New York City is renowned for its trendy restaurants, stylish hotels, and an incredible variety of nightlife. It is a fun challenge to find a bar that your friends don’t know about yet. You will have to look closely to find the bars that I have listed below as all of them have hidden entrances.
PDT (Please Don’t Tell) – 113 St. Marks Pl. As seen on The Travel Channel’s The Layover with Anthony Bourdain, this bar is accessed through a vintage phone booth inside Crif Dogs, which sells deep-fried hot dogs and is worth a visit on its own. It is a small place and reservations are recommended. Recommended Drink: Bacon-infused Bourbon cocktail
The Back Room – 102 Norfolk Street, Lower East Side. To find this bar, walk down the alleyway marked, “Lower East Side Toy Company”. One of the only NYC speakeasies that actually was a speakeasy during Prohibition, The Back Room still serves its drinks in discrete, white teacups. The 1920s decor will make you feel like you have stepped back in time to when mobsters like Bugsy Siegel and Lucky Luciano used the original bar (then called to hold clandestine meetings. There is even a secret room behind the bookcase that certain celebrities are known to frequent. Recommended Drink: The Bee’s Knees, a honey and lemon infused vodka cocktail. The Backroom Bar
The Blind Barber – 339 E 10th, East Village. Have a cocktail while you get a haircut or a shave or walk straight through the hipster barber shop out front and into the backroom. Can get very crowded after 11pm. Recommended Drink: Smoke & Dagger – Jack Daniels, Jalepeño Infused Cointreau, Cucumber, Ginger, and Lemon The Blind Barber NYC
Bathtub Gin – 132 9th Ave, enter through an unmarked door in Stone Street Coffee Company. While this Chelsea bar is hidden in the back room of a coffee shop, the long line outside the door on weekend nights and the bouncer waiting to check your ID makes it easy to find. There are burlesque shows from Wasabassco Burlesque on Tuesday and Sunday nights. Reservations are highly recommended for groups. Recommended Drink: Aviation Royale – Aviation American gin, creme de violette, luxardo maraschino, pernod absinthe, pressed lemon, chilled prosecco, and lemon oils Bathtub Gin NYC
124 Old Rabbit Club – 124 MacDougal St., Greenwich Village. Are cocktails not your drink of choice? Well, ring the buzzer on the door underneath Choza Taqueria (there is a large rabbit painted next to it). Inside, you will find a cellar bar serving over 70 imported beers and a small selection of wine. It’s very dark and cozy, but the music can be loud due to the small space. Not ideal for groups. Cash only.
I’ve only listed five of the most popular “speakeasy” style bars here but there are dozens for you to find in New York City. Some of them are not only hidden but so secret that you will need an in-the-know local to show you where they are and vouch for you.
This article was written as part of the #HipmunkCityLove Project.