Speakeasies are a growing trend lately. The posh interior designs and fancy service leave no question as to why they have become such a hit.
They first came into prominence during the Prohibition era of the 1930s when bars, pubs, and lounges were kept on the down-low due to strict alcohol consumption regulations. Today, their ambiance and secretive nature are what draw the crowds.
Here is a list of cool, ornate speakeasies to explore in Manhattan.
Garfunkel’s (Lower East Side)
Garfunkel’s is a cozy, aesthetically pleasing speakeasy surrounded by bookshelves.
The venue is open for both afternoon tea as well as nighttime cocktails. Therefore, people in New York are able to get a tiny taste of the London inspired bar during the day as well as at night.
The entrance to the bar is a bank vault, which was installed to pay homage to corrupt bankers in the 1920s who used its location as a bedpost for their illegal activities.
A cool touch is that when making reservations guests are given a unique code so they can access the vault when they come in later. The codes change nightly. Talk about exclusive!
Craving a little excitement during your stay? Be sure to make reservations when coming here!
The Raines Law Room (Chelsea)
The Raines Law Room, located near Union Square, is a swanky speakeasy with drinks ushering in Prohibition’s heyday.
The bar opens at 5 p.m nightly and encourages making reservations, which can only be made by calling on either Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.
The cocktails here are inspired by wines and spirits that were served around the time of Prohibition, and there is, of course, a secret entrance. Making a reservation is suggested.
The Campbell (Grand Central)
Conveniently located inside of Grand Central Terminal, in the heart of Manhattan, The Campbell is open both during the day or at night and operates daily from noon till 2 a.m.
A fun fact is that this speakeasy used to be the office of former financier John William Campbell during the Jazz Age. Inspired by the ornate Florentine designs of the thirteenth century, space has a bar, lounge, and outdoor terrace. There are many different types of cocktails to choose from here along with some small plates.
Manhattan Cricket Club (Upper West Side)
The Manhattan Cricket Club is located near Central Park and Lincoln Center.
It is open Monday-Saturday from 6 p.m. – 2 p.m. This spot serves an array of cocktails & h’ordeuvres and the decor takes inspiration from the colonial gentleman’s clubs of the British Empire in the 20th century.
Like any other proper gentleman’s club, the Manhattan Cricket Club offers a membership and expects customers to dress to impress. Walk-ins are welcome. Having membership gives you access to making a reservation.
67 Orange Street (Harlem)
Located in Harlem, 67 Orange Street is a speakeasy with a bi-level lounge. With drink names like the “Emancipation”, it should come as no surprise that this bar was one of the first in NYC to be African-American owned.
If you’re exploring Harlem, this spot is a must. 67 Orange Street opens at 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.