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The speakeasy also referred as a blind tiger, or simply hidden bars and nightclubs were a big rage during the prohibition era between 1920 and 1933 when it was a criminal offense to sell, manufacture or transport alcoholic beverages throughout the USA. Though they died out after the prohibition was revoked in 1933, the charm of reliving the era and sneaking around the hidden bars remain a thrilling idea. New York City boasts countless of such hidden bars, trying to recreate the same ambiance, same hidden entrances, which can transport you back into that era.
Check out some of these popular hidden drinking dens in NYC to take a peek into that forbidden charm.
A red neon psychic sign will lead you to this award-winning bar in the West Village, which is ranked as one of the world’s top fifty bars ten times in a row. Established in 2004, the Employees Only truly justifies its status of being a hidden bar with its classic art deco, the shiny green glow on the bar shelves, pale styled lighting illuminating the artwork of legendary artists of 20s 30s era, such as Man Ray and Tamara de Lempicka. This perpetually packed bar with guests is treated by the highly professional bartenders who think of nothing except serving the guests with their world-class cocktails including the EO’s signature cocktail ‘’Riff on a Manhattan’’ along with a delectable blend of American and Eastern European food menu.
Hidden above the Upper West Side restaurant Burke & Wills, Manhattan Cricket Club is a private members’ club which is open to the public. Located in a 19th-century apartment, this quiet cocktail bar welcomes members and non-members alike. Complete with an elegant living room, a library, cricket memorabilia, and comfortable couches, it offers a homely feel. The Cricket Club’s must-try signature cocktail is the Salt and Pepper which is an awesome combination of Bloody Mary with sun dried tomato and celery-root tincture, garnished with smoked-black-pepper. Tracing out the club’s clandestine entrance is undoubtedly worth an effort.
Conceptualized by a Japanese restaurant owner, Angel’s Share is a quiet cocktail den in the line of some of Tokyo’s peaceful bars. Once you take the staircase, and enter through the second floor of the adjacent Japanese restaurant, you’ll land up in a civilized cocktail bar that will give you a feel of centuries back old-fashioned set up with the cut crystal beakers and thick brocade drapes. With unique cocktails such as Earl Gray-infused gin and pear-infused Grey Goose Angel’s Share is one of the iconic among NYC’s amazing hidden bars.
Located in the Theater District, the Bar Centrale is the secret bar hidden behind an unmarked town house door. This amazing bar in the city has some elite guest list including the Broadway actors like Alessandro Nivola. The Bar Centrale rightly takes you back to the vintage era with its elegantly decorated table using ticket stubs, the worn-out photos of Times Square, and the TV playing old classics like Sabrina. Apart from the quiet ambiance, the bar boasts an exquisite range of wine.
Tucked away inside Grand Central Terminal, this legendary Jazz Age institution is one of the most fascinating hidden spaces. Originally established as the office of business tycoon John W. Campbell, the space got renovated as an amazing hideout for those who wish to take a feel of that embargo phase. Campbell Apartment has managed to create the same aura with its 13th-century Florentine-inspired design, hand painted high rising ceilings, old-style glass window, antique fireplace, luxurious sofas, and colorful porcelain vases. This place is popular for serving modern and classic concoctions served with exotic mini lobster rolls.
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