Astoria’s Secret: A Modern Day Speakeasy Filled With Elegance And Glam
By Brandon Romagnoli
When one thinks of going to a speakeasy what comes to mind is a hidden room where visitors sit in a dark space with little flair.
Astoria’s Secret, is unlike any other speakeasy, bringing an intimate and fun experience to what would otherwise be just an ordinary night out.
The speakeasy is “secretly” located behind a lingerie storefront called The Lingerie Shoppe. Once stepping through the curtain at the entrance, however, you are greeted by staff who call themselves ‘queens’, wearing high-end corsets and lace. The open space features a modern burlesque theme exuding vivacious purple, pink and blue art on the walls, and velvet furniture with a long black granite wraparound bar.
When owner Debra Istwan and her partner Joey were thinking of the concept for Astoria’s Secret, they envisioned an upscale and exclusive atmosphere where people can enter a world celebrating beauty and elegance.
“We wanted to create an environment where you can lose track of time and leave everything going on at home behind for the night in a private setting,” said Istwan.
Astoria’s Secret has a list of incredible cocktails in celebration of the speakeasy theme.
The most popular drink is the house’s homemade moonshine with fresh fruit. This is unlike any other moonshine in terms of taste with a variety of flavors ranging from peach to watermelon mint. The drink pairs nicely with the baked mac n’ cheese Philly cheesesteak balls dish, drizzled in a three-cheese sauce combining the best of two homestyle dishes.
As it was a century ago, word of the speakeasy was spread, quietly that is, by word of mouth only to people who were in the loop.
Today’s method is just the same but with a contemporary twist.
When this speakeasy first opened, visitors had to follow them on Instagram and receive an invite with the address. Astoria’s Secret also hosted a range of themed nights and entertainment including singers and dancers. This helped build a community early on which they have continued to expand via Instagram and Secret TV.
Produced in house, Secret TV is hosted on the speakeasy’s Instagram account, streaming live performances of singers and dancers.
“We fell in love with this community in Astoria and we wanted to support our local artists by giving them a platform to entertain,” shared Istwan.
Now, with the reopening of their indoor space on September 30th, the wait is over to enjoy everything Astoria’s Secret has to offer. They plan on having a variety of theme nights for Halloween and returning to live entertainment indoors, in addition to private parties.
Whether you’re looking for a glamorous experience or a private space to host a group event and have a fresh experience, this is the place to go.
28-53 Steinway St. | 929.424.3700