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A Modern Nod to Prohibition Era Watering Holes

A Modern Nod to Prohibition Era Watering Holes

Prohibition was not a fun time. Getting together with your cronies and sharing some spirits could land you in jail. Those who were willing to take the chance found their way into dark, hidden speakeasies situated specifically to avoid detection by The Law.

Prohibition only lasted from 1920 to 1933, but the excitement of sneaking a drink with friends in a clandestine hideaway has remained. Today, 100 years after Prohibition temporarily became the law of the land, modern speakeasies have become even more popular than the originals.

Every major city in the U.S. has its share of speakeasies. Here’s a look at eight that have caught the attention of spirit lovers from coast to coast.

By Audrey Pavia

Red Phone Booth

Atlanta, GA

If you want to know what speakeasies were like in their heyday, the Red Phone Booth is the spot for you. Located in downtown Atlanta, the Red Phone Booth strives to provide a Prohibition experience, including a cigar program and a turn-of-the-century cocktail selection.

Featuring a collection of rare bourbon, whiskey and scotch selections, and more than a dozen tinctures, bitters and flavoring agents, the Red Phone Booth features original brick floors, a honey onyx bar, an intimate fireplace, custom Italian leather couches, and a hand-painted ceiling with back lighting. If you want to get in, you have to obtain a secret phone number and call it using a restored, antique red London phone booth located in the entryway. Then wait for someone to let you in.

PDT (Please Don’t Tell)

New York City, NY

If you want to visit PDT—which stands for Please Don’t Tell—you can’t just walk in through the front door. Like most speakeasies, there’s a hidden entrance. In the case of PDT, it’s a telephone booth located in the Crif Dogs eatery next door, located on St. Marks Place in the East Village section of Manhattan.

Once passing through a secret hollow, you’ll find yourself in an intimate room with exposed brick, wood paneled ceilings, a mahogany bar and leather booths. Although PDT opened in 2002, you’ll feel like you are back in the 1920s.

PDT is known for its craft cocktails and food items off the Crif Dogs’ menu.

Atwater Alley

Dallas, TX

Atwater Alley in the Knox/Henderson section of Dallas is a bar within a bar. To reach it, you have to enter Henry’s Majestic, a conventional tavern, which features live music and an outdoor patio. If you know where to look, you’ll find the entrance to Atwater, a hidden, two-story speakeasy tucked in the back.

Atwater Alley has a stylish interior and a romantic atmosphere that lends an upscale twist to the speakeasy trend. And even though visitors must adhere to a dress code—closed-toed shoes for women and full-length pants for men—the atmosphere is both fun and hip.

Atwater’s friendly bartenders serve a large variety of craft cocktails along with a huge list of wines. In-house mixologists even make unique drinks for adventurous patrons.

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