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Playing 'speakeasy' at The Cortland in Bay Shore

The Cortland in Bay Shore serves locally produced

The Cortland in Bay Shore serves locally produced craft beers and locally produced food, as well as homemade liquor infusions. (Nov. 20, 2010) Credit: Barbara Alper

As Long Island pubs go, The Cortland in Bay Shore has cultivated a reputation for doing things in singular fashion – including its incredibly popular weekly “Rock-Paper-Scissors” contest (held every Thursday) – but come Wednesday, Feb. 8, the busy bar is doing something practically unheard of: it’s pretending to shut down.

And the pretense goes to great lengths, as The Cortland Craft Beer Bar and Eatery will, for one night, become “The Cortland Mortgage & Investment Co.

The reason? It’s all a part of a plan to transform the establishment into a true speakeasy, as one might have found during the Prohibition Era. The front end of the building will be tweaked in grand fashion to resemble a now-closed mortgage business, and to add to the effect there will be a pair of Ford Model “A” cars from the 1920s parked in front – complete with drivers in period dress to match.

Inside, live jazz will play while everyone drinks out of mugs and paper bags – a ploy used by those hiding their servings of illegal booze at parties held back when the 18th Amendment of the Constitution insisted all be legally dry. But this party will be far from that, and to help the cause some of the product born of the Blind Bat Brewery in Centerport will be available – which is especially appropriate as speakeasies were often known as “blind pigs” or “blind tigers,” leading the Blind Bat to draw its name from that tradition.

The party starts at 8 p.m. with no cover to enter.

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