Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Lounge


I love the lounge.

There are many types of liquor licenses in this town for on premise sales. Bars, saloons, pubs- public houses, taverns, taprooms, clubs etc. But then there is the Lounge.

I am a fan of all of these places for certain, but there is a particular attraction of the lounge. My spot now is definitely a public house. I try tell some people it is a restaurant, but in its heart it is a pub. Besides, by law it is not a restaurant. There is a bit of a tavern feel, a bit of a bar feel. And a bit of a lounge.

There are a couple of different types of lounges. Some are more my speed than others. Many of the newer lounges tend to be more clubs. But the lounges that I love are the neighborhood lounge.

I would love to open up a full fledged lounge. The lounge is a relaxed place. Not a saloon. The true neighborhood lounge is more refined, enlightened and mannerly. It is a state of mind.

Of these different watering holes, the lounge in particular gets a bad rap from some people, but it tends to be from people who are uninformed. Or maybe it is that the lounge is too civilized for some.
The other night I rolled up to Luckett's Lounge with my chum Tuen. He took the pictures. Stan Luckett owns the lounge over on Delmar just east of Taylor. It has been a lounge since the 1920s when some Italians opened it. He says in those days the police would come in and get a cigar and then get an envelope. This was quite common. Many taverns, bars, lounges etc continued to exist without much of an underground operation, more of an open public operation despite Prohibition. I wish I could have experienced this time to see how our society handled such a broad purist law dictated our social state.

Stan's uncle operated the bar since the 40s up until the early 90s when he retired. He was in his early 90s, at the time the oldest bar owner in town. The story Stan tells me is that our Excise Commissioner took note and brought together people in the industry to celebrate.

Luckett's is an interesting spot indeed. A definite neighborhood place, set apart from the neighboring hip West End. The interior is strikingly beautiful with most of the original ornamentation. Cozy booths, stained glass in a comfy small capacity locale. The time has worn in the lounge to a point where you can see the layers of decor. And the lighting is perfect for the ease of the lounge experience along with a warm and welcoming tone that is set by the proprietor Stan.

There is another attribute that is particular that makes this lounge distinct. Stan, back before he took over the lounge, ran a barber shop up on Page and Kingshighway. In the back of Luckett's is a barber shop. Not inside the bar, but set back. You enter in through the bar or the back along the side. But inside the bar is a 3/4 sized door in which you have to stoop down and enter in to what feels like a bunker. Down at the end are two chairs where the haircuts are given starting at 5pm and going until about 11 or so. The room was likely the speakeasy, and the stories go that the whiskey still was in the basement, but had been bricked up. Or so the story goes. So a sip and a cut. A nice way to spend an evening in a lounge indeed.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

HEY MY NAME IS STAN LUCKETT I LIVE IN SMYRNA TENNESSEE,,THINK ITS COOL THAT YOU OWN LUCKETTS KOUNGE,,WHAT CITY AND STATE IS IT IN,,DO YOU HAVE ANY TSHIRTS OR SHOT GLASSES THAT YOU SEL WOULD LOVE TO OWN ONE. HOLER AT ME AT STANMED502yahoo.com

8:52 PM  

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