Restaurants

The Valley Speakeasy opens Nov. 8 — no password required!

The Valley Speakeasy is set to open Nov. 8, 2021, featuring live entertainment, classic Italian-American Cuisine and local craft beer. No password required — except to gain access to their exclusive wine list.
The Valley Speakeasy is set to open Nov. 8, 2021, featuring live entertainment, classic Italian-American Cuisine and local craft beer. No password required — except to gain access to their exclusive wine list. Photo provided

[EDITOR’S NOTE — Each week, this feature section, “Movers and Makers,” will feature the stories of the movers, launchers, entrepreneurs and makers who contribute to the vitality of the Mahoning Valley. This section is supported by our first community partner, Farmers National Bank.]

The Valley Speakeasy is set to open Nov. 8, featuring live entertainment, classic Italian American Cuisine and local craft beer.

No password required — except to gain access to their exclusive wine list.

The speakeasy, at the former Youngstown Crab Co. location at 3917 Belmont Ave., will be the first project by the newly formed restaurant group Elysium Restaurant Group, started by Scott Stoner and Nick Ludban. Together they’re combining Stoner’s investment background with Ludban’s 20 years of restaurant experience.

Ludban, vice president of Elysium Restaurant Group and general manager of The Valley Speakeasy, said the group has purchased two properties so far — The Valley Speakeasy, and a building in Niles with the potential to be a jazz club within the next year, called Elysium Dreams.

“As long as the right opportunity is there we’re going to continue to open different restaurants with different themes and whatnot,” he said.

Ludban’s tenure in the restaurant business has been important to the overall development of The Valley Speakeasy. He started working at pizza places as a teenager, then spent seven years with Nicolinni’s and helped open both the Boardman and Akron locations.

After that, Ludban was with Cocca’s Pizza for 11 years as director of operations for all nine locations.

“I’ve always been in restaurants,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed cooking. I’ve always enjoyed the nightlife and just meeting people and building a regular group [of customers] here that I can’t wait to know their families and know their lives. And [they’ll] know our [staff’s] lives. Because honestly, I think what we’re here for is to build that relationship,” he said.

Ludban said the main idea behind The Valley Speakeasy is to highlight live music, which is a huge passion for Stoner. The Speakeasy has 180 seats and will showcase both local acts and bigger-name performers from Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Columbus.

The first act to The Valley Speakeasy will be The Conkle Brothers on Thursday, Nov. 11.

Additionally, Elysium Restaurant Group purchased the company “Shake Rattle and Roll” which will provide dueling pianos every Friday.“It’s going to be very unique out here. We’re going to be the spot on Friday nights to come and listen to music that’s something like you’ve never seen before in the Valley,” Ludban said.

Ludban told Mahoning Matters that the menu will feature “classic Youngstown” staples like chicken marsala and wedding soup.

“Some of the basics that if you’re in the Valley, you have [to have] on your menu,” he explained.

The menu will also feature unique dishes like Bloody Mary Deviled Eggs; a signature cocktail list; an exclusive wine list with rare wine listing — including a signature blend from Ferrante Winery & Ristorante — and even a special wine list that requires a password to see. The speakeasy will also feature an emphasis on local craft beers from breweries like Birdfish Brewing Co., Numbers Brewery Co., Noble Creature Cask House and others.

2021-11-01 movers speakeasy b 1140x641.jpg
The Valley Speakeasy menu will feature a signature cocktail list, an exclusive wine list with rare wine listing — including a signature blend from Ferrante Winery & Ristorante — and even a special wine list that requires a password to see. Photo provided

Ludban said The Valley Speakeasy plans to host an annual holiday party in collaboration with the breweries and do a “tap takeover” where each brewery will have a few beers on draft and bring merchandise for contests and giveaways.

“Many local breweries [have] good beers that people don’t know are there because it’s a small brewery and it’s harder to get the name out there for everybody. ... But if we can help those local guys keep things going and get their stuff out, that’s what we’re going to do. The same thing with the bands — if we can help a local guy starting up and showcase their talent, let’s do that,” he said.

The Valley Speakeasy will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., with their kitchen open all night until close.

The speakeasy will also host regularly scheduled events like sip and paint, trivia, Queen of Hearts and more. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

Copyright Privacy Policy Terms of Service