The Light of Seven Matchsticks Basement Speakeasy Opens in Worthington

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega The Light of Seven Matchsticks Basement Speakeasy Opens in Worthington
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Along with the Prohibition era, the authentic speakeasy is long gone, but businesses nationwide are still trying to capture their illicit, clandestine atmosphere. In some of the bigger cities, speakeasy patrons can only gain access if they find its front in the form of hot dog stands, phone booths or bookshelves.

Worthington’s The Light of Seven Matchsticks, debuting tonight underneath Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza, takes a more subtle approach. The basement bar, a former haven for illegal gambling, is said to have had high-profile guests Perry Como and Dean Martin. A wall separates the waiting area from the rest of the bar, a grated mail slot and peep hole built in for placing orders. A sliding “trap” door also adds to the speakeasy vibe.

“We wanted to tip our hats to that in that way,” said Kileen Lehman, The Light of Seven Matchsticks General Manager.

The rest of the ambience is created by the environment, music of the era, and menu. Going for a literary theme, the bar’s “secret” menu resides in the backs of books. It’s not set in stone, subject to change from French, indulgent dishes to Thai or Indian on any given night.

“Whatever kind of inspires us to create a dish and make it taste amazing,” said Chef Matthew Alter.

The cocktail menu keeps the bookish theme going by following the Hero’s Journey, a concept first articulated by scholar Joseph Campbell. Cocktails are divided into categories like “Call to Adventure,” weird, culinary cocktails using lesser known ingredients, “Profound Dream State,” a slate of re-authenticated classic drinks, and “Meet the Mentor,” adjusted recipes from leading cocktail creators around the country.

“There’s this whole theme to it, and a big part of it is stepping out of the normal realm and into the unknown or even underground, into this adventure space,” Lehman said.

Part of that will mean forgetting about Instagram and Twitter. Though unintentional, there’s no cell service, a fact to which many had trouble adjusting during their soft opening last Thursday.

This Thursday is their grand opening in the basement below 5601 N. High St., starting at 6 p.m. and running until midnight. The Light of Seven Matchsticks will have those hours Thursday through Sunday.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/7matchsticks.

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