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Blind Barber speakeasy bar, Chicago, Illinois
Photograph: Courtesy Blind BarberBlind Barber speakeasy bar, Chicago, Illinois

10 speakeasies with the coolest entrances (and how to get in)

Elusive and exclusive, speakeasy bars are back by popular demand. But where are they and how do you get in? We've got that covered.

Written by Lauren Dana for Time Out, in association with Ketel One
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While a lot has changed since the Prohibition era—for one, alcohol is now legal once again—speakeasies have remained popular. In fact, over the past several years, new speakeasy-inspired bars have been popping up all across the country. While these hidden bars are no longer 'secret,' per se, they do offer a distinct allure, inviting guests to step back in time to relive the glory days of the Roaring Twenties.

The speakeasy-themed bars of today are just as fun. Plus, they feel just as exclusive with their secret entrances, passwords, and ​​hard-to-find locales. Ahead, the coolest speakeasy entrances in the US—and how to get in.

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Speakeasies with the coolest entrances

This unassuming Fort Worth speakeasy spans two stories and boasts a bar-within-a-bar. Head upstairs to the bar and try to find the bookcase, which—spoiler alert—also doubles as a door. Next? Answer the riddle of the week (conveniently on the bar’s social media profiles). Once you solve the riddle, you’ll be able to walk past the door and (finally) make your way to the underground hideout. The cocktail menu features classics like Sazeracs, margaritas, Moscow mules, as well as mixologist-crafted seasonal libations.

Eleanor’s—like the woman the speakeasy is named for—strives to offer a warm, welcoming, and fun-loving experience. The space is actually hidden inside Muss & Turner’s, a beloved neighborhood lunch spot. Once inside the restaurant, turn the corner and take a left until you come across the freezer door, which opens to reveal the hidden bar. Expect creative cocktails paired with delicious lunch and dinner staples.

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As you can guess by its name, this unique speakeasy also serves as a fully functioning barbershop come nighttime. To access the intimate cocktail lounge, you’ll need to walk through an unmarked back door. Cozy up on one of the plush patterned couches or grab a seat at the bar to sip on cocktails (options abound, from rum punch to espresso martinis). Alternatively, bust a move out on the (very small) dance floor between bites of chicken tenders or crab rangoon.

Step back in time to the ‘20s with a visit to this San Diego speakeasy. To get inside, simply show up and look for the door to Eddie O'Hare's Law Office. Then, flip on the light switch and wait for the staff. Once downstairs, guests are treated to live music and craft cocktails that feature fun names like 'Hipster Spritz,' 'Spa Day,' and 'Unicorn Kisses.' If you plan to visit on a Friday or Saturday night, be sure to don your finest cocktail attire, as there is as dress code. Also, to maintain the 1920s ambiance, there are no cellphones allowed at the bar.

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This Cuban-style speakeasy is located in the basement of the building that previously housed a bank. Whats more, the bar pays homage to the building’s history by transforming the vault—which serves as the entrance—into a lively lounge area. Once you enter through the vault, you’ll need to provide the staff with a password, which changes daily and can be found on the bar’s social media pages. Just be sure to leave your jeans and tank tops at home: Las Floriditas has a strict dress code.

This reservation-only speakeasy opened earlier this year. Upon arrival, you’ll be directed to the host at Pazza on Porter, which, you guessed it, is located right next door. From there, you’ll be escorted through the patio at Pazza on Porter before waving in front of the 'magic door.' Once that door opens, you’ll come across a second one with a small window, where you’ll be asked for the password (provided on the day of your reservation). Order up some seafood-centric small plates—think: lobster slides, ceviche, oysters, and more—to pair with one (or more!) of the inventive cocktails.

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The Woo Woo is a newly opened ‘80s-themed bar located underneath The Mean Fiddler, a bustling Irish sports bar. In order to enter, you’ll need to ring the doorbell to the left of the Mean Fiddler and provide the password (found on the bar’s website). The cheeky, colorful, and nostalgia-inducing oasis that’s decorated with neon signs, graffiti, and vintage and nude mags. Drink highlights include the Frisky Business (a blue-hued pina colada served with rock candy and toasted marshmallow) and the Donkey Kong (made with mezcal, tropical syrup, lemon, banana bitters, and banana chips).

The recently renovated BackStage Lounge boasts an exclusive, members-only ambiance. The entrance is a bit confusing—it’s around the back of a taco eatery (SouthBound) and down the hall from Modern Classics Grooming Lounge—but that’s what makes it all the more fun. After making your way inside, walk down the mural-lined hallway until you reach the phone booth. From there, you’ll need to pick up the phone and provide the password, which is posted on Instagram each week). Pull up a seat at the brick-lined bar, order up a cocktail or mocktail, and enjoy.

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Located in Manhattan’s eccentric Lower East Side neighborhood, Round K Sol is hidden inside a casual daytime cafe of the same name. When the green neon martini glass sign is turned on, it means the bar is open. Bartenders make cocktails like spritzes, negronis, and spiked cappuccios inside an 'office.' Pair your cockail with an order of Korean Fried Chicken and grab a seat outside in the secret garden (assuming the weather’s nice). Alternatively, pop a squat in one of the blue velvet chairs.

B&GC is an underground speakeasy that’s located in Halcyon, a hotel in Cherry Creek, and it’s best known for its swanky ambiance and house martini service. Visitors will receive instructions via text before being led to a secret door located in an alleyway along the side of the hotel, at which point they will come across a gold doorbell. After ringing the doorbell, you’ll be dazzled by the vintage-inspired space, which occupies the former Cherry Creek Post Office. Design highlights include a large bar, colorful seating, chci tiled flooring, and a colorful mural.

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