A couple partakes in some swing dancing during the weekly Speakeasy event at the Victoria Event Centre. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

VIDEO: Victoria’s weekly speakeasy offers prohibition-era fun

Victoria Event Centre’s speakeasy nights ‘the bee’s knees’ for 1920s’ lovers

It’s 8:30 p.m. on a Tuesday night at the Victoria Events Centre (VEC) when a man with slicked back hair, slacks and suspenders climbs the steps to the front desk.

“Frog’s eyebrows,” he says with a smirk to ticket taker Emily Lavender, seated next to an Underwood typewriter and vintage pull-cord lamp.

Lavender, wearing a striped shirt, cat-eye glasses and a bowler hat, hands him a ticket and he heads toward the sound of a smooth saxophone and spunky percussion.

The guest has come for the weekly speakeasy night at the local venue, where a 1920s drink menu and a jazz band playing under the soft, muted lighting of an “underground” bar, launches visitors into another era.

With smoked bourbon warming their lips and the sleek, old-timey tunes of local jazz band Flying Saucers thumping through the room, couples drag one another onto the dance floor and slide back in time with the dips and dives of the 1920s’-era Lindy Hop dance style.

READ ALSO: High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

“If you wanted to know what it was like in the 1920s, this is pretty close,” said Lavender, who is also a co-organizer of the speakeasy. “You don’t have to know how to dance, you don’t have to like jazz music, you can just come here and really enjoy yourself.

It’s good old fashioned entertainment.”

In order to get the free drink ticket that comes with the $10 entry fee, guests need to know that week’s 1920s’ slang password such as frog’s eyebrows (nice or fine), cat’s meow (splendid or stylish) or hotsy totsy (pleasing).

And if you don’t know the password but want in on the free giggle water (1920s’ slang for alcohol) you have to enter your email address on the Underwood and wait for the ‘word of mouth’ to hit your inbox.

Once inside, guests can grab a Juniper Rickey or Django Manhattan at the bar and “make whoopee” on the dance floor.

Jazz band Flying Saucers provided some smooth, upbeat jazz for Lindy Hop dancers at the Victoria Event Centre’s Speakeasy night on Tuesday. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Don’t know how to dance? The VEC takes care of that too, with quick swing dance lessons each night before the event, and once a month at the feature night – where visitors also enjoy a number of music and dance performances.

Plus there’s always a Brown Derby if you need the liquid courage to cut up the dance floor with the others.

“I think with the live music and the creativity of the bartenders and the drinks they come up with, and the dancing, it’s all very magical,” Lavender said.

For more information on the weekly speakeasy, visit victoriaeventcentre.ca.

READ ALSO: Victoria venue hires consent captain

READ ALSO: Victoria event centre to open café, begin workspace pilot project



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

A couple hits the floor with some Lindy Hop dance moves at the weekly Speakeasy event put on by the Victoria Event Centre. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Emily Lavender welcomes guests at the Victoria Event Centre’s “speakeasy’ on Tuesday night. Only those with the week’s password get a free drink ticket. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Just Posted

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

SD62 student places third in province-wide French competition

12-year-old Sasha Zandieh won third with a speech on poet Pablo Neruda

Island athlete goes from hoop dreams to icy track

Cyrus Gray hopes to punch his ticket to Olympics in bobsleigh

Jesse Roper learns to create fire in the wild, in Sacred Knowledge web series

Ragnarock Studios production shares primitive skills with Islanders

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read