No better way to commemorate the anniversary of US Prohibition then tucked away in a speakeasy in Dublin! It is Wednesday after all.
On January 16, 1919, 36 of the 48 US states ratified a new Amendment that effectively made alcohol illegal. The new law, which became the 18th Amendment, went into effect officially the following year on January 17, 1920, and forbade the making of, consumption of, sale of, and/or transport of alcohol.
The new addition to the Constitution ushered in the Prohibition Era, which is marked by the illegal and clandestine making of and consumption of alcohol, particularly in a 'speakeasy' –unmarked locales where patrons could partake in drinking.
While the 18th Amendment was officially repealed in 1933 after it was deemed a massive failure, the notion of speakeasies became romanticised and persists even today. A bar trend that started in the US which has become popular here in Ireland too with a handful of 'look-over-your-shoulder-while-you-knock-on-an-obscure-door' popping up.
In fact, Dublin is dotted with these secretive and sometimes password-protected watering holes. Here are a few of our favorites:
Vintage Cocktail Club (V.C.C.): 15 Crown Alley, Temple Bar
Reviewers say: “Absolutely fabulous,” “more than special,” “brilliant atmosphere, brilliant cocktails.”
This speakeasy, which is only open to those over the age of 23, boasts three floors and a roof deck. Reservations are recommended for the iconic Temple Bar spot, which is only marked by a door bearing the letters "V.C.C." It's open late and they serve up good food too, but the star of the show here is their cocktail menu – a novel of sorts and a long list of every type of cocktail you've ever heard of or not heard of. Lots of fun will ensue!
The Liquor Rooms: 5 Wellington Quay, Temple Bar
Reviewers say: “Gorgeous, unique locale,” “decadent, luscious underground bar,” “extremely friendly and courteous staff.”
This circus-themed bar has an extensive cocktail menu that features drinks named after famous women throughout history.
Often with live music, this is a great venue for a night out with a group, but make sure and reserve a table as it is popular!
The Bar With No Name: 3 Fade Street (Kelly’s Hotel)
Reviewers say: “Chilled vibe” and “cocktails to die for."
Sometimes known as simply "no name," the bar is only recognisable by a wooden snail hanging above its door. The outdoor area, covered by a circus tent style canopy, is really popular and always has a brilliant atmosphere.
Aside from an evening of amazing cocktails and deadly tunes, make sure to check out its brunch offering!
The Blind Pig: "5 minutes from Trinity College"
Reviewers say: “A must-do,” “very exciting entrance” and “hidden gem in Dublin.”
This speakeasy goes above and beyond by not publicly posting their exact address! You'll have to phone or email ahead to get directions to The Blind Pig, a "New York Italian" inspired bar that's named after the police officers who would turn a 'blind eye' to illegal alcohol consumption during the Prohibition.
Hacienda Bar: 15 Little Mary Street, Smithfield
Reviewers say: “Great vibes and cool people,” “an oasis in the city,” “possibly the coolest bar in Dublin”
Definitely our favourite hush-hush late-night bar for a tipple, this unassuming spot on Dublin's Northside is frequented by celebrities like Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, and Ed Sheeran. In fact, the bar is adorned with photos of the proprietor with celebs who have stood at the bar. People love the barman and host, Shay, as well as the nonstop '80s music, also if you like music from the era of a famous Manchester nightclub of the same name!
Have you ever been to a speakeasy bar? Share your experience in the comments!