Bathtub Gin – Seattle, WA.
Great name and better still, its entrance is just a random door in a dirty, dark alley in Seattle’s Belltown. Exposed brick walls with seating on three levels – it’s terrific. Wonderful mixologists behind the bar as well.
Fifth Province – Chicago IL.
You won’t find the entrance in a shifty alley or in the basement of another bar, but rather in the South wing of the Irish American Heritage Center. Drop in for some live Celtic music or some authentic Irish libations. Just make sure you come on the weekend, because this joint is only open Fridays and Saturdays.
The Gotham Club – San Francisco, CA.
The Gotham Club is a members-only speakeasy located behind the scoreboard of the AT&T Stadium, and it’s every bit as cool as it sounds. Among other things it has a private bowling alley! You won’t be admitted unless you’re a member, though (and they won’t even tell you where the entrance is until you enroll), so start scraping up the $2,500 initiation fee.
Garage – Austin, TX.
Aptly named, this joint is actually hidden in the old valet ticketing office of a parking garage. This one is tough…you can walk by it 3 or 4 times before you actually locate it. It keeps the speakeasy theme going with Prohibition-era drinks and a record player.
Lock and Key – Los Angeles, CA.
Finding the sketchy unmarked entrance in Koreatown isn’t even the hard part. Once you’re past the front door, you’ll enter a tiny room lined with doorknobs. Literally, they’re all over the walls. It’s up to you to find the one that actually opens into the bar, all while a guy in a bowler hat watches you. Who come up with this stuff?
PX – Alexandria, VI.
PX isn’t going to make things easy for you with actual signs, so you’ll instead have to look out for the blue light next to the unmarked door. When it’s on, the bar is open. A hostess will greet you at the door and lead you upstairs to the wonderful secret space. This place is serious….collared shirts for gentlemen required.
PDT – New York City, NY.
No list like this would be complete without the “Granddaddy.” PDT “Please Don’t Tell” is the most well-known hidden bar around. Is that an oxymoron? You get to into it by going through a phone booth in the back of a hot dog shop. Same day reservations only.