Article Short description
Speakeasies, a term used to describe bars that operated underground during the prohibition era, are making a comeback in New York City, according to reports. While some continue to operate from hidden basements, and encrypted telephone booths, several have adopted a more casual approach and some of the latest establishments have forgone secret doors and code words in favour of larger spaces, well-crafted cocktails, and picture-perfect decors. From the elusive Please Don’t Tell to the nondescript Karasu and Magic-themed Adelaide’s Salon, some of the city’s speakeasies have become renowned for serving up a unique mix of mystery, nostalgia, and cocktail craftsmanship.
Top 15 best talkies in New York where you can drink and learn a lot of interesting things about the history of the city
Speakeasies have a long and varied past in New York. When alcohol was banned in 1920, bars and saloons had to go underground in order to continue operating and remained there until alcohol became legal again over a decade later in 1933. That’s how the speakeasy came into being. Drinking is back in the spotlight these days. While drinking no longer needs to be done in secret, the Prohibition-era novelty is enjoying a renaissance. Where in New York to find speakeasies was told by Tasting Table.
Please don’t tell
Please Don’t Tell (or PDT as it’s often called) is often cited as one of New York City’s first speakeasys and the place that started the speakeasy craze that took the city by storm in the 2010s. Getting access to PDT is no small feat. First, you need to go down a small staircase to Crif Dogs, a hot dog eatery on the basement floor of a building in St. Mark’s Square. Enter the phone booth in the restaurant, which will connect you to the PDT employee, and the other side of the booth will open.
Bartender Jim Meehan, who at the time worked as a bartender at the famed Gramercy Tavern, partnered with the owner of Crif Dogs to open PDT in 2007.
Karasu is part of a new generation of New York speakeasies. There are no secret codes or doors disguised as washing machines to get you inside. There is only a nondescript door at the back of Walter’s restaurant in Fort Greene. Karasu is a Japanese-style Izakaya, with its simple décor, thoughtfully prepared dishes, and amazing cocktail menu.
Most of the drinks on offer have a unique Japanese twist, such as G2G, which includes green tea infused vodka.
On a narrow street in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown, the letters AB are embossed on a simple metal door. Open them and you will find yourself in a bar that is considered one of the best in New York. At first it may seem strange that Attaboy does not have a cocktail card. Instead, you need to speak to one of the bartenders to give them an idea of what kind of liquor or flavor profile you are looking for and they will take your order into their own hands.
And don’t worry, because these hands belong to some of the best mixologists. Attaboy opened in a former Milk and Honey establishment and was founded by a couple of former bartenders, Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy, who used to work there. They took the basic Milk and Honey format that was the star of the upscale bars of the 2000s and updated it with simple décor and an eye for modern drinkers. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind cocktail, stop by Attaboy, but be prepared to wait if you show up on a Friday or Saturday night.
Mezcaleria la Milagrosa
It may seem odd at first to walk through the refrigerator door at the back of a tiny wine cellar in Williamsburg, but if you want to sample one of the trendy district’s latest attractions, this is exactly what you need to do. Mazcaleria la Milagrosa offers a wide selection of tequila, mezcal and other cocktails.
On the subject: Theme bars in New York that will send you into space, to Harry Potter and to the country of the eternal New Year
When you get to the back of the wine cellar, you will see the hostess sitting in front of the fridge next to the red phone she picks up to call the bartender and confirm your reservation. This trendy bar is small and cozy; you need to call in advance to reserve a spot. There is a small dance floor at the back of the room.
On Eighth Avenue in Manhattan’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, there’s an old-fashioned soda machine that isn’t a soda machine at all. Open the door and go down the narrow stairs and you will find yourself in Adélaïde’s Salon, one of the most exclusive bars in New York. Light meals and cocktails here focus on spiritual health and well-being and are curated by Adelaide herself, a mysterious being referred to as the “High Priestess”.
A night at Adélaïde’s Salon is no easy task. A strict dress code includes cocktail or business attire, and each booking requires each guest to spend at least $50 on food and drink. There are also magic shows and psychic readings that guarantee an unforgettable magical night.
A small door at the back of SFA Projects, one of the many art galleries in the neighborhood, leads to a small bar with a cozy, intimate atmosphere, complete with a tufted leather sofa and gallery wall. And cocktails here are elevated to the rank of art.
After you’ve had a few drinks, you can head downstairs to Home Sweet Home, a bustling dance bar conveniently located right downstairs and run by the same crew as Fig. 19.
