Not-So-Secret Speakeasy

Cocktail hideaway Kuchi opens in Onancock.

(photo by Viwat “Golf” Kitchol)

The Japanese have a word for it: the ambiguous pang of non-hunger, when your mouth feels a little bit lonely. Kuchi (short for kuchisabishii) also makes a fitting name for Onancock’s new speakeasy, where the drinks and small plates satisfy.  

Located in a former carriage house, behind Maurice, the popular fusion restaurant, the setting at Kuchi is, “dark and moody,” says co-owner Scott Thomas. Windows and glass doors are blacked out, in true speakeasy fashion. Inside, copper-topped bars and teal walls give the place a “whimsical but adult” vibe, he notes. 

Drink specialties at Kuchi include a Chai Old Fashioned and an Aperol Gin Qb’d, with craft beers, fine wines, sake, and hand-smoked whiskeys on offer. Afternoon tea is a nice touch, too. 

Chef Viwat “Golf” Kitchol delivers a full sushi menu, including the popular Eastern Shore Roll, a local fried oyster wrapped in nori. Satays, soup dumplings, and savory charcuterie with a few Asian twists round out the small plate menu, all designed to make your mouth happy. Instead of peanuts, look for steamed edamame on the bar. 

Thomas, who spent decades immersed in New York and Chicago’s theater worlds, is also planning cabarets, jazz nights, and drag events at Kuchi, all sellouts at Maurice’s. We’re betting this discreet little speakeasy won’t be a secret for long.


This article originally appeared in the June 2023 issue.

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