What Is A Modern Speakeasy? Reviving A Forgotten Era

What Is A Modern Speakeasy

Are you fed up with the usual bar experiences and wish to explore something new? Then, a bubbling speakeasy, such as The Barbershop in Las Vegas, may be just what you need. 

These places are like any other bar. However, they have a unique twist that takes you down the memory lane of Prohibition in the US. 

With a blend of distinctive cocktails and atmosphere, speakeasies maintain the air of mystique surrounding the times of alcohol Prohibition. 

You can choose to visit a speakeasy on your next vacation. And if you’re a classic American that enjoys hard drinks, then this is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Now, let’s figure out what the term is. 

What is modern speakeasy?

A modern-day speakeasy is a legal bar store where customers can experience the vibes of the alcohol Prohibition era.

In the 1920s, speakeasies used to be hidden behind false businesses like soda stores, coffee bars, and social groups. From the outside, a speakeasy could appear to be running a legal business. But, on the inside, they would serve illegal alcoholic beverages. 

However, such is not the case in modern speakeasies like Barbershop. Here, you’re sure to get a straight razor cut from a top stylist while sipping your favorite cocktails or beverages. 

Speakeasies are now legal and still in operation in cities all over the country only if you know where to find them.

Continue reading this article to unravel the mystical nature of modern speakeasies. 

How Did People Generate The Name “Speakeasy”?

The expression “speak softly store” was coined by the British in the 1820s to illustrate a smuggler’s residence. This term was eventually replaced with “speakeasy store.” 

Speakeasy indicates locations where storeowners sold alcohol illegally to the general public. Customers were expected to keep their voices down or speak easy. These establishments operated in codes, as they didn’t want to attract notice, particularly local law enforcement agencies.

In the late 1800s, the word was abbreviated. In the US, it was called speakeasy and used in the United States to indicate unregulated saloons. However, the term was frequently used to describe illegal stores during the period of alcohol ban. 

Speakeasies In The Prohibition Era

When Prohibition was enacted on January 17, 1920, thousands of previously lawful saloons were forced to close. People who wanted to drink had to buy it from licensed druggists for medicinal or religious reasons. 

Customers also visited private, unlicensed bar rooms called “speakeasies.” In these bars, they had to speak softly as the “password” to avoid being overheard by law enforcement.

Prohibition resulted in a significant and long-lasting disorder in American social life. Due to high patronage, the illegal joints grew in popularity, especially in urban areas. 

These bars ranged from posh nightclubs with jazz bands and ballroom dance floors to backrooms, basements, and apartment rooms. 

Men and women enjoyed speakeasies and other Prohibition venues where they were no longer segregated from drinking together. 

Restaurants serving alcohol to women targeted ladies sitting uncomfortable at a bar and preferred table service. 

Speakeasies And Criminal Acts In The Prohibition Era

Organized criminals jumped at the chance to profit from the new lucrative illegal racket of speakeasies and clubs. Women also had the opportunity to become significant patrons. Bootlegging exploded organized criminal activities in the United States.

The bootleggers would add water to fine whiskey, gin, and other liquors to sell larger volumes. Some of these criminals even sold wood, industrial, or grain alcohol. They go as far as selling dangerous substances like carbolic acid to make a profit. 

 In the late 1920s, Al Capone, the Chicago Outfit’s boss, estimated $60 million a year.  He distributed hard liquor and illicit beer to thousands of speakeasies in his domain.

The desire for live entertainment increased because of the competition for customers in speakeasies. As a result, they played popular jazz music in speakeasies. This music perfectly fits the rowdy, party atmosphere of the time. 

During this era, liquor-infused partying blossomed with thousands of underground clubs and the prevalence of jazz musicians.

There was a high record of ruthlessness by organized criminal gangs. These gangs hustled for control of the liquor trade. However, this act of brutality led to a surge in unemployment and the need for tax revenue.

Hence, there was a call for the 18th amendment of the constitution following Wall Street’s market crash. After the amendment, the hideous speakeasy age ended, and a new era of licensed bar rooms emerged. 

These legal bars can now sell liquor and drinks regulated and taxed by the federal government.

