“Modern Day Speakeasy” Hopes to Make Craft Cocktails a Lifestyle

Toledo jazz legend Jon Hendricks once said, “Jazz is an art form that depends on its antecedents; there must be respect for the people that have gone before.”

With the creation of Inhibitions, Steve Reamey hopes to establish a modern-day speakeasy, drawing on 1920s opulence and Toledo’s jazz roots. Located in the Vistula District’s Gateway at Lower Town, Inhibitions will focus on craft cocktails. According to Reamey, Inhibitions is being designed to create a one-of-a-kind experience.

“We want to create a cocktail lifestyle,” Reamey said. “Just like when I invite people to my home, Inhibitions will draw on all five senses to create a unique experience.” 

Inhibitions will be part of the Vistula District’s multi-million dollar development that encompasses eight buildings in the block between Summit, Superior, LaGrange and Locust streets. In addition to Reamey, Todd Christian, Dave Belknap and Mike McCarthy will be co-owners; they received support from additional regional investors. According to Reamey, there won’t be walls filled with television screens or overpowering music. Instead, the ambience will lend itself better to conversation and an opportunity to unwind.

“We want our cocktails to be like something you’ve never had before,” Reamey said. “We’ll be drawing on inspiration for these cocktails from everywhere. We want people talking about the drinks and learning about the drinks.”

Steve Reamey

All Five Senses
Reamey has been planning every detail of Inhibitions for a long time. Everything from the drinks to the atmosphere to the smell. In the original concept, Reamey had actually planned to combine a liquor store, dubbed Prohibition, with the cocktail bar, Inhibitions. According to Reamey, the Prohibition name helped spawn the cocktail lounge’s name.

“Prohibition was a time when you lost your drinks,” Reamey said. “Inhibitions are what you lose when you have your drinks. It was an easy transition.”

More than Craft Cocktails
In addition to craft cocktails, Inhibitions will focus on another nightcap staple: dessert.  “When you go out and eat a big meal, nine times out of ten you’re too stuffed to even consider dessert,” Reamey said. “We are going to elevate dessert and become a destination for it.”

There are a number of other features Reamey is considering for Inhibitions. Specifically, one of the areas being considered is a membership which would allow access to special events and tastings. Additionally, Inhibitions plans to feature guest bartenders to provide unique and regional experiences. According to Reamey, this will provide Toledoans an opportunity to experience other regional specialties.

“We have been really inspired by the revitalization in Detroit,” Reamey said. “We want to mimic some of what they’ve done. We want to have the people that have made an impact there making drinks with us on occasion.” 

When Can I Hope to Visit?
While a formal opening date has yet to be established, Reamey said they are hoping to be open by late August. They have been targeting opening by the start of the Solheim Cup, which will be hosted this year by Inverness Country Club. In addition to getting the space ready, Inhibitions plans to expend significant energy hiring and training staff. They believe this investment will go a long way in ensuring a unique experience. According to Reamey, these are some of the reasons they are not trying to rush the opening.

“We want to make sure we do this right, the first time,” Reamey said. “We have been planning for this for a very long time and we want to make sure everything is perfect.”