Are speakeasies even a thing?
Are speakeasies even a thing? And if they are so cool, where can I find them? These 8 swank, sexy and social speakeasies are perfect for a fantastic date night out. Speakeasies are the rage for urban dwellers. Rather than the club scene and sports bars, this crowd enjoys quaint venues, craft cocktails, and a little mystery.
To access these hidden gems, you may need a password, a key, or even the elusive token. We want to introduce you to 8 swank, sexy and social speakeasies that are fantastic for a date night out.
Back in the Day
From history lessons, we have all heard the words “speakeasy”, “blind pig”, “blind tiger” or “jazz club”. Most times they refer to the underground club or bar from the Prohibition Era of the 1920s. During this time in America, it was illegal to manufacture, transport, and sell intoxicating liquors. The prohibition laws, however, did not stop the American people.
Much like the entrepreneurs of today, creative people found a way to find and sell alcohol in some secret tucked away places, and those that wanted to consume libations supported these establishments. Thus, the speakeasy was born.
Most times, owners hid their clubs in the backrooms of an existing store, or even in the basement of the house. Speakeasies were often filled with music, cigarette smoke, and the upper echelon. Since they were illegal, the only advertisement for these locations was word of mouth, and most times, you needed a password to gain entrance.
The In Scene
Fast forward to the early 2000s and the modern-day speakeasy emerged. These new underground, backroom bars became the “in scene”. Although many of these clubs have been around for quite some time, it has only been in the last 10 years or so that we have started investigating and visiting many of them.
Like any exclusive venue, there are some general etiquette rules to understand. We want you to feel comfortable while enjoying the ambiance the owners have created for you. Keep in mind these few tips and you will have a great time.
Most of these clubs are small and dimly lit. Speakeasies are not a great place to shuffle into with bigger groups unless, of course, you make prior arrangements. Because these backroom bars are smaller, they make a perfect setting for date nights, anniversaries, and first dates. The atmosphere invites us to dress up a little, (leave the athletic wear and t-shirts home), sit close, and talk quietly. Speakeasies are sexy and intimate.
Each of the cities below is home to numerous Speakeasies. This list is a starting point. If you enjoy the vibe and want to know of other nearby places, ask your bartender. They know all of the hot spots and will gladly give you the details.
These 8 swank, sexy and social speakeasies are fantastic for a date night out.
Savannah, GA: Alley Cat Lounge: 207 W Broughton Ln, Savannah, GA 31401
The Alley Cat Lounge is a short walk down a well-lit alleyway. There is a sign on the door so as not to be missed. Come down the steps and find a table. The Alley Cat Lounge is dimly lit, with ample seating and a perfect place to have a quiet conversation with a friend or a date.
Orlando, FL: Mathers Social Gathering: Phoenix Building, 30 South Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL.
There is no sign at this secret speakeasy. Outside the door, you will see velvet ropes and a friendly doorman. After check-in, your host will usher you to the elevator and give you a hint about the hidden door. It is up to you to find your way in, and if you can’t perhaps you can just read a book.
Mathers Social Gathering offers live music, including dueling pianos, happy hour pricing, and even a 1st class burlesque show. This is one place to put on your must-go list!
Las Vegas, NV: Ghost Donkey: Cosmopolitan Hotel Level 2 Behind Hattie B’s Chicken, , Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas.
Located in the food court behind Hattie B’s is a green exit door with the ghost donkey painted on the door. There is no sign, no neon lights, and no doorman. Ghost Donkey is super small with about 10 seats at the bar and 6 tables with a few stools. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about their mezcal and tequila selections. The crowd cycles quickly, so be patient, especially if mezcal is your thing.
Durango, CO: The Bookcase and Barber: 601 E 2nd Ave B, Durango, CO 81301
Wait, this is a working barbershop, right? It sure is, but after 5 pm, something changes. Call for a reservation and the password. The host will give you all the details. Once inside, there are intimate spaces for parties of 2-4 people. Keep your voice low and speakeasy. The Bookcase and Barber is perfect for those of us looking for a quiet intimate evening.
Wilmington, DE: Hummingbird to Mars: W 16th St, Wilmington, DE 19806 above Catherine Rooney’s
This well-decorated speakeasy is located above the popular Catherine Rooney’s in Trolley Square. Enter from the back door, ring the bell and proceed upstairs. The food is amazing and the service impeccable. Hummingbird to Mars is a perfect location to start your evening with a cocktail or end with a nightcap. You will impress your date for sure!
Charlottesville, VA: Lost Saint: 333 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Located in the basement of Tavern and Grocery, you will feel like you stepped back way back in time. Many deals were made in this quaint, dark, and damp space. The decor seems legit and the food is amazing
Baltimore, MD W.C.Harlan: 23rd St, Baltimore, MD 21211
Unless you are from the neighborhood, you probably won’t find it. What looks like a corner-row house is a very intimate secret speakeasy. Don’t try to come in the front door, instead, look for the side entrance. No password is needed. Be patient with the staff, they are working as fast as they can. Happy Hour drinks, or late-night cordials, the choice is yours.
Costa Mesa, CA: The Ruin Bar: 2930 Bristol St a111, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 at the LAB anti-mall.
The crazy eclectic decor is sure to keep you entertained. Sit outside in the gardens, or inside in a vintage ski gondola and enjoy a craft cocktail. The Ruin Bar is very small, quirky, and worth the stop when in the area. Watch this video on Instagram!
If you are looking for something different than your average sports or karaoke bar, find a speakeasy. Share a conversation, some craft cocktails, and an unforgettable experience. Whether it is date night or drinks with a friend, these 8 swank, sexy and social speakeasies are perfect for a date night out.
As you discover speakeasies around the globe, we kindly ask that you share them with us! Drop us a line at email@example.com. Tell us what you loved and give us a location. You never know when we will be in your neck of the woods and ready for a drink!
Thanks for reading and spending time with us.
Travel Safe and Adventure Often.