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Mata Hari’s | Savannah’s Own Speak Easy
So let's just point out that Savannah is getting cooler by the minute. My latest experience of utter coolness occurred last Thursday night at the sexiest new spot in town.
But not just anyone can enter. And that’s part of what makes it so sexy. There are only two ways to get your feet across the threshold. The first – you must secure (or solicit) an invitation by a member with a key. The second – you must secure a key of your own, which is pretty tricky as there are no set rules as to who gets them. My fabulous friend Dave Pippen was kind enough to extend an invitation, and I felt like I was keeping an incredible secret before the night even began. I had dinner with friends at Local 1110, which was fabulous, but secretly I was counting down the minutes until we met up with Dave to sneak into this elusive society.
Think 1920’s. Yep, you’re reading correctly…Savannah has it’s very own Speak Easy. And let me tell you, as my stiletto pushed through the curtain at Mata Hari’s, I was immediately transported back to “the Era of Wonderful Nonsense.” The air was thick, and as I looked to the right, I saw a gorgeous young girl dressed in a tuxedo bodysuit, fishnets, and a long tail tux jacket. A top hat and red bow tie completed the look, and certainly set the tone for the night’s adventure. With tall, crimson, velvet chairs, and couches for lounging, poker tables set up in swanky little corners, and the very exclusive crowd, it wasn’t hard to imagine living in the “Age of Al Capone.”
Drinks are served strong, so I definitely felt like I got my money’s worth. And the owner, Kit, is as sweet as can be. She shared a little about why she chose the theme. She said she imagined her guests abandoning the world outside and letting themselves be transported to another time. I can testify for her. Mission accomplished. Even the crowd gets into the spirit. As I surveyed the place, I saw women donning flapper dresses , and men in knickers and Oxfords having conversation. I watched as a couple danced the Charleston. A roaring time was being had by all.
I relaxed without a care in the world as the sounds of Britt Scott and her sultry voice tickled my ears. The single spotlight remains perfectly positioned on the jazz seductress at all times, and her vibrato captures your attention and keeps it. A toss of her firey red hair and you’re enraptured by the voluptuous vixen. She performed a respectfully powerful set including many modern and classic tunes, and a stunning version of an Etta James favorite of mine, “At Last.”
As I sipped my digestif, I imagined what life was like back then. I imagined how I might have dressed. Would I have cut my hair short to show my independence? I imagined driving a “people’s car” and parking it in the alley near the disguised door of my favorite hidden spot. I imagined arriving just in time to slip in, before the doors close to the outside world for the night. I imagined ducking behind a curtain that held on the other side a magical place where all my cares just disappeared. I imagined spending a Thursday night in a place just like this, admiring instead, the likes of the aforementioned Ms. James, perhaps.
Before I knew it, it was 2am; most certainly way past my bed time, but the night was definitely worth it. The time had come for me to go, and as I thanked Kit for showing us such genuine hospitality, I got something oh so special. She reached behind the bar into a little dark crevice and pulled out something shiny. “Come back any time,” she leaned in to whisper, and handed me my very own key.
If you are wondering where it is... You MUST find a key-holder! (Hint: It's near Club 309 West)
Photography provided by Colin Douglas Gray.