5 Speakeasy Style Bars in India
Covert, undercover, passwords; this isn’t a spy movie we’re discussing, but speakeasy bars. These illegal bars cropped up all over US during the 14 years of Prohibition. Know more about these years here. The name is supposed to have been derived when a bartender asked an inebriated and excited customer to ‘speak easy’ about the drinks being served. Post 1934 these bars shut shop, but they left a huge impact on the nightlife scene that there are plenty of undercover watering holes world over, serving some of the best and customized cocktails to patrons.
India, recently has found this concept appealing with a few of speakeasy style bars opening up in Mumbai and Delhi. Focus here too remain the cocktails and drinks served which offers a good boost to the upcoming young bartenders in the country. Do not fear they are more legal than those that were found in US.
Cocktails & Dreams, Speakeasy, Gurgaon
This bar is the brain child of Yangdup Lama and Minakshi Singh. Cocktails & Dreams is a neighborhood bar which gives a 1920s experience to guests. It is a bartender’s bar as they call it as Lama himself is an experienced and trained bartender; you will often find behind the bar mixing drinks. They also specialize in 1920s style cocktails. To go with your drinks, you have American food menu and live bands playing.
Address: SCO 23, Sector 15 Part 2, (Behind Galaxy Hotel), Gurgaon
PCO, New Delhi
Look for a phone booth, when trying to get to this bar. That and a pass code are responsible for the entry to this speakeasy. PCO is Delhi’s secret bar, is also designed to create the aura of the 1920s hidden bar and includes a Cigar Lounge. Ask the bartender to mix you an off the menu drink based on your choice of poison; they specialize in doing this right.
Address: D4, D Block Market, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi
The Dirty Martini, Delhi
Part of the well established Olive, near Qutub Minar, Dirty Martini started out as restaurateur AD Singh’s experiment with speakeasies. A back alley entry via the kitchens leads to a glamorous 1920s bar on the lower level and terrace of Olive. Drinks served in floral tea-cups are quite the sight.
Address: Olive, One Style Mile, 6, Kalka Das Marg, Mehrauli, New Delhi
The Local, Mumbai
Mumbai’s first speakeasy style bar, The Local, was originally Soul Fry Casa. An automatic door enabled by a password opens up to stenciled graffiti and industrial interiors. Drinks are affordable and you get in quarter system, beers by the jug and booze by the bottle. The food to go with it is Goan inspired and is reasonably light on the pocket.
Address: 111 A, Currimjee Building, OppositeMumbaiUniversity, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort, Mumbai
Mumbai’s second speakeasy style bar, Please Don’t Tell, opened amidst much fan fare (surprisingly) opened mid-2014. A sneaky entrance behind a roll shop leads you to a red telephone booth as the final entry point before you can get into the industrial themed bar. Over last one year they have spruced up their bar menu and skills to create some of city’s better cocktails. The food here has always been top notch.
Address: Kamala Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Featured Image: Cocktails & Dreams, Speakeasy, Gurgaon
First Published: January 23, 2014