Crafted Cocktails and Cozy Vibes: Choosing a Speakeasy for Date Night
A speakeasy for date night is a little secret we’ve discovered.
As seasoned travelers, my partner and I often find ourselves craving an escape from the fast pace of life on the road. Within our nomadic lifestyle, we must create pockets of pockets of time where we can just hang out together for an intimate night and quiet conversation.
Speakeasies offer precisely that—a refuge from the chaos. In a world saturated with loud lounge bars, sports venues, and karaoke spots, these hidden gems provide a haven where we can truly connect. There’s a certain magic in discovering a secret entrance, stepping inside, and being transported to a bygone era.
So let’s take a look inside to see what makes choosing a speakeasy for date night a memorable experience.
Unveiling the Allure: Why Speakeasies Are Perfect for Date Nights
What is it that makes speakeasies for date night so captivating? Let’s explore the irresistible allure behind these hidden gems and why they are the ideal choice for a romantic outing.
Speakeasies often embrace a nostalgic charm, transporting you and your date back to a bygone era. This historical aspect can create a sense of novelty and make the date night more memorable.
During Prohibition, speakeasies flourished as covert establishments for consuming alcohol. Concealed in backrooms, basements, and behind hidden walls, they provided excellent hiding spots. Gaining entry often required secret handshakes and passwords.
Once Prohibition ended, so did the speakeasy scene. That is until 2000, the modern-day speakeasy emerged. Still, 23 years later, speakeasies are super popular, secretive, and ideal for a romantic evening.
Speakeasies often have a cozy and romantic atmosphere with dim lighting, vintage decor, and soft music. The ambiance creates an intimate setting that invites quiet conversation and connection.
Many speakeasies limit table seating to 4 people, with small cocktail tables, encouraging couples to sit close and speak easy.
Speakeasies typically offer more privacy than other establishments. They often have secluded seating areas or hidden corners, perfect for couples who want to sneak a kiss.
The staff is professional and discreet, offering drink service at your request. A simple nod or other quiet gesture will signal to the waitstaff that you are ready to order. Although they are close by and attentive, they are never intrusive.
To keep the privacy of its guests and the secrets of the speakeasy, many establishments prohibit electronic devices such as cell phones, cameras, and video equipment. While it is nice to have a picture for remembrance, the non-stop flashes and selfies do deter from the overall experience.
Remember, you chose a speakeasy for date night, to connect. It’s ok to turn off your phones for 90 minutes and concentrate on each other.
Speakeasies generally have a quieter environment compared to regular bars or restaurants, allowing for easier conversation and deeper connection between partners. The absence of loud music and excessive noise enhances the date night experience.
Some speakeasies help facilitate conversation by placing “conversation cards” on the table. It’s fun to pick a random topic and share your thoughts. Questions may be thought-provoking such as “If you could go back in time and change one decision, what would it be and why?”. Or, funny questions like “If we were contestants on a game show, what challenge would we excel at and what would be our hilarious downfall?”
Even after 20 years, couples like us sometimes need a little boost to get the conversation flowing.
The secretive nature of a speakeasy adds an element of excitement and adventure to the date. The hidden entrance, limited seating, and reservation requirements make it feel exclusive and special.
Not everyone knows about the secret speakeasies. Sometimes the entrance is past the crowded bar and up the stairs. Other times, the exclusive club is behind the jewelry case in a pawn shop.
Knowing the secret sets you apart from the crowd.
Speakeasies are known for their expertly crafted cocktails made with high-quality ingredients and attention to detail. Whether you prefer a Smoked Old Fashioned or a frothy pink Clover Club, your mixologist will create a perfect concoction for you.
Many speakeasies specialize in Prohibition-type cocktails rather than the shot and beer you would get at the main bar. Trying something new with your date is part of the fun.
Photo Credit: Larry Lang
Going to a speakeasy adds a touch of uniqueness to a date night. It shows that you’ve put thought into planning a distinctive experience.
While some speakeasies have impromptu tableside entertainment, others have full-on stage productions with burlesque entertainers or a jazz quartet.
