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‘The Speakeasy’ Regulars Can’t Stop Traveling Back to the ’20s

And they’re deadly serious about the decade-specific dress.


Kristen Stone

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Jeffrey Smith

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Alexandra Feldman

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Elaine Tam

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Robert-Jan Huijsman

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Misha Ilica

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Andrei Ilica

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Nola and Maestro Curtis

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See all the Affinities photo shoots here.

Robert-Jan Huijsman is software-engineer casual by day (jeans and a tee) but makes dramatically different sartorial choices by night, specifically when he heads to one of his favorite haunts, The Speakeasy. Guests at the 1920s-themed immersive theater experience, which has been drawing sold-out crowds to Chinatown since it opened back in 2014, get deep into character, showing up dressed as mob bosses, machine politicians, and entrepreneurial madams. “Every time that I’ve gone, I’ve spent more time thinking about what I’m wearing,” says Huijsman, who has attended six shows and was an early investor in the venture.

Starting in September, guests can slip into the Dressing Room, a nearby costume shop, to rent or buy period-appropriate finery, from flapper dresses to vintage baseball uniforms. “We have one mayor’s costume,” says David Gluck, The Speakeasy’s managing producer. “If you rent that, the cast treats you like the mayor—they’ll buy you drinks.” Another option is to get decked out as the most famous brothel owner in San Francisco. “Then you’ll get accolades of a different kind.”


Originally published in the August issue of San Francisco

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