In the 1920s, at the height of Prohibition, underground saloons called speakeasies proliferated around the country. They got their name — according to an 1891 New York Times article — from one Kate Hester, who ran such a saloon in her Pennsylvania home, and who was known for telling her customers to “speak easy” when noise levels got too high.
Prohibition may long be over, but one 21st-century Kate Hester is bringing the speakeasy back to life in Brooklyn. In its newest incarnation the speakeasy — called The Hester — features gourmet kosher food and live music, in addition to a full bar. The hostess — who asked that her real name not be published — is a personal chef and mother of two who also has a degree in sound engineering. “There’s just nothing out there that brings together great music and great food, that’s kosher,” she said.