Taking a cue from the Prohibition era, suave and shady speakeasy bars are appearing all over the world. We go behind the false shopfronts to unearth the best hidden watering holes.
Bathtub Gin – New York City
Bathtub Gin offers Prohibition-era moonshine in a room with a namesake copper bathtub on display, centre-stage. If bathtub lolling isn’t your thing (yes, this is encouraged) then sink into one of the plush damask banquettes instead. 132 9th Avenue, NYC 10011.
Head downstairs and into a lavish cocktail bar, featuring plush leather upholstery and some of the country’s best bartenders shaking up a storm. High ceilings and turn-of-the-century lamps make this a chic drinking destination. 27 Galway St, Britomart, Auckland.
The Soda Factory – Sydney
Framed Marilyn Monroe pictures adorn the walls, while Bette Davis lookalikes serve up a creative range of cocktails. There’s live music almost every night of the week, with larger names on weekends and local acts spinning 1950s rock ‘n’ roll on school nights. 16 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills, 2010.
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town – London
Take your date by their hand and walk through the door, announcing that you are the “Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town” – your entry depends on it. Inventive cocktails and good-time classic tunes beckon, should you not fumble your words. 12-16 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LS.
Madame Brussels – Melbourne
White picket fences and pink walls adorn this fantasy-kitsch scene, as staff donning Fred Perry tennis whites serve Pimm’s and cupcakes. Boasting killer views of the city, it’s named after the Madame herself – a 19th century brothel owner and socialite. Level 3, 59 Bourke St, Melbourne.
The Baxter Inn – Sydney
Buried deep in the basement of a CBD building, the order of the day at this alleyway bar is whisky. Soak up the lair-like atmosphere with a complimentary bowl of pretzels while perusing the almost intimidating selection of whiskies on offer (more than 300). Basement, 152-156 Clarence St, Sydney.