Back in the 1920s, during a time known as prohibition, alcohol was outlawed in the United States, but that didn’t keep people from drinking. Instead, the ban on alcohol led to a time of secrecy where bars were hidden in dark places and only spoken of in hushed voices. Alcohol sellers came up will all kinds of concealed spots to sell their liquors, and these places became known as speakeasy bars. This trend remains popular even to this day. These hidden bars from around the world will amaze you with their ingenious fronts and clever, unique decorative styles.
1. The Flask – Shanghai, China
If you travel all the way to a trendy sandwich bar called “The Press” in Shanghai you won’t be disappointed to discover that behind the antique Coca-Cola vending machine in the corner there’s a surprise waiting for you. Once you open up the heavy metal door of the vintage Coke machine you will step into a completely different world.
What lies waiting for you on the other side of the entrance is the stunning creation of the famous designer Alberto Caiola. Although the design is modern, he decorated the place with antique furniture, as a nod to the speakeasies of the past. The unique blend of modern and antique gives this bar a truly distinctive vibe.
2. Fall From Grace – Melbourne, Australia
This hidden bar is concealed behind one of those haunted mansion bookcases in an eccentric restaurant in Melbourne called the State of Grace. When you enter the restaurant you’re faced with the challenge of finding the right book to take off the shelf. What’s the right book to grab? Fall from Grace, of course. When you pull the book from the shelf you will find yourself staring at a secret winding marble staircase that leads you to what seems like another dimension.
Fall from Grace is elegantly decorated with chandeliers, gilt-edged mirrors, and plush velvet sofas. This bar is a magnificent spot that’s also well known for its excellent cocktails and a wide selection of fine wines.
3. The Blind Rabbit – Anaheim, U. S.
Alice in Wonderland is the inspiration for The Blind Rabbit, a secret cocktail bar located in the Anaheim Packing District. Just like Alice who ends up in Wonderland, you too can find the entrance to a completely different world. However, this secret world just happens to be hidden behind a shelf of Japanese sake kegs. The only indication that there’s something more than a shelf here is a small simple black statuette of a rabbit. Astonishingly, the shelf swings open to reveal a romantic and dimly lit hidden chamber with the enticing backdrop of live piano music.
Upon entering the bar you will be stunned by its classic speakeasy vibe. With its brick-lined cozy interior, it’s easy to picture yourself back in the 1920’s during the days of the prohibition.
4. The Noble Experiment – San Diego, U. S.
You can find the entrance to The Noble Experiment hidden behind a stack of metal beer kegs right next to the restrooms of a trendy San Diego gastropub called Neighborhood. The clever name of this establishment comes from the term the U.S. Congress use to use to describe the prohibition. Once you give a good firm push to the stack of kegs, a door swings open to the right and you’ll be amazed to find a splendidly decorated bar within.
The Noble Experiment will amaze you with its wall of brass skulls fit for an Aztec emperor, its crystal chandeliers dripping from its ceilings, and its walls adorned with romantic art. The bar itself is lit from underneath and framed in marble, and it has some astonishingly good cocktails.
5. Please Don’t Tell – New York City, U. S.
Unsurprisingly, one of New York’s most famous speakeasies is found at the back of a grungy East Village hot dog eatery. To enter Please Don’t Tell you simply need to go to the back of the restaurant and pick up the phone in the antique telephone booth. Just dial “1” and wait for the secret door to open.
The mood in Please Don’t Tell is picture-perfect for a speakeasy. The bar is dark with a heavy vibe, a low wooden ceiling, and plenty of exposed brick. This spot is perfect for a cozy evening out and it was even named ‘Best Bar in the World’ in 2011 by Drinks International.
6. The King of Ladies Man – London, U. K.
Take a trip to the lovely retro breakfast joint The Breakfast Club Café in southwest London and you will be surprised to discover a pleasant surprise out back behind the wood-paneled laundromat. A sliding door opens up to a gorgeous speakeasy draped in golden curtains. The King of Ladies Man exudes the spirit of the ‘70s with its amber backlighting and its display of vintage Playboy magazines.
This bar serves as a fun playful nod to ladies’ men everywhere.