There’s something special about speakeasies. The secretive, vicarious forbidden feel of transporting back to the prohibition make imbibing cocktails all the more tantalizing. Stow away in wonderful hidden bars that Dallas has to offer – be apprised, check their socials before going as many require passwords! [Featured image: @midnightramblerbar]
Tucked behind the facade of a candy shop, is one of the swankiest spots in Dallas, period. With password required entry, Truth and Alibi sets the tone when it comes to hidden gems. Lavishly decorated in rich velvet lounge chairs and incandescent chandeliers, Truth and Alibi offers Dallasites a near-regal setting to sip on tantalizing cocktails and catch a burlesque show.
Discretion is the name of the game at Atwater Alley. In fact the only sign post the bar has takes the form of two ambiguous As on a door in a crusty alleyway behind Henry’s Majestic. For those that can get past the initial sketch factor, however, a warm-lit cove of tantalizing libations await. Inside the double-A doors is a two-story dimly-lit den. In a seamless blend of wooden fixtures, dark leather, and antique, old-timey lighting, Atwater Alley provides a hauntingly enchanting atmosphere to enjoy an elixir.
The low-lit interior of the bar is outfitted in leather furnishings, exposed brick walls, suspended chandeliers, and stacks of wooded bookshelves. In true literary tradition, the bar serves an extensive list of top-shelf spirits, with over 400 fine scotches and whiskeys. Cocktail-wise, the bar a special assortment of whiskey-based drinks, specialty cocktails, martinis, as well as tequila-based cocktails – including their Don Quixote Old Fashioned, made with Socorro Reposado, orange and bourbon bitters, and simply syrup. If you’re palate is more, say, Bukowski than Hemingway, Rare Books also serves a variety of beer, wine, and other liquors.
If you’re looking to experience the gone-but-not-forgotten underground New York jazz scene, Scat Jazz Lounge in Fort Worth is your vibe. Here, you can experience some of the best music the city has to offer in a rich laidback ambiance.
Veiled as a bridal shop, La Viuda Negra is a speakeasy run by brothers, Javier and Luis Villalva. Their bar is stacked with a glowing variety of agave-based spirits, tequilas, and mezcals. Editor’s cocktail of choice is their Mez-call of the Wild, a sprightly concoction made with Mezcal Vago Elote, cassis liqueur, miel de ponche, and Giffard Banane Du Bresil. For noshes, the brothers also run the neighboring El Come Taco shop.
While temporarily closed, Midnight Rambler is one of the brighter speakeasys in town. The bar has let it be known that it is not named after the Rolling Stone’s song, but music still plays an essential, albeit subtle, role in the speakeasy experience. Keep your ears peeled on the bar’s socials for their reopening, because when it’s back on the scene, you’ll definitely want to be there.
Get a fade by day, get faded by night. High and Tight is a 1920’s themed barbershop that converts into a nighttime speakeasy. Enter via the barbershop on Main St. or follow the green light to the hidden door on Elm St. If you’re having trouble, just follow the music, as High and Tight is prone to stage a lively variety of live acts.
Another hidden gem in Fort Worth, Thompson’s Bookstore is a homey prohibition-style cocktail lounge with the spirits to match. Fit with leather lounge chairs, deep wood furnishings, velvet drapes, and antler mounts, the bar resembles that of a frontier saloon. The speakeasy also has a code of decency, with no tobacco use permitted, and a call to treat others with respect.
9. Paschall Bar
Hailed as Denton’s only speakeasy, Paschall is a subtle, modern cabin-esque lounge that serves handcrafted cocktails in a classy atmosphere. Their drink serves classic and new world-inspired libations with options ranging from classics, juleps, citrus-based, absinthe, and dessert cocktails.
Suffused in dazzling red ambient lights, Akai is a sultry, Japanese-inspired speakeasy tucked away in the back of Musume sushi restaurant. Finding the hidden bar is reminiscent of the infamous one-shot take in Goodfellas, in which customers wind their way through the restaurant, dodge chefs in the kitchen, and pass a storage zone before arriving at pale wall where Akai awaits on the left. Visitors, if so inclined, can also take a shortcut through a door marked by a Japanese symbol off Crockett Street.