DeLand, FL - Ross Janke, known for bringing the iconic DeLand Hotel back to life, has turned his attention to his next project – opening Hemingway’s 442, a high-end, “speakeasy”-themed cigar lounge within the DeLand Hotel.
With the same focus he gave the hotel, merging the authenticity of the 1920s era with modern luxury, Janke scoured antique bar dealers throughout the country to procure the unique pieces that would add esthetics as well as function.
The centerpiece of the lounge is the bar. Made up of several pieces, each dating from between 1880-1915, the bar exudes the mystique of the roaring 1920s, but with the comfort of the 2020s.
Under Janke’s care, the DeLand Hotel achieved the highest ranking for a historic property: placement on the National Register of Historic Places. After achieving that goal, Janke moved on to phase 2 of his vision for the hotel. "The lounge was always part of my plan for the Hotel" says Janke. Our goal is to provide a unique, high-end experience for our guests, and create an ambiance where they can relax."
Shari Simmans, Janke’s partner in Hemingway’s 442 is focusing on ensuring the bar’s patrons will be able to “enjoy the simple luxury of a good cigar and a great sip.” She is working with cigar distributors and friends in the industry to procure the perfect cigar for every taste.
Hotel Beverage Director Robert Mercier was recruited by Janke to lead operations for the bar. Mercier, known for his expertise in creating and serving unique cocktails with high-end customer service, cultivated Hemingway’s 442 extensive selection. Top shelf scotch, bourbon, gin, and whiskey decorate the back bar and beckon customers looking for that perfect libation to accompany a good cigar or just unwind in an old Florida atmosphere. Mercier’s focus is on delivering top-notch customer service, to accompany his libations. “Anybody can serve a drink, it is the hospitality behind it that counts. There is a quiet humility in the service of others.”
Hemingway’s 442 opens January 13 at 4pm. Regular hours will be Sunday-Thursday, 4:00-10:00 pm and Friday/Saturday 4:00-11:00pm. It is located inside the DeLand Hotel, 442 East New York Avenue, DeLand.