Finnegan's is an underground nightclub in Sorret, established in LY 748, by a man named Finnegan. While he was at first the sole owner and proprietor, he received considerable help from his girlfriend, Aurora, in the running of the club. The two of them married in 753, at which point Aurora became co-owner of the club. Finnegan's has been run by descendants of the couple ever since. In fact, it was on the club's sesquicentennial, in 898, that it officially passed to their great-great-great-great-granddaughter, Frances.
While Finnegan's is most commonly referred to as a nightclub, it has been referred to by several other labels, over the years. Some simply call it a tavern, while others call it a restaurant, since both food and drink are served there. Some call it a rathskeller, because it was built into the cellar of the founder's home. Some call it a cantina. But the most common term used, after nightclub, is cabaret. This is because there are many different types of entertainment offered at the club, at different times. There is often live music, and a dance floor (which is sometimes used by patrons, and sometimes by professional dancers). Other times, theatre troupes perform. Or poets, or storytellers, or comedians, or illusionists.
For the first twenty-five years of the club's existence, it was a popular hangout of a wide variety of Sorretians, including Sorreters. However, in 773, Aurora's younger brother, Roderick, was banished from Sorret by Grand Sorreter Cazzul. After that, Aurora banned any Sorreters from patronizing Finnegan's, a rule which was strictly maintained for at least a generation after the eventual deaths of Aurora and Finnegan. In later generations, the rule was relaxed somewhat, but to this day it remains uncommon for Sorreters to frequent the establishment. From the time the club was first opened in 748, it has attracted a somewhat "counterculture" clientele, or at least its patrons have always liked to think of themselves as such. Not that entrance is exclusive; no membership or password are required. However, the club has never advertised, except by word of mouth. This is in large part what led to its early and enduring popularity among people who wanted to feel "cool" or "in the know." At the same time, this reputation has always led some people to feel a haughty disdain for the place (if they'd heard of it at all). While its patrons would always include people from all social strata, it's true that the majority of its patrons tend to be of the lower or middle classes. And the perception of the club as disreputable was fostered by many Sorreters during their years of ostracization by the club's owners. It's an attitude that's been passed down through the generations, even after the ban was lifted, so that even now most Sorreters disdain Finnegan's. And those few Sorreters who do go there, rarely if ever talk about it with those who don't.
In 904, when the surname law was passed, Frances (who goes by the nickname 'Fanny') and her family chose the name 'Speakeasy,' a Terran subword which doesn't really apply to Finnegan's, since there's never been anything illegal about any aspect of the business. However, the family found it somewhat fitting, considering the underground (figuratively and literally) nature of the establishment, and the fact that some of the entertainment it provides may be considered taboo, by mainstream Sorretian society. Because of this choice of surname, "speakeasy" has since been added to the list of labels the patrons sometimes apply to Finnegan's.