Secret Bars in Eight Different Cities

The secrets out, hidden bars and speakeasies are trending in cities all around the globe. From prohibition themed establishments to modern rifts on classic cocktail bars. From dialing retro phones to picking the right door knob in order to gain entry to these is half of the allure. Obscure locations are also a popular theme being utilized to entice patrons across the hidden bar trend. Popular restaurants are housing these hidden bars, but only people in the know – know where to find these hidden gems.  

Below are eight hidden bars that are trending across the country.  


Backdoor at the Roxy: The Backdoor bar is located in the hippy neighborhood of Fremont. A hidden side door shields a beautiful room adorned with Moroccan lanterns, stylish murals, and ornate statues, highlighting the well-stocked bar. The circular bar holds an abundance of liquor alongside house-made barreled cocktails and Backdoor branded bitters that are for sale. The bar serves seasonal craft cocktails in conjunction with a selection of local favorites available at various restaurants and bars around the Fremont neighborhood.  

Best thing about this bar: Overall bar design.

Los Angeles

Entrance to The Varnish  | YELP, Lana D. 

Entrance to The Varnish | YELP, Lana D. 

The Varnish Bar: Varnish is located in the back of Coleman’s Sandwich Shop behind an unmarked door. Once you enter, you will be greeted by a friendly host in this speakeasy bar with everything from table side punch service to a live jazz band. Bartenders are easy going and create everything from modern classics to booze forward cocktails.

Best thing about this bar: Ambience.

San Francisco

Bourbon and Branch: Located in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, this bar houses some marvelous cocktails in a speakeasy environment. To gain access to the hidden “library” one must acquire a password, ring a bell, and wait to be accepted. This section of the bar is decorated from floor to ceiling with books and offers a select range of unique cocktails.   

Best thing about this bar: Bourbon selection.

San Diego

Noble Experiment: This cozy speakeasy is located in the back of The Neighborhood Restaurant and is accessible through a secret access that looks like a wall of kegs.  Patrons are greeted by a golden skull wall and a sort of haunted mansion ambience. Bartenders make custom cocktails based on customer preferences or preferred spirit which entice customers to return.  

Best thing about this bar: Dealer’s choice cocktail.

Washington DC

Skeptical Sexpot and the Gibson Gamble at The Gibson  | YELP, Mindy D. 

Skeptical Sexpot and the Gibson Gamble at The Gibson | YELP, Mindy D. 

The Gibson: Patrons often visit this speakeasy located in the U Street Corridor for a pre or post dinner libation. Patrons enter this venue through an unassuming black unmarked door and are greeted with inventive cocktails. Bartenders also offer guests customized cocktails based on preferences including sweet, spicy, weak, or strong.  The ambience is dark and cozy, which is perfect for a date night.  

Best thing about this bar: The outside patio.


The Violet Hour: This bar is located in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. With house rules that include no cell phones, no Budweiser, no light beer, no grey goose, and most of all no cosmopolitans’ patrons need to be on their toes. The interior reflects a speakeasy with intimate tables and dimmed lighting. Bartenders use creative ingredients to create unique cocktails and experiences for guests.  

Best thing about this bar: Adventurous drinks.


Please Don’t Tell: This speakeasy, which is known as “PDT” is hard to find in the East Village neighborhood. Patrons are granted entrance by calling from a phone booth located in a local hot dog spot called Crif Dogs. Once seated in this secretive bar you will find the cocktails are creative and professionally prepared with the finest ingredients. Customers also enjoy the small but cozy atmosphere that is adorned with taxidermy animals and low lighting.  

Best thing about this bar: Quality and craftsmanship of the cocktails.


Williams and Graham bar setting   | YELP, Sean K. 

Williams and Graham bar setting  | YELP, Sean K. 

Williams and Graham: When making a visit to this speakeasy you may mistake it for a bookstore. Guest access this bar by entering the “bookstore” and giving your name to the hostess. If there is room available you will be escorted through a bookshelf to the bar.  

Best thing about this bar: Service.  

Overall, secret bars are the new trend in the cocktail world and patrons are loving the creativity that goes in to fashioning of the atmosphere.  From secret passwords to secret locations, these bars are creating an experience before customers are even in the bar.  

Have you made it to one of these hidden bars?