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The New Yorker

New York’s Newest Speakeasy, Minus the Secrecy and the Booze

September 11, 2023

The entrepreneurs behind elahni, a “wellness speakeasy” that serves nonalcoholic “adaptogenic tonics,” hit the sauna and the cold plunge before downing some shots.

The concept of the speakeasy has had considerable staying power, but why? We live in times of abundant booze, increasingly legal drugs, and technological surveillance. The semi-illicit-thrill industry could use an update. The other day, in the back of a second-floor yoga studio in NoMad, a couple of entrepreneurs were giving it a shot. They were throwing a party celebrating a new establishment called elahni, New York’s first “wellness speakeasy,” which combines a spa with a bar that serves nonalcoholic “adaptogenic tonics.” Unlike a traditional speakeasy, the party wasn’t hush-hush. (Heather Graham was on the invite list.) But there was a doorman, a guy in a peach-colored suit with his arms crossed, who manned the elevator entryway. His task: insure that all guests removed their shoes. “The wood is too gorgeous,” Rima Rabbath, the pixielike co-owner of souk, the yoga studio, explained. Nick Rizk, one of elahni’s proprietors, stood nearby with a hand on an unmarked metal door. “Ready?,” he said, and slid it open.

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