Retro Warehouse and Speakeasy home bars: Making the old new again in Shelton

Is it a bookshelf? Is it an antique sewing table? Maybe it has a bunch of junk inside.

Actually, if you open the cabinets up, and find a set up for entertaining inside, you’ve found a Speakeasy Bar from Milford resident Lori Sando.

Call it a second act. Call it finding her passion. Regardless of what it is, one thing is for sure: Sando is doing what she loves.

Since the beginning of April, Sando has been creating Speakeasy bars: re-purposed furniture to be the perfect addition to a party.

Bringing new life to old items

Sando said she loves taking old, quality furniture and bring new life to it. She has a studio in Shelton — a space she shares with Shelton resident Debbie Weirheim, owner of Retro Warehouse.

“If you have a piece of furniture that is collecting dust downstairs,” this is the perfect way to make the antique work for you, she said.

She works with a carpenter to make changes for her items. Mike Corsano of Monroe — a retired firefighter — takes what seems like junk and helps bring Sando’s vision to life.

Some of her projects include taking a lingerie chest, where she took out drawers and replaced them with shelves and other items to make it a bar. Their current project is a bar with a whiskey and cigar theme. Once completed, the drawers will be lined with leather and a humidor to keep cigars fresh will be inside.

An out-of-the-box kind of person'

Sando said Corsano helps her stay grounded with her ideas.

“You can do whatever you want with these,” she said. “I am an out-of-the-box kind of person.”

The bars can be fitted with small refrigerators, coffee makers or whatever you think would work. Sando said you don’t have to use it as a bar, people can have a smoothie set up inside.

“I want it to be something unique and something special that someone wants in their home,” said Sando.

For more information visit or find them on Facebook.

A warehouse of unique finds

Sando’s work studio is on Howe Avenue in Shelton. She shares the space with Debbie Weirheim of Shelton, who owns Retro Warehouse.

The warehouse features unique finds from yesterday that would be able to be added to someone’s home. Like Sando, Weirheim fixes up items by cleaning and painting, to help people see what a good piece of furniture it once was.

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