Hidden Gems: A Peek into Valley Speakeasies
Speakeasies were popular in the U.S. during Prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s, when alcohol was illegal and people had to sneak into secret places to access it. In modern times, speakeasies offer a fun, mysterious environment to enjoy unique and interesting cocktails.
“A modern speakeasy should be a hard-to-find place — but not too hard — that creates a mysterious vibe for guests. It makes them feel like they are enjoying an elusive and forbidden experience,” said Kyla Hein, owner and director of operations at TWP Hospitality, which owns several local bars, including Pigtails, which has locations in downtown Phoenix and North Phoenix, accessible through the Whining Pig at Desert Ridge Marketplace.
Hein describes the cocktail menu at Pigtails as “eclectic but intentional” with creative libations in categories including Bold ‘n Boozy, Light ‘n Citrusy and Faves ‘n Throwbacks, as well as shots and zero-proof options.
Image Courtesy of Pigtails
Hidden inside the Stir Coffee Bar on High Street in North Phoenix, Gin & Reel sits behind a phone booth at the back of the coffee shop. “Gin & Reel offers an elegantly decorated and darkly lit bar designed to take you back to the Prohibition era,” said general manager Cameron Stark. “Just find the password on Instagram or written on glass somewhere in the cafe, whisper it to the barista and you’re in!”
Image Courtesy of Gin & Reel
Opened in February 2023, Trophy Room is accessible through downtown Phoenix restaurant Wren & Wolf. Guests check in at the Wren & Wolf host stand and are whisked behind a curtain to lock up their phones so they can be immersed in conversation and mixology magic with an intimate and sophisticated ambiance.
“Trophy Room is a continuation of our love for craft cocktails and downtown Phoenix. It’s an opportunity to escape the outside world, immerse in a beautiful design and connect with the people you’re with and those around you,” said co-owner Thor Nguyen. “The menu has familiar flavors presented in a unique way, twists on classics and opportunities to try new things.”
Image Courtesy of Trophy Room
Hidden behind an unmarked porthole door adjacent to HULA’s Modern Tiki location in uptown Phoenix, Captain’s Cabin was recently named one of Yelp’s top speakeasies in the U.S. and Canada. An intimate 20-person space, Captain’s Cabin is designed to resemble a 1940s Tahitian sailing ship, offering classic and modern tropical libations from captain and bartender David Muhlstein, including HULA’s famous Mai Tai.
Image Courtesy of HULA’s Captain’s Cabin
In the East Valley, cocktail enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the White Rabbit, a modern take on a prohibition-inspired cocktail bar that has a secret entrance and requires a password. A second location is scheduled to open in Prescott.
Image Courtesy of the White Rabbit
Whether you are looking for creative cocktails or the vibe of a forbidden time, Arizona offers several speakeasy options.