How Bar Owners Kept Speakeasies Secret In The Prohibition Era

Speakeasies were the top illegal secrets in this era. Owners of Speakeasies oppressed police officers who earned low. They would bribe them or allow them to enjoy a cup of a regular drink.

These officers would, in turn, give them hints about federal Prohibition officials’ planned raids. 

Owners of speakeasies often violated the Volstead Act, a federal liquor statute. During raids, they would conceal their liquor stashes to avoid confiscation. They go a great length to hide their crates of beers to avoid being used as evidence by cops or federal investigators during trials.

What Happens At A Speakeasy?

Would you love to experience the magic and reminiscence of the prohibition era? Then it would be best if you visited a modern speakeasy. 

Modern speakeasies are springing up in major cities across the country. For example, the Barbershop in Las Vegas has the same vibe as the Prohibition era. 

When you enter, you are transported into unique 1920s-inspired bar rooms. Here, you sit behind secret doors. 

You can drink any liquor you want in a modern speakeasy. So if you wish to crave whiskey, beer, or a sweet cocktail, it’s always available. 

However, if you’d love the complete speakeasy experience, you must taste some vintage cocktails.

Furthermore, you’ll get the opportunity to meet new people, dance, and vibe to popular Jazz music.

How You Can Locate A Modern Speakeasy

If you wanted to visit a speakeasy during the ban, you needed to meet a person who’s ready to tip you off with the location. However, the internet has made it a lot easier to locate. 

Firstly, look up Google to see a speakeasy in your vicinity. A short search will almost certainly give several results. There, you’ll find details on how to locate the hidden entrance to the speakeasies.

How Did You Gain Access To A Speakeasy?

To gain entrance into speakeasies, owners will stop you at the door. Then, they will ask you to present a secret password, a special card, a secret handshake. These special codes allow you to gain access to a speakeasy. 

After that, you’ll be taken inside to the Speakeasy after the password has been verified. The reserved seats are typically hidden behind a false door or in a basement. 

How To Have A Memorable Experience In A Speakeasy

Have you ever been to The Speakeasy before? Perhaps you’re a newbie or visitor. Follow the guidelines below to have a fascinating speakeasy experience.

Put on your best outfit:

A cocktail costume is required at the Speakeasies. So, leave the jeans and hoodies at home. Since this is the Jazz music era, put on your best vintage, instead.

If you’d instead leave the creative inspiration to the pros, The Speakeasy rents out costumes to ensure you look your best.

To add glamour, put on some glittering jewelry and, of course, dancing shoes!

Set up a bar tab before the event:

The onsite bar at the Speakeasy serves some seductive 1920s-inspired cocktails. 

It’s difficult to resist their charms with names like “Vieux Carre” and “Bubble Baby.” You can set up a bar tab ahead of time to prevent missing a vaudeville moment while fiddling with your money during the play.

Create a personal Prohibition-era adventure:

You enter a new world when you descend the secret steps to the Speakeasy. 

You’re free to check around the entire facility. By roaming, you’ll discover halls, rooms and a bunch of colorful people.

Would you love to explore? Then, create your plot among the secret romances and enigmatic whispers all around you because you never know what you’ll find!

Visit the speakeasy casino to try your luck:

Do you have a lucky feeling? Then, stay for a while in the casino of Speakeasies. This casino features roulette, craps, and blackjack, as well as a slew of 1920s characters. 

You can take a guest along. Also, be prepared to meet new people as the evening progresses.

 Keep an eye out for unexpected thrills: There are many exciting options in the Speakeasy. Endless possibilities, which include tales to follow, games to play, quests to complete, and secrets to discover. 

Pay great attention to your surroundings and look for any secret doors. These hidden tunnels often lead to a more immersive experience. 

You’ll be rewarded handsomely for locating them!


Entering a modern speakeasy takes you back in time and through American history. If you think you have seen everything that your city has to offer, look at the best speakeasies from across the world. No two speakeasies are alike.

Although it was illegal to make, and sell alcohol in the US during the Prohibition era, which lasted from roughly 1920 to 1933, that didn’t stop many from drinking their favorite alcoholic beverages.

Later on, there was a review of the 18th amendment. As a result, modern speakeasies are no longer subject to arrest and prosecution.

These legal bars can now sell liquor and drinks regulated and taxed by the federal government.


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