The Jedediah Hawkins Inn is one of those places that impresses from the road as you drive along South Jamesport Avenue.
The majestic Victorian boasts a towering belvedere and a water fountain on its manicured front lawn, evoking Long Island’s Gold Coast and a bygone era. But don’t let its flamboyant exterior deceive you.
There’s a hidden treasure that lies beneath: The Speakeasy, down a flight of stairs in between the restaurant’s two main dining rooms.
With its flagstone walls, leather armchairs and wood-paneled bar with taps featuring local craft beers, this subterranean lair feels like a secret passageway into the mansion’s storied past.
Local legend, though likely not historically accurate, has it that Jedediah Hawkins was an abolitionist who used his stately villa as a stop on the Underground Railroad. That’s a topic to ponder while you’re sipping keg wine or an old fashioned; nibbling on duck wings, truffle mac and cheese or sliders; and playing a game of backgammon by a roaring fire.
This cozy spot, an inconspicuous nightcap hangout for the inn’s guests, is also ideal for private parties and intimate events.
Sometimes the catch is more thrilling than the hunt.