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Julio’s honors anniversary of the end of Prohibition

Ryan Maloney, behind the bar in the new Maloney’s Speakeasy at Julio’s Liquors

” … Every guy that sees it asks how they can have a room like this in their ” basement. Ryan Maloney owner, Julio’s Liquors

By Ken Powers Community Reporter

Ryan Maloney, behind the bar in the new Maloney’s Speakeasy at Julio’s Liquors Westborough – To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition Dec. 5, Julio’s Liquors owner Ryan Maloney is not only hosting a dinner at Indian Meadows, but he recently completed construction of a modern-day speakeasy, built right into the front of the store.
“I’ve always been fascinated by that historical period in America,” Maloney said, “and, of course, being in the liquor business the repeal of Prohibition has had a direct eff ect on my life and livelihood.

“But it’s more than that. I always thought it was neat how the United States government tried this noble experiment and the biggest outcomes were the proliferation of the Mafia, which was penny-ante before Prohibition, and the showcasing of American ingenuity,” Maloney said. “To look back and see what it would take to have what one wants and the means someone would go through to get it – what they’ll do and how they’ll hide it. And in some places it was hidden right in plain sight.”

Kind of like Maloney’s Speakeasy.

On the left as you walk in the entrance, Maloney’s Speakeasy looks like a cold storage warehouse for Jim Beam Bourbon. A closer examination of the brick wall, however, reveals a doorbell and peephole. Once the visitor relays the proper password of the day, written on a chalkboard inside the Speakeasy, the steel door slides open.

Once inside the long, narrow room with a whiskey-barrellike ceiling that honors Wild Turkey and Four Roses bourbons and a mirrored bottle-behind glass of Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whisky, visitors will be convinced they’ve been transported back in time. There are signs for Prohibition and against it, as well as a genuine 1884 Retail Liquor Dealers License for the town of Westborough, and an authentic Prohibition Service badge and billyclub, as well as a 1907 telephone and a copper still.

Maloney said the design of the room, from conception to completion, took about nine months – “just like a baby” – and that construction of the room was completed earlier this month. Both the design and the construction was done by New England Design & Remodeling, owned and operated by Allen Arsenault, and located at 168 Main St., Northborough.

The room will be used primarily for whiskey tastings and as the clubhouse for Julio’s whiskey group, the Loch and Key Society.

“A couple of weeks ago we had George Grant, a sixthgeneration owner of Glenfarclas Single Malt Scotch Whisky, in from Scotland for a tasting,” Maloney said. “That’s the type of people we’ll host in here. We’re hoping in the near future to have Jim Rutledge, the Four Roses Bourbon Hall of Fame Master Distiller, in for a visit, too, and I’m sure this room will be an integral part of our annual Whiskey a Go-Go tasting, which will be held Feb. 22.”

Maloney’s Repeal Day Party Friday, Dec. 5, will begin at Indian Meadows at 6:30 p.m. and will feature a prime rib or salmon with dill sauce entree. There will also be Macanudo Cigars to enjoy as well as whiskey, wine and beer to sample. Cost is $65 per person and reservations can be made by calling Indian Meadows at 508-366-6526 .

Maloney said the Jim Beam Cold Storage Warehouse/ Speakeasy has been a big hit, with some folk inquiring about holding business meetings in the room.

“They don’t want to drink and party, they just want to have their meetings here,” Maloney said. “And, of course, every guy that sees it asks how they can have a room like this in their basement.”