Modern Speakeasies

Photo by Daniela Buvat

Bugsy’s Back Alley Speakeasy

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Pass the alley between Water Street and Chicago Street during the day and nothing seems out of the ordinary. But as night falls, the backstreet is lit by a hazy red light that streams from a mysterious door. Curiosity leads to Bugsy’s, a bar named after Prohibition mobster Bugsy Siegal. Go for the Sazarac, an era-inspired cocktail with rye whiskey, absinthe, and grenadine, but stay for the live music and flapper-esque dancers.

Wicked Rabbit

Omaha, Nebraska

Don’t expect a line-up of pale ales here. Omaha’s Wicked Rabbit, hidden in Hotel Deco’s Looking Glass Cigars and Spirits shop, serves ornately crafted cocktails, like the citrusy Ramo’s Gin Fizz. The amber glow emanating from rows of top- shelf liquor establishes the mood in the city’s first speakeasy-style bar. Velvety plum walls and quilted leather booths add to the seductive ambiance. With first-come, first- serve seating for only 24 people, be sure to get there early to snag a spot.

The Drifter

Chicago

The Drifter may be new, but it’s underground location isn’t. The intimate bar setting was home to a 1921 speakeasy—and it’s still not easy to find. First, head to the basement of Chicago’s Green Door Tavern. Knock once on the wooden door for admittance into the vintage Americana-clad bar. Individual tarot cards reveal the night’s drink menu, allowing guests to choose their beverage destiny, such as the pistachio vodka-infused Bye, Felicia.


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