Capone’s Speakeasy & Pizzeria aims to open in downtown Muskegon next Monday, Nov. 25

The final touches are being put on Capone’s Speakeasy & Pizzeria. Photo by Anna Gustafson

When Capone’s Speakeasy & Pizzeria opens at 794 Pine St. in downtown Muskegon next week, owner Jim Noel wants customers to feel as though they’ve taken a step back in time—when those who wanted to sip a cocktail had to slip past the authorities and head to dimly lit spaces filled with whiskey and jazz.

With a tentative opening date of Monday, Nov. 25, Capone’s takes much of its playbook from the Prohibition era, when alcohol was banned in the United States from 1920 through 1933. Think: a room lit by chandeliers, nooks and crannies in which to imbibe, and a dining room filled with dark red booths, wooden and brick walls, and wooden tables.

And, of course, the name itself is a nod to one of the country’s most notorious gangsters, Al Capone, who raked in millions upon millions of dollars through bootlegging, among other illegal activities, during Prohibition, when speakeasies sprang up throughout the country to offer the then-illicit alcohol. (The term “speakeasy” came about because people had to quite literally talk softly in order to avoid being found by the police.)

“There are two ways to go with the speakeasy: the dive and the more elegant type; we went for the more elegant,” said Noel. “We can’t wait for everyone to see it.”

The interior of Capone’s.
There’s a variety of seating at Capone’s, from booths and tables to a 14-seat bar.

Nestled towards the back of the NorthTown 794 building—which houses Aldea Coffee, Rake Beer Project, and 794 Kitchen & Bar—Capone’s won’t have any signage depicting where it is, another ode to its Prohibition roots, Noel said. Its front door will be frosted and will feature a sign that says “Anti-Saloon League, Chicago Branch, Est. 1920.” The Anti-Saloon League was the leading organization that lobbied for prohibition in the United States.

Upon entering Capone’s, patrons will be greeted by an intimate space meant to evoke a time before phone and television screens dominated our world—including a 14-seat wooden bar that will feature a mixologist making “period-correct drinks,” as well as other craft cocktails, dark red booths and wooden tables.

“I had the initial concept for the interior, and Kathi Tyler, a designer in Muskegon, helped make it come to life,” Noel said.

Capone’s is gearing up for a tentative opening on Monday, Nov. 25.
Chandeliers hang throughout Capone’s.

The restaurant will serve both lunch and dinner. In addition to wine and cocktails—think plenty of bourbon and gin-inspired drinks—the venue will focus on Chicago-style pizza, both thin and deep dish. “The Stockyard,” for example, will include shaved Italian beef, sliced Italian sausage, and mild or hot giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables). Other pizzas will included the “Old Chicago” (pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, and sausage), “Vinny the Hawaiian” (pineapple, pulled bacon and red onion), and the “Mugshot” (mozzarella, provolone and ricotta), among others.

There will be a variety of other appetizers and entrees as well, from meatballs and butternut squash ravioli to lasagna, salads, aged meats and cheeses, and more.

Seating by the bar.
A view of the restaurant looking towards the bar.

A Muskegon native who knew the downtown as it was before the expansive indoor mall opened in 1976, Noel—who opened the downtown Topshelf Liquor Bar & Pizza almost exactly five years ago and also owns 794 Kitchen & Bar—said he hopes Capone’s will continue to help build a growing city. 

“The breweries inspired me to open downtown,” Noel said of Pigeon Hill and Unruly. “It was scary in the beginning; people thought I was crazy for opening downtown, but it was a great opportunity.”

“I think it was only a matter of time before the resurgence of our downtown was going to happen,” he continued. “We’re seeing a resurgence of downtowns around the country; look at what has happened in Grand Rapids. It’s exciting to be in Muskegon, and we’re excited to welcome everyone.”

To see more photos of the new restaurant, click on the slideshow below.

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Story and photos by Anna Gustafson, the publisher and editor of Muskegon Times. Connect with Anna by emailing MuskegonTimes@gmail.com or on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

11 thoughts on “Capone’s Speakeasy & Pizzeria aims to open in downtown Muskegon next Monday, Nov. 25

  • November 18, 2019 at 6:15 pm
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    This looks like it’s going to be an AMAZING time!! I’ve always loved the Roaring 20s!! The music, clothing, etc. So, I know Capone’s is going to be a hit! Imight come here for my birthday this coming February 😍

    Reply
    • November 19, 2019 at 4:43 am
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      Let’s do it Faith!! It will be a blast!

      Reply
  • November 18, 2019 at 6:46 pm
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    Exciting can’t wait new place to go our you going to have live music

    Reply
  • November 18, 2019 at 7:19 pm
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    Awesome..il be there.!

    Reply
  • November 18, 2019 at 7:44 pm
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    I am interested in an office gathering. How can I get more in formation on hours, prices etc.

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    • November 18, 2019 at 9:07 pm
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      It’s strange that they don’t have any sort of web presence yet.
      Since it’s owned by the same person, and in the same building, try contacting 794 Kitchen & Bar by phone, or online?
      https://www.facebook.com/794KnB/

      Reply
  • November 18, 2019 at 8:40 pm
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    I’m a big fan of Jim and his restaurants, He is doing so much for our downtown area. Top Shelf Downtown is where my husband and I have date night. Our favorite pizza is a double bacon with jalapeños. We enjoy the selection of beers and the fact that our favorite beer is next door at PigeonHill. I’m looking forward to opening night.

    Reply
  • November 19, 2019 at 9:44 am
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    I hope minority costumers don’t get treated like it’s the 20s or 30s which seems to be a private problem in the muskegon area,but good luck.

    Reply
  • November 19, 2019 at 10:30 am
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    I DO hope you guys are open and ready for business before Thanksgiving! I wanna bring my friends here for some good spirits!

    Reply
  • November 24, 2019 at 9:39 am
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    Looks exactly like the kind of place I would enjoy! Best wishes!

    Reply
  • November 24, 2019 at 1:41 pm
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    no web page, no menu,,,, no interest.

    Reply

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