The Secret Bars That Everyone Knows About

Themed events and places seem to be the craze at the moment! Nothing better than a night out, getting dressed up and making yourself look stupid! With Halloween fast approaching, I might have to get the green tights on and be Peter Pan for the night… again.

But moving away from that scary image, bars also seem to take part of themes, and one of the more popular ideas recently seems to be “Speakeasies”. Formed in the 1920s in the USA, they were secret bars, trading & distilling alcohol illegally. The speakeasies always had their own personality, were hidden and as they were illegal, dangerous. Modern bars, going back to these days, use the majority of these factors to create their own sense of “excitement and intimacy”, focussing on the styles & personality that originated from these “exclusive secretive bars”. Obviously leaving the dangerous part out…!

 Apparently there are a good few in London, showing that the “Chicago Way” heritage has grabbed our attention across the ocean. This does not mean that we are creating our own “mobs” and no, you don’t have to dress up as Al Capone, but the intimacy that the dimmed lighting and basement environment creates, adds to the spirit of a good night out. As Thrillist London points out:

“Hidden bars hark back to the days of prohibition... when drinking was still totally legal in the UK, and a hidden bar would have made no sense whatsoever. But if sense was what we were after, we wouldn’t be drinking”

  Themed bars add to the sense of fun & excitement, and what better way to create these atmospheres with secret entrances, passwords and your own personality! During prohibition, the speakeasies also created the sense of freedom and allowed citizens to do what they pleased… till they got caught. I guess this sense of feeling can be re-created by refurbing a basement with great lighting, décor and fantastic rustic furniture. Not having to use bath tubs to distil the alcohol is also a bonus, saves the clearing up for the landlord!     

In case this is something that would interest you, remember the password and remember only to tell the ones that you can trust with a secret, the Time Out London magazine has listed off the best Speakeasies in London:

Perfect for a few cocktails, that you want to share, but don’t want anyone to know about! My personal favourite being the Discount Suit Company, the irony of the bar’s name makes me want to have a cocktail just to get over the confusion… Going to have to look into a weekend away in London (don’t tell anyone).  

Whatever the password is, I am in love with the idea of a speakeasy bar! I cannot wait for one of my rebellious friends, myself obviously being a quiet lad, to introduce me to one!  

Posted by: Michael Hurd

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