SpookEasy Lounge will reopen in the former Ybor City space of The Loft | Openings & Closings | Tampa

After a full year of closure, Ybor City’s go-to spot for all things spooky and haunted is coming back and finally selling booze.

SpookyEasy Lounge celebrates its soft opening at its new location, 1909 N 15th St., on Thursday, September 1, though the party is likely to continue throughout the weekend.

Self-proclaimed ‘the world’s most haunted kava bar’, the Gothic Lounge will occupy both floors of the historic building, which offers more than enough space for themed parties, game nights, film screenings and entertainment. other types of events. to be known for.

The upstairs area – which will live in the space last occupied by “Bar Rescue” restaurant The Loft – will be designated for kava, tea, coffee, CBD and delta-8 and will offer more a laid-back lounge-like atmosphere, while the basement (believed to be the “catacombs”) will offer a full-service bar with signature cocktails. SpookEasy co-owner Evan Christopher told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that the two areas will be kept completely separate because kava and alcohol can cause health issues when mixed.

Coffin tables, skull glasses, crystal ball centerpieces, tombstones, candles, and skeletons are the must-have decor at SpookEasy, and employees will also be fully dressed.

A small food menu is provided alongside plenty of drink offerings, with casual bites like wings, burgers, fries, sandwiches, and hot dogs. Sandwiches and other breakfast options will be offered in the morning, but her kitchen will remain open until closing time (which can be until 3 a.m. on weekends.)

SpookEasy debuted above Stone Soup Company in Ybor City in the fall of 2018 and remained at its flagship location until last summer, after it suddenly closed due to zoning issues. Christopher and his team spent a lot of time and money opening his second location above Mama Rosa’s Pizza and Ybor Supermarket, but then ran into the same issues as the original SpookEasy location.

“At both of these locations, we had issues getting the city to change the use of space from residential to commercial,” says Evan Christopher. “We invested a lot of money in renovations and lawyers for nothing, really.”

The popular lounge was then slated to reopen at 1823 E 7th Ave., above the Boneyard dive bar, before securing the former Loft space a few blocks away. It’s been a constant struggle to find the perfect spot in Ybor City, but the SpookEasy team finally got the perfect space for all their spooky endeavors – and it also comes with true haunted status.

Christopher tells CL that there are several tales of ghost activity at their new Ybor City space, and it’s even a regular stop on the official Ybor City ghost tour.

Loft owner Lisa Lawson, who recently appeared on the popular show “Bar Rescue,” can also attest to the building’s haunted status, as she herself has encountered spirits. The Loft’s last day of operation was Sunday August 21, but the SpookEasy team has been renovating the main floor for a few weeks.

Although Lawson says Jon Taffer and his “Bar Rescue” producers told her that Ybor City’s future was more commercial and corporate, it was crucial that she find people who really fit the atmosphere of Ybor City. Ybor whom she knows and loves. “They have the same passion that I and my husband had when we opened Cerealholic,” Lawson says of Christopher and his wife Kathleen Traver.

The SpookEasy will take the historic Ybor City building back to its roots, as the space was previously home to The Social and Flirt nightclub before Lawson’s Cerealholic Cafe opened in 2019. Lawson describes the SpookEasy team as “rooted in the culture of Ybor City” and declares that she will be part of the transition until October.

Following its grand opening celebration next week, the new Ybor City hotspot will be open 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday through Saturday. Expect event announcements soon, as SpookEasy is known for its Monday movie nights, game and trivia nights, DJs and more.

For the latest information on SpookEasy Lounge, visit their Facebook and Instagram page at @thespookeasy.

UPDATED 8/25/22 3:00 PM SpookEasy’s second location (which never came into achievement) was above Mama Rosa’s Pizza and Ybor City Supermarket, not La France.

About James K. Bonnette

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