Speakeasy’s Speed Test tests the genetic diversity of a bar’s customers.
It’s the sort of thing that the bar’s owner, a dude named Tom, would be happy to share with you.
Tom tells me he created the test to gauge the genetic makeup of the patrons.
I ask him what the significance of the test is.
He says it tells him about the genetic quality of the bar, the bar itself, the people who drink there.
It gives him a picture of who’s drinking and who’s not.
“It’s not just a genetic test,” he says.
“This test has a very specific purpose.
It helps to inform me in a way that I can decide whether I want to open or not.”
Speakeasy does not disclose how many people who take the test have passed, or how many times the bar has run it.
The bar has been in business for about 25 years.
The last time I visited, in the fall of 2014, it had just begun to open up.
I asked Tom about the bar and how it had changed.
“The bar’s not like any other place that I’ve ever been to,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s ever been in such bad shape.
I think it has been a really good thing for the community.
We’re kind of a family, Tom.
We’ve had problems with the liquor store and we have a very, very long history of problems with it.”
Tom says the bar is still owned by his father, who he calls “my good friend.”
I ask if there’s any kind of tension between his son and his father.
“No, there isn’t,” he responds.
“There is a lot of respect.
I’m sure there’s a lot going on with the other people at the bar.
I can’t say too much, but it’s just a really close-knit community, where you can just hang out and talk and have a good time.”
In November of 2015, Tom announced he was selling the bar for $50,000.
He had planned to keep the speakasy open for another five years.
“Now that we’ve sold, it’s time to move on,” he wrote in a blog post.
“If I want it to continue, then I’ll keep doing it.
But for now, I’ll be putting the bar on hiatus until I have a new plan.”
Speakasy’s speed test is now closed, though Tom is planning to reopen it for a limited time in spring 2019.
I tell Tom I’m curious about how the bar was able to survive the past three decades.
He tells me about the years it took to build up its reputation.
“We’ve had a lot changes in our community, the world in general,” he told me.
“So, for us, it was a tough time.
But we kept going.
I love Speakeashas.”