Dressing the part in a flapper dress and 3 piece suit goes a long way on a date night in a speakeasy. Not only will your date feel special, but the staff will also welcome your efforts.
After all, they want you to enjoy your date as much as you. Date night should be memorable, so have fun!
Finding a Speakeasy for Date Night
Speakeasy bars are not always easy to find. Sure, you can Google “speakeasy near me”, to get the address, but finding it may be a different story. It is not unusual for a speakeasy to change locations, similar to a pop-up bar.
Your hotel concierge and local bartender know the best places to go. Ask them what they know about local speakeasies. You might luck out and get the secret password to gain entrance.
Exploring back alleys, looking for hidden entrances, and knocking on walls are all part of the fun. The mystery and suspense with the thrill of “finding it” makes for lasting memories.
Speakeasies for a Memorable Date Night
Big cities like Austin, Las Vegas, and Philadelphia have numerous speakeasies. However, don’t discount small towns with a certain vibe. You never know what is hidden in plain sight, unless you ask.
These speakeasy locations might surprise you. These are some of our favorites. We encourage you to explore them, but let’s keep it our little secret!
The Bookcase and Barber
601 E 2nd Ave B, Durango, CO 81301
The Bookcase and Barber is a perfect speakeasy for date night. This working barber shop has far more than a few vintage books on its shelves.
With the right password and reservations, the hostess will lead you behind the bookshelf into a quiet, shadowy speakeasy. The vintage decor and expert barkeepers will transport you back to the days of Prohibition.
With a nicely curated spirits menu and imaginative cocktails, you will find The Bookcase and Barber perfect for a romantic evening while visiting Durango.
Hummingbird To Mars
W 16th St, Wilmington, DE 19806 (above Catherine Rooney’s)
Located above the popular Catherine Rooney’s in Trolley Square is the super secret Hummingbird to Mars Speakeasy, Look for the hidden entrance at the rear of the building, adorned with a vibrant gold hummingbird. Ring the bell and have your password ready.
The host will lead up the stairs into a beautifully decorated hidden speakeasy, perfect for date night. Unlike most speakeasies, Hummingbird To Mars serves dinner and small plates. The food is amazing and the service is impeccable. Weekends offer live entertainment.
While visiting Wilmington, Hummingbird to Mars is a perfect location to start your evening with a cocktail or end with a nightcap. Your date will be impressed!
333 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Lost Saint is a speakeasy hidden in the basement of Tavern and Grocery. As you descend the worn, creaking wooden staircase, you will feel as if you are walking into the Civil War Era of the 1800’s.
The flickering candlelight adds an air of mystery and intrigue. You can almost hear the whispers of those who passed through here long ago.
The natural brick walls and wood finish add ambiance to the eclectic decor. Travel back in time as you imagine plotting a strategy against the enemy forces. The bartenders are excellent storytellers as well as seasoned mixologists.
Lost Saint is a fascinating speakeasy for date night.
23rd St, Baltimore, MD 21211
Photo Credit: Masche’/Pasterniak
W.C. Harlan is one of Baltimore’s best-kept secrets. Unless you are from this neighborhood, you probably won’t find it.
What looks like a corner-row house is actually a very intimate secret speakeasy, perfect for date night. However, don’t try to come in the front door, instead, look for the side entrance. No password is needed.
Whether you take a cozy table for two or a seat at the bar, the staff is friendly and observant. They will see that you are well taken care of and your conversation is uninterrupted. We love W.C. Harlan it is an intimate speakeasy, perfect for happy hour, late-night cordials, and most definitely a date night.
The Nookie Room
Better Than Sex, 926 Simonton St., Key West, FL
When it comes to a speakeasy for date night, Better Than Sex says it all. If decadent deserts and sensual cocktails doesn’t speak romance, the private tables and sexy decor does. Although the entire restaurant is perfect for an intimate evening out, a table in the Nookie Room is just that much more special.
Take your time, sit close together, and share some dessert, it is fabulous. Better Than Sex is a delicious speakeasy for date night.
