December 23, 2013 —
HAWLEY, PA — The idea of the Roaring Twenties evokes images of jazz bands; flappers with bobbed hair; couples dancing the Charleston, the Foxtrot and the Black Bottom; Art Deco design; Prohibition booze and speakeasies. Next Tuesday evening, a recreated speakeasy will take over the restaurant and lounge at Glass_wine.bar.kitchen in Hawley’s Silk Mill, as a crowd of revelers rolls back the clock to the 1920s before ringing in the New Year.
A convergence of circumstances led to the idea of creating a speakeasy on New Year’s Eve, according to Justin Genzlinger, proprietor at Ledges Hotel in the Silk Mill. First there was an enjoyable evening at a speakeasy in New York City spent by one of the Silk Mill’s owners. That planted the thought, soon to be followed by a chance meeting with a local distiller making Prohibition-style whiskey (The Catskill Distilling Company in Bethel, NY).
Interestingly, long before the Silk Mill project was even conceived, the Genzlinger family used to host speakeasy parties at The Settlers Inn in the 1990s. “We all thought it would be kind of fun to bring back the idea for a different generation,” Genzlinger said. “And we felt The Ledges was perfect with its underground bar, which has a kind of industrial feel.”
Earlier this year, in June, to prepare for this New Year’s Eve, Glass__wine.bar.kitchen in The Ledges hosted a casual evening where Prohibition era cocktails were served, followed in November by a dress-up event WITH guests who were invited to wear Roaring Twenties costumes. And now, on December 31, there will be a special meal, guests and staff wearing 1920s costumes, period music and dancing, all followed by a toast at midnight.
To start the evening “we will take over the hotel lobby and the Great Room for a welcoming area,” Genzlinger explained. “There will be whisky sampling, charcuterie and hors d’oeuvres upstairs in the hotel. We don’t do that very often.”
Downstairs, the bar will offer a special cocktail menu, and then dinner in the restaurant with a five course menu of the chef’s contemporary take on dishes inspired by some that in vogue in the 1920s. There will be two seatings. See the menu at www.ledgeshotel.com/wp-content/uploads/H-A-P-P-Y-N-E-W-Y-E-A-R-menu-2013... .
At 8 p.m. the music starts, as guitar player John Curtain, a regular at the Silk Mill, and his “Trim Trio” recreate a ‘20s-themed band, and guests take to the dance floor.
Prizes will be awarded for the best dressed. “We’re hoping to get lots of flapper dresses and maybe even a few Zoot suits, too,” Genzlinger said.
Unusually, all of the rooms at The Ledges that night are reserved for people coming to the speakeasy. “If you’re staying at the hotel, you’re invited,” Genzlinger said. For those not staying at the hotel, dinner and party reservations are requested. The early dinner seating, which ends before music and dancing, costs $65. The later seating costs $85.
The Ledges Hotel has undergone some changes in the two years since it opened, chief among them the installation of several hundred lights positioned to enable viewing of the impressive Wallenpaupack Creek Gorge behind the hotel. Where once there was only a popular summer wine bar restaurant, a major renovation has created a cozier new bar for year round experience.
The Ledges, of course, is not the only hotel or restaurant hosting a special New Year’s Eve party; several are listed below.
And if you go out to celebrate the start of a new year, be sure to be safe: don’t drink and drive.
New Year’ Eve festivities
River Edge Restaurant, 951 State Rte. 17B, Mongaup Valley, NY 845/794-1800
Special menu for New Year’s Eve from 4 to 10 p.m. ($35 per person), followed by DJ dance party from 10 pm to 3 a.m.; breakfast starting at 1 a.m.; brunch ($25 per person, includes two drinks) on New Year’s Day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (See menu at myemail.constantcontact.com/Ring-in-the-New-Year-with-River-Edge-Restaurant.html?soid=1103773510089&aid=dVpZPoNRhcU)
Hotel Fauchere, 401 Broad St., Milford, PA, 570/409-1212, or www.hotelfauchere.com  Delmonico Room, five-course tasting menu served from 6 to 9:30 p.m. ($120 prix fixe per person includes a glass of bubbly); music from 8 p.m. to past midnight by Michael Rice, popular Broadway composer and pianist. See menu at www.hotelfauchere.com/reservations/specials/thanksgiving/DOMNYE.pdf 
In Bar Louis, three-course dinner served from 5:30 to 10 p.m., ($75 prix fixe per person); dance party begins at 11 p.m. (See menu at www.hotelfauchere.com/reservations/specials/thanksgiving/BLNYE.pdf )
The Dancing Cat Saloon, 2037 Rte. 17B, Bethel, NY
Special menu, first seating, 5 to 8 p.m. ($39 per person), plus $20 cover charge for party including live entertainment with Peter Florance and the New Kings, Champagne toast and hors d’oeuvres served at midnight. Second seating, 8 to 11 p.m. ($75 per person) Champagne toast and hors d’oeuvres at midnight. (See menu at www.dancingcatsaloon.com/nye.html .