Where better to open a bar than in a former opium den? Apothéke is located on a famously photogenic street in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown, an iconic location for an equally iconic bar. The interior has been redesigned in the style of an antique drugstore, and this theme is reflected in the carefully chosen décor and the cocktails themselves.
The bartenders at Apothéke take their jobs seriously. They are dressed in white coats, which makes them look more like scientists than bartenders, and they are creative with their cocktails, which are grouped into categories according to their supposed psychological effect, such as “aphrodisiacs”, “painkillers”, etc. e. “stimulants”.
Garret may not have the gourmet menu and intimate setting of many other speakeasys, but trendy young patrons definitely know how to party. Walk to the back of the Five Guys hamburger stand on Seventh Avenue in the West Village and a bouncer will be waiting to check your ID and lead you up the stairs.
You’ll be taken to a room of wild fun, with an exciting playlist, a short but solid cocktail menu, and a cool clientele that’s here to have a good time.
The Up & Up
The Up & Up occupies the site of the famous Cafe Gaslight, which was frequented by beat generation legends such as Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac and Diane di Prima. The basement that houses The Up & Up is located on a particularly chaotic stretch of McDougal Street between West 3rd Street and Bleecker Street, full of crowded restaurants and comedy clubs.
The list of cocktails is very creative and everyone will find something for themselves. The Up & Up team is made up of some of the most talented mixologists in NYC and you can be sure they have done their job when it comes to serving a quality cocktail.
If you’re walking down Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood and pass the Sunshine Laundromat, you’d reasonably assume it’s a laundry. Even though this is a working laundry room and you are definitely one of the washing machines in the back is a secret door leading to the pinball arcade and bar.
While Sunshine may not have the sophisticated cocktail menu and sophisticated clientele that many of the other bars on this list boast, the beer is cheap and there are dozens of pinball machines.
PS at Pine & Polk
Pine & Polk may seem like a typical grocery store selling small batches of ice cream and gluten-free crackers, but if you click on one of the shelves lined with gourmet chocolate bars, you’ll find yourself in one of New York’s newest speakeasys. This cozy and intimate 39-seat bar offers sophisticated perfection in the form of creative cocktails and modern interpretations of time-honored classics; a signature martini, for example, comes with a bouquet of seasonal pickled vegetables.
PS also has an all-female team, which is a rarity in the industry. Founded by two friends, Lindsey Weiss and Alissa Golub, who worked in the food industry in San Francisco. PS brings a distinct West Coast vibe to the Hudson Square business district where the bar is located.
If you’re looking for a real speakeasy, head to Little Branch on 7th Avenue South in Manhattan’s West Village. According to New York Magazine, the rules include “don’t speak loudly or act badly,” and bartenders wear suspenders in deference to Prohibition-era clothing. The bar is the brainchild of the late Sasha Petraske, one of New York’s most influential bartenders and creator of some of the most popular cocktail bars.
There’s also a piano, and sometimes a jazz band will serenade the audience while you sip on your perfectly crafted cocktail.
Located in the basement of the Walker Hotel in Manhattan’s posh Tribeca neighborhood, Saint Tuesday has established itself as one of New York City’s best new bars. The cocktail menu at this hidden spot is pared down to a bare minimum, with just a few classics like Tom Collins and Manhattan. There are some creative options, such as Haitian Divorce with rum, mezcal and sherry, and Irish Carry-On with Irish whiskey, amaro and chocolate bitters. And if you’re willing to take a chance, the experienced mixologists at Saint Tuesday can cook you something off the menu depending on your mood.
Storage at UES
For years, speakeasie fashion seemed like a purely downtown business event. Nightlife north of Midtown has a reputation for being sweltering and outdated, but that’s changing with bars like Storage, a speakeasy located inside an ice cream parlor on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. There are no clear signs that this dimly lit world of craft cocktails is hidden behind a secret door in an unassuming shop that can only be accessed with a secret code. The traditional old fashioned decor at UES gives way to chic tufted black leather booths and hot pink accents that make this uptown bar as trendy as any of its downtown counterparts.
Beneath Chicken and Egg, a trendy East Village restaurant, is Sincerely, Ophelia. This is a bar that caters to the younger generation of drinkers who inhabit this Midtown Manhattan neighborhood. Unlike some of the old-fashioned cocktail venues on the list, this bar has graffiti-covered toilets, relatively cheap drinks, and a VIP lounge.
The website claims that the “music and vibes” here “connect with Gen Z and the millennial audience” who frequent this trendy new watering hole.
Read more NY daily news online on our portal.