TAMPA (FOX 13) - Lurking behind a bookcase in an Ybor City restaurant is haunted speakeasy. Well, “spookeasy” to be exact, and without the alcohol.
The SpookEasy Lounge is described as a kava bar. It opened its doors just before October began, and will have its grand opening on Halloween. The entrance can be found on the second floor of the Stone Soup Company, located at 1919 East 7th Avenue. There you’ll find a bookshelf that is actually a door.
Inside, guests will be greeted with a Victorian gothic-theme room, completed with a wall of skulls behind the bar, skeletal goblets, and red walls. There is even artwork showing what appears to be a young girl, but she transforms into something more creepy right before your eyes.
The idea was concocted after one of the owners, Kathleen Traver, stopped drinking alcohol and started driving kava. She tells FOX 13 that it was difficult to find a place to enjoy non-alcoholic beverages in Ybor City, which is where her husband's event business is based out of.
"We like all things spooky," Traver said. "One day, about four years ago, I came up with the concept of SpookEasy while chatting around a campfire."
Recently, the owner of Stone Soup Company reached out to her husband for ideas on how to get more business, and the couple presented the idea.
"He loved it. So, my husband started with the construction immediately," Kathleen said. "I’ve mastered the art of brewing kava and so, together, my husband and myself created this place together in hopes we can provide a more sober and relaxing environment for people to relax and enjoy."
If kava isn’t what a customer is looking for, appetizers and drinks can be ordered from the restaurant’s downstairs bar.