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17 of the Coolest and Most Exclusive Speakeasies in the U.S.

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Since we’re back in the roaring 20s, it’s time to take a trip to some of the most exclusive speakeasies in the nation. Back in the day, speakeasies were places that served alcohol illegally during the prohibition. However, now that alcohol is legal, some speakeasies are still open, maintaining that thrill and anonymity. Some need special passwords, some are hidden behind trick doors and mirrors, and others have you leave all electronics at the door. Here are some of the coolest and most exclusive speakeasies you can visit.

Red Phone Booth – Nashville, TN

The Red Phone Booth is one of the most exclusive speakeasies in Nashville. You’re only allowed in if you have the secret password, which you have to find from either a member of the club or someone else who’s been. In this case, it’s all about who you know.

The Green Mill – Chicago, IL

Previously frequented by Al Capone, this speakeasy features jazz music and hard drinks. There’s even a booth Capone sat at regularly that you can sit at, as well.

Midnight Cowboy – Austin, TX

This speakeasy still features signs from when it was in existence way back when. In order to enter, you need to ring a buzzer that will signal the door to open.

Truth & Alibi – Dallas, TX

Made to look like a candy shop from the outside, this speakeasy is all crystal and velvet on the inside. The weekly password is posted on Facebook and be sure to opt for a Moscow Mule when you make it in.

Williams & Graham – Denver, CO

This entrance to this speakeasy is hidden behind a secret door disguised as a bookcase. If that isn’t cool enough, the drink menu is disguised as a novel.

The Oakland – Detroit, MI

This speakeasy is said to be one of five bars that led to the comeback of whiskey in Detroit and has a strict no cell phone policy. Admittance is also first-come, first-serve.

Commonwealth (The Laundry Room) – Las Vegas, NV

This place is considered a “bar within a bar” and has a strict no photography rule. Reservations are only made via text.

International Exports Ltd. (“The Safe House”) – Milwaukee, WI

This bar is espionage-themed and includes a secret phone booth, secret passageways, and weaponry.

The Patterson House – Nashville, TN

At this speakeasy, bartenders are dressed up like Al Capone and the bar is named after former Tennessee Governor Malcolm R. Patterson who vetoed the return of the prohibition in 1902 in the state.

Noble Experiment – San Diego, CA

This speakeasy’s entrance is sneakily hidden by a stack of silver kegs and admittance is only by text reservation days in advance. The inside features white booths, Rembrandt-style paintings, and a wall of skulls.

Wilson & Wilson Private Detective Agency – San Fransico, CA

As a speakeasy inside a speakeasy, both places need a password to enter and feature 1920s-themed everything.

Apotheke – New York City, NY

This speakeasy is inspired by an old-fashion pharmacy and serves drinks in antique medicine bottles. The door is located down a side street in China Town and is labeled “Chemist.”

Tavern Law (Needle and Thread) – Seattle, WA

Featured as one of the top 25 Best Cocktail Bars in America by GQ in 2010, this speakeasy is a secret lounge inside another building. Access to the space is only available via picking up a phone in the back of the building and dialing the lounge’s number.

Harold Black – Washington D.C.

This speakeasy has a sliding wooden door that leads to a staircase that empties out into the bar. This place doesn’t have a website and reservations are strongly recommended.

PDT (Please Don’t Tell) – New York City, NY

Hidden behind a phone booth at a hot dog stand in the East Village, this speakeasy is only accessible after dialing “1” in the phone booth.

Melinda’s Alley, Pheonix, AZ

Like classic speakeasies in the 1920s, this bar is only marked with a single red light and features more red lighting on the inside.

Whether you’re a fan of the roaring 20s or are just looking to have some sneaky fun, try out these speakeasies to get the full experience. Grab your S.O., a few friends, or go to mingle with others and be sure to dress in character.

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About The Author

Emmie Pombo is a latte and tattoo-loving Tennessean who specializes in mental health and beauty writing. She holds a degree in Journalism and a certification in Makeup Artistry and Airbrushing. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


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