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Quit asking, just go: The Sturges Speakeasy

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The Sturges Speakeasy – or, “The Speakeasy,” the preferred nickname – opened this month at the corner of Forster and Capital Streets in Harrisburg, located on the cusp of Midtown, across from the Capitol Complex.

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Visitors will be impressed with the bar’s overhaul. Almost everything is new, floor to ceiling (including the floor and the ceiling). The bar was moved just 18 inches back, but you’ll be amazed at the amount of room this provides for customers to navigate the front bar area.

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So, it’s not really anything like a Speakeasy with brand new big windows, multiple floors of dining and a rooftop deck — but it’s a really great place nonetheless. (Plus, we in Harrisburg are all about misnomers – just ask HYP).

My husband plans to set up “regular” status, so if you follow me on Foursquare, you’ll see I’ve been there pretty consistently so far. We’ve probably tried about a quarter of the menu, including three of their burgers, two of the chicken sandwiches, soup, salad and a couple apps. The food is solid, and I’m confident it will stay that way. This is not your basic off-the-truck bar food. They describe it as “American,” but I promise you it’s not boring. They have their own smoker for the pulled pork, for goodness’ sake! They utilize fresh ingredients, portion sizes rock, and they even provide a few vegetarian/vegan options.

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Sixteen taps boast a sampling of Troegs, alongside the usual domestics and other micros like Penn Pilsner and Bells Two Hearted. Copper mugs are for Dark & Stormys (dark rum) and Moscow Mules (vodka), and they have an impressive “classic” cocktail menu that goes beyond French martinis and cosmos.

Plus, you know how bartenders hate to make frozen drinks and often claim their blender is broken? Well, it’s not at The Speakeasy. They have a fancy, three-canister Margaritaville blender, perfect for mango margaritas or whatever chilly drink floats your boat. I see this being quite the asset once the rooftop deck is complete.

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What’s that? A rooftop deck? Did you forget that was there at Garrason’s? Well, remember it when you want a great after-work, off-Second Street meeting place. They have full service upstairs. Plans include a full bar, a pergola-style roof, TVs and heaters for year-round entertainment.

Also coming soon: That impressive-sounding wraparound awning for the front of the joint. She looks a tad naked right now, doesn’t she?

The bottom line: Get in here! Yes, it’s nice. Yes, the improvements are remarkable. (Do also consider its newness does make things extra shiny.) The food is good. Order your burgers med-well to well. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and will be your new best friends. Well, I can’t promise everything.

The Speakeasy is Out with Sara-approved. Quit asking, just go. Just don’t steal my bar stool.

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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