Prohibition might have ended in 1933, but that doesn’t stop modern bars from adapting the speakeasy style of then to now. Here is a list of our four favorite speakeasy bars in New York, but remember, you didn’t hear it from us.
1. Please Don’t Tell
One of the favorite speakeasy bars in NYC is known as PDT by regulars. This bar is hidden within a fast food hot dog restaurant with a sign outside that says “Eat Me.” As you enter the shop, you notice some tables some arcade games, a telephone both, and a counter to place your order. Everything looks normal, but maybe you should try going into that telephone both. There you will see a sign that reads dial the number one. Do it. Someone will answer your call and say “please wait.” Then, if you’re lucky, the other side of the telephone booth opens and a hostess will allow you into PDT, fulfilling your childhood desire for a secret lair. Inside, the bar sports a refined look, definitely a spot to grab drinks on a date, and is moderately priced. The bar area is small so get prepared when the hostess opens the door she will tell you the wait, and it is not uncommon to hear her say a hour.
2. Death & Co.
While walking along the streets of East Village, my friend and I noticed some people standing next to a blank wall. Curious, we walked over thinking that maybe they were trying to go somewhere, although there was not a sign in sight. Once we crossed the street we saw three words spray-painted on the sidewalk: Death & Co. Right as I looked up again, a door opened. Inside, the bar emanates elegance with a candle fixture at every seating arrangement. Similar to PDT, it is fairly small inside, so be prepared to have to wait a little bit to get inside.
Finding Apotheke won’t be easy unless you’re a seasoned traveller to the Chinese district. Turn down Doyers Street and look for the red awning that reads “Gold Flower Restaurant.” Go inside and find a fully equipped bar with vintage furnishings as well as apothecary decorations. At Apotheke, they transport the customer away from present-day NYC to a 19th century Paris. It is no longer a bar; it truly becomes an Apothecary, with your drink scientist serving up a cure to any ailment.
4. Bathtub Gin
Inside the Stone Street Coffee Company is usually a crowd of people waiting to get behind an arcane door with a red glow. If you happen to venture behind that door, there lies the bar Bathtub Gin; last on our list of speakeasy bars in NYC but not last in our hearts. The inspiration comes from the prohibition era when people created gin using poor-quality alcohol, mixing it with flavorings and allowing it to steep inside the bathtub for hours. Needless to say, this wasn’t the safest drink, but at bathtub gin they ditch the technique and replaced it with a safer and more palatable approach of gin creation. Try the Gin Gin Mule (Botanist islay dry gin, fresh ginger extract, pressed lime, cane syrup, fresh mint, topped with chilled perrier, on the rocks) and you might have a new favorite drink. The ambiance is sophisticated, so don’t show up in shorts.