On the corner of South Main and Power Street lies a portal to what feels like the Gilded Age, layered in dark paneling, plush velvet, and gold accents. This is Providence’s newest speakeasy, aptly named The Walnut Room for both its wood and sense of warmth, opened mid-July by first-time bar owner Candida Musanti.
“I want The Walnut Room to be an experience for people,” says Musanti, a New Jersey native and Johnson & Wales grad. “[It’s] a place where you can come and get comfortable in an elegant setting, sip on classic cocktails, enjoy heavy and rich music in the background, and get lost in conversation.” As you lounge on mauve velvet with a sunny, effervescent Limoncello Spritz in hand, you might just forget you’re in 21st century PVD – or living through a pandemic.
“Never did I plan on the world looking as it does,” says Musanti, “but things don’t always go as planned.” After completely gutting and rebuilding the space, The Walnut Room had been ready in March when everything shut down, and Musanti wasn’t sure they’d ever open. But when summer came and restrictions lifted, she and her staff sprang into action to welcome their first guests in the safest ways possible, without sacrificing that Prohibition-era sensibility. Says Musanti, “I hope it becomes that place where when you leave you think, ‘Wow, I can’t remember the last time I had a night like this.’”
245 South Main Street, Facebook & Instagram: The Walnut Room PVD