The Ranstead Room
2013 Ranstead St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Everything about The Ranstead Room screams “perfect speakeasy for date night”, if you can find it. Located on a side street, this small brick-front building has no sign or designation except a back to back R’s on the door.
Once inside, the hostess will escort you to a table or one of the few coveted seats at the bar. The red leather booths offer a peaceful setting for intimate conversation, while the provocative artwork adds intrigue. To keep the exclusive secret vibe, patrons are not permitted to take pictures.
Out of all the speakeasies we have been to over the years, The Ranstead Room is by far my favorite. Whether it was the tantalizing drinks or the captivating company, I can’t resist the allure of this enchanting hideaway.
The Laundry Room
525 E Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Photo Credit: Gwen Powers
While Las Vegas has plenty of speakeasies to choose from for date night, The Laundry Room is still very exclusive. This secret speakeasy is located inside The Commonwealth and is a great choice for a Vegas date night.
Let the main bar know you have arrived and wait for the hostess to escort you “behind the wall” into The Laundry Room.
As you step back in time, your hostess will inform you of the house rules, which include no electronic devices or loud voices. Guests are encouraged to sit close and whisper while enjoying a cocktail.
The mixologists are geniuses as they prepare a tasty concoction based on your palate or chose something from the menu.
Seating is limited and reservations are required.
The Ruin Bar
2930 Bristol St a111, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
When seeking a speakeasy for a memorable date night in Costa Mesa, look no further than The Ruin Bar.
The eclectic almost quirky decor creates an ambiance that enhances conversations and sparks intrigue. Whether you choose to cozy up in the vintage gondola car or opt for a garden table, stepping into The Ruin Bar transports you to a captivating world of its own.
Nestled amidst a vibrant array of restaurants and specialty shops, it is a perfect stopover on your date night. Prepare to be enchanted by The Ruin Bar, a genuine hidden gem, awaiting all who embrace the unusual and peculiar.
The Alley Cat Lounge
207 W Broughton Ln, Savannah, GA 31401
When visiting Savannah, the Alley Cat Lounge is our pick for date night. Finding this speakeasy is a little challenging as it is midway down a side street alley. However, entrance is well-marked and the lounge is in the basement.
For some reason, this underground hideaway has a Beatnik vibe. Although there were no poetry readings or bongos, I felt as if I were transported back to the 1960s. The low lights and classy cocktails make The Alley Cat Loung a perfect speakeasy for date night.
Here Nor There
612 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701
Here Nor There has become our go-to date night speakeasy in Austin, thanks to its exclusive vibe and seductive ambiance. The intimate seating, private booths, and imaginative cocktails create the ideal setting for a truly romantic evening.
Discovering Here Nor There adds to the allure, as gaining entrance requires a bit of effort. To secure a reservation, you must become a member by downloading their app and submitting a request. Their attentive hosts will then schedule your appointment, adding an element of anticipation and exclusivity to the experience.
On date night, find the metal gate, and enter the secret passcode. Take the steps down into a secret world beneath the street. Like flickering fireflies, the overhead twinkle lights illuminate the space.
Can there be a more romantic setting for date night?
Austin is known for its nightlife and secret bars. Let a local tour guide show you around. Explore the underground world of speakeasies, 6th Street, and Congress Street.
Choosing a Speakeasy for Date Night: Final Thoughts
When it comes to date night, connecting as a couple is important. Speakeasies create a magical romantic atmosphere that is perfect for first dates and anniversaries. The gentle glow of candles or soft lighting and cozy seating create a perfect setting for intimate conversations.
If you haven’t been to a speakeasy yet, give it a try! A little mystery and adventure are sure to spark romance. So go ahead and discover the hidden gems of speakeasies for a special date night.
Cheers, to love, connection, and unforgettable experiences!
Maureen Wright and Robb Strobridge
Entrepreneurs, Wanderlusters, Constant travelers, and Full-time RV Nomads since 2016. We are fueled by life, love, and the pursuit of all things good. Thanks for joining our journey and we hope to see you down the road!