow him on Twitter @davidveselenak.
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