New York local

New York: A Speakeasy State of Mind

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	The Back Room on the Lower East Side.

The Back Room on the Lower East Side.

Comments  (1)

Sep 4, 2012 —  “What once was old is new again.” We’re not sure who originally said that – maybe producers pitching the 48th installment to the Saw franchise – but truer words have never been spoken.

Almost everywhere you look, from fashion to automobiles to architecture, examples of modern takes on a bygone era can be found. Some of these takes are amazing (burlesque troupes, industrial lighting, Ural sidecar motorcycles) and some are ridiculous (we’re talking to you, Clairol “Touch of Yoghurt” Shampoo!), but all of them highlight the undeniable fact that sometimes it’s downright cool to be old.

That’s certainly evident when it comes to speakeasies, for these retro watering holes – seemingly plucked straight out of the 1920s – have witnessed a major resurgence in recent years, and nowhere is that more evident than across the New York speakeasy landscape.

The original speakeasies were by and large a classy bunch, designed to operate beneath the shadow of Prohibition that made the sale and distribution of alcohol illegal for thirteen long years. And even though that ban has long since come to pass, many bar-seekers still yearn for the same “secret” vibe and refined (but still often hopping) party atmosphere that long ago enabled savvy drinkers to let loose and give an uproarious middle finger to the law. 

That must explain why you can find NYC speakeasies all across town today, some of which are incredibly elegant and still employ secret passwords to gain entry, some of which are purposefully funky and friendly to the wallet, but all of which employ a dedication to classic cocktails and a time-honored aesthetic.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • 1

    The Back Room

    Speakeasy

    The Back Room - Speakeasy in New York.
    Lower East Side

    102 Norfolk Street
    New York, NY 10002

    212‑228‑5098

    Liked By:
  • 2

    The Tippler

    Speakeasy

    The Tippler - Speakeasy in New York.
    Chelsea / Flatiron

    425 West 15th Street
    New York, NY 10011

    212‑206‑0000

    Liked By:
  • 3

    2nd Floor on Clinton

    Lounge / Speakeasy

    2nd Floor on Clinton - Lounge | Speakeasy in New York.
    Lower East Side

    67 Clinton Street
    New York, NY 10002

    212‑529‑6900

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  • 4

    The Blind Barber

    Bar / Barber Shop / Lounge / Speakeasy

    The Blind Barber - Bar | Barber Shop | Lounge | Speakeasy in New York.
    East Village

    339 East 10th Street
    New York, NY 10009

    212‑228‑2123

    Liked By:
  • 5

    124 Old Rabbit Club

    Bar / Speakeasy

    124 Old Rabbit Club - Bar | Speakeasy in New York.
    Greenwich Village / NoHo

    124 MacDougal Street
    New York, NY 10012

    212‑254‑0575

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  • 6

    PDT (Please Don't Tell)

    Cocktail Bar / Lounge / Speakeasy

    PDT (Please Don't Tell) - Cocktail Bar | Lounge | Speakeasy in New York.
    East Village

    113 St. Marks Place
    New York, NY 10009

    212‑614‑0386

    Liked By:
  • 7

    Fig. 19

    Bar / Speakeasy

    Fig. 19 - Bar | Speakeasy in New York.
    Lower East Side

    131½ Chrystie Street
    New York, NY 10002

    Liked By:

What are your favorite NYC speakeasies?

Sam A. Sep 4, 2012
Cool article Jayson! Absolutely love Blind Barber and PDT. I haven't checked out the others yet but certainly will do so now. I've heard great things about The Tippler.
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