TIFTON — Connie Stover is looking to bring a relic of the past to the modern century – one all the way from the Roaring Twenties.
Authentic speakeasy lounge Donatello's opened its doors in Downtown Tifton July 30, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony sponsored by the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce the previous day.
Made notorious due to their prominence in the Prohibition era, in which alcohol was banned in the United States, speakeasies were establishments where people could indulge in alcohol in private.
As such, they were often incredibly secretive, and usually only served homemade alcohol; both of these are traits Stover seeks to replicate with Donatello's.
Despite operating out of the same building as Stover's other business, Savor the Flavor, Donatello's is inaccessible except by the courtyard around the back of the building, and will require a password, which can be found on the business Facebook page, to allow entry.
Once inside, guests will be treated to the low-light and old-school ambience of what Stover describes as a "true speakeasy."
"I got to thinking about how I could incorporate history with product," Stover said. "In Prohibition, it was about homegrown liquors, beers and wines. They made them in their backyard, they made them at home in their bathtubs ... it was Georgia grown – homegrown."
Indeed, in replicating the feel of a classic speakeasy, Stover has worked to support other local businesses, not only serving Georgia-grown alcoholic beverages, but ensuring the furnishings of her establishment came from local furniture and antique stores and artists.
The business may still be getting off the ground but Stover said she has high hopes for it, eager to expand her menu with more locally grown products and introduce other events, such as open mic nights, that will help Donatello's better capture that speakeasy spirit.
"This is not about a sports bar," Stover said. "We're not a restaurant. This is like a nice little lounge, where you can come and have a cocktail before or after dinner, enjoy some great, slow music."
Donatello's is located at 224 Main St., and is open 7-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, contact (229) 224-5171, or visit their website at https://www.restaurantji.com/ga/tifton/donatellos-/.