Top five Washington, D.C. speakeasies

Cocktail on a wooden bar.

In case you’ve ever itched to do one thing rather unlawful, however lacked the braveness to if truth be told undergo with it, modern day speakeasies would possibly provide the thrill you’re searching for — with out operating afoul of the regulation. 

Those secret bars with inconspicuous entrances operated all over the Prohibition period when there was once a national ban at the manufacturing and sale of liquor. Throughout that dry season, folks visited speakeasies to experience beverages in underground bars the place regulation enforcement may just now not simply to find them.  

Just about 100 years later, speakeasies are nonetheless as in style as ever in Washington, D.C., a town that is aware of somewhat one thing about rules and those that oppose them. Be a part of the resistance — kind of — by means of testing those 5 hidden bars:  

The Alex

Situated in Georgetown, this hideaway bar is a gem. 

It’s tucked away at the back of a grey door that appears love it’s protective a secret vault or perhaps only a provide closet. You’ll make your method down a couple of steps till you succeed in a old fashioned bar that’s harking back to one thing out of a vintage mob film.

Bartenders at The Alex are pleasant, and the beverages are nice. You’ll be able to even get a gin and tonic served in a tiny tub — a nod to the troughs bootleggers as soon as used to concoct their elixirs. If not one of the cocktails at the menu tickles your fancy, the mixologists are very happy to make a customized drink for your liking. 

Oh, and the menu is outlined as a newspaper. Tremendous inventive.

The Alex

The Gibson

Assured, you’ll stroll previous this bar no less than two times earlier than figuring out you overlooked it. 

The Gibson is tucked away at the back of a random door that you just’d by no means imagine opening until you knew precisely what you had been going to search out. Nestled proper between the preferred 14th Boulevard staple, Marvin, and Bestway Liquors — proper at the mythical U Boulevard hall — the door granting access into The Gibson is best marked by means of numbers indicating its cope with: 2009.

If you’re in, the bar embodies the epitome of a speakeasy: It’s dimly lit and intimate. The menu is seasonal, and there’s all the time numerous cocktails to make a choice from.

The Gibson, Washington, D.C.

Hen + Whiskey

You assume you’re moving into an informal hen eating place, however wait; there’s extra! 

Stroll previous the comfortable drink device to what seems like a stainless-steel deep freezer door, and at the back of this is a whiskey bar styled in a similar fashion to the eating place. 

The bar menu boasts 99 kinds of whiskey. We don’t counsel you check out them abruptly, however there are conventional whiskey-based cocktails like Sazerac and Penicillin that you’ll be able to check out with a distinct whiskey every time you cross.

Even supposing it’s regarded as a whiskey bar, Hen + Whiskey, positioned on 14th Boulevard Northwest now not a ways from Logan Circle, additionally serves cocktails made with different liquors.

Chicken + Whiskey

The Replicate

This hidden venue on D.C.’s busy Okay Boulevard Northwest is as unique as a speakeasy will also be. Its earlier incarnation, The Discuss, was once close down two times as it was once running illegally. Now beneath new control, it’s known as The Replicate.

The doorway sits on the backside of a flight of stairs. You’ll be met with a full-length reflect and a “For Hire” signal taped to the wall subsequent to it. It seems like a vacant area, however the bar is hidden at the back of the reflect.

The dimly lit house shields buyers from consuming in public view of regulation enforcement — must this be the 1920s. There’s even a wall that appears love it’s boarded as much as give the appearance of a bar now not in operation.

The cocktail menu, revealed on a work of outdated cardboard, is modest, with vintage favorites like an Previous Shaped or a Sidecar.

The Mirror, Washington, D.C.

The Library

This U Boulevard status quo will get an A+ for preserving its speakeasy beneath wraps because it attracts all of the consideration to its upstairs dance flooring and living room house, which is a well-liked hangout on Friday and Saturday nights.

The speakeasy, aptly known as The Library, is hidden at the back of a bookcase at the first flooring of Cloak & Dagger. It’s the very first thing folks coming into will see, however maximum make a handy guide a rough proper to go to the second one flooring to bounce.

The bar is designed with a Victorian-era theme, and the beverages have cool names like Tequila Mockingbird and Reality Serum. 

The Library at Cloak and Dagger
Studio Gannett's "Go Escape" Winter 2020 magazine

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