New Valley Speakeasies

Arizona’s newest cocktail spots include some sophisticated speakeasies reminiscent of hidden Prohibition-era establishments.

Wander Speakeasy at Chateau Luxe, North Phoenix

“I think what people like about speakeasies is the mystery that comes with them,” said Austin Cahill, general manager of Wander Speakeasy, which opened in March at Chateau Luxe, an event venue in North Phoenix. “One of the reasons we opened Wander is our love for hospitality and wanting to be able to provide that to the public, not just limiting that high level of service to special events.”

The cocktail menu highlights bold flavors inspired by the regions where the Wonders of the World are located. The Globe cocktail is made with Japanese, Indian and Canadian whiskeys. The Kyoto cocktail features cucumber, toasted sushi rice and cardamom.

The food menu offers small plates and shareable items made with fresh local ingredients that capture the same globally inspired flavors found on the cocktail menu.

Photo courtesy of Wander Speakeasy

Tell Your Friends at The Americano, North Scottsdale

Located underneath the upscale Americano Italian restaurant, Tell Your Friends is a seductive Gatsby-inspired lounge with live music, curated craft cocktails created by acclaimed mixologist Keifer Gilbert and an elevated menu designed by celebrity chef Beau MacMillan.

The extensive beverage menu includes classic cocktails as well as unique creations such as Friends with Benefits with whiskey, bitters and sugar bottled and cured in beeswax, and In the Mood for Love with gin, raspberry and red bell pepper. The food menu is a perfect complement to the drinks, with dishes like fire-roasted oysters, caviar and house-made potato chips with several dips.

“Keifer and I collaborated closely to pair phenomenal cocktails with delightful bites that will inspire and excite our guests,” said MacMillan, who recently took over The Americano and Mora Italian in Phoenix. “Our talented staff embodies genuine hospitality, ensuring every guest feels welcomed and leaves feeling even better than when they arrived.”

Photo courtesy of Tell Your Friends

Barley & Smoke at Peoria Artisan Brewery

Barley & Smoke opened in April, hidden inside Peoria Artisan Brewery. “We opened Barley & Smoke to provide our West Valley community with a unique and elevated experience,” said co-owner Matthew Frosch. “Our chef-driven menu offers a New American take on globally inspired dishes. We offer our guests an exclusive and intimate culinary and mixology experience.”

Popular cocktails include Smokin’ Aces, a smoked rye Old Fashioned, La Mariposa with basil-infused tequila and sparkling blueberry pomegranate water, and the English Garden with vanilla vodka, coconut cream and egg whites. Menu highlights include pork belly with cured watermelon and roasted peanuts, and an Arizona Angus beef ribeye with horseradish mashed potatoes and wild mushrooms.

Photo by Ashley Cheston

Crust Simply Italian in Chandler, Gilbert and Scottsdale

Inspired by owner Michael Merendino’s East Coast Italian roots, the Crust family of restaurants includes three Crust Simply Italian locations, each with its own speakeasy, including the Ostrich in Chandler, the Blue Heron in Gilbert and the Goose in Scottsdale, which opened in April.  

Cocktails at the Goose include Only Feathers with vodka, passion fruit and Prosecco, Mating Call with Japanese gin and plum sake, and Talk to Me, Goose with tequila, mezcal and orange bitters.

“The Ostrich is so unique as it is housed in a room built in 1912 that was a speakeasy during Prohibition,” Merendino said. “The Blue Heron and the Goose offer big-city sophistication where simplicity, quality and elegance shine through.”

Photo courtesy of Crust Simply Italian

About Shoshana Leon

Shoshana Leon is a culinary writer for Frontdoors Media and creator of Foodie Fo Sho.
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