Located in Chicago’s Gold Coast, Drumbar takes the ‘speakeasy’ to the next level, 200 feet up to be exact. Perched atop the Raffaello Hotel on Delaware Place, Drumbar is a multi seasonal destination with its speakeasy style inside lounge and outdoor garden terrace. Drumbar is a drinking establishment designed to deliver warmth, style, and an energetic spirit of old meets new. Click here for more information.
Tucked away in a subterranean space below Larimer Square, Frank Bonanno’s new cocktail lounge is literally underground. But unlike the Prohibition-era speakeasies it’s modeled after, Green Russell is otherwise aboveboard. Indeed, given the buzz it generated prior to its opening, you’d be hard-pressed to find a drinker in Denver who doesn’t know about this dark, cozy den, where local masters of mixology tailor their libations to your tastes Thursday through Sunday nights. The friendly crew also gladly serves up a limited but cheeky selection of eats that includes slices from Wednesday’s Pie, the tiny shop that Bonanno has installed as a faux-front for the bar.
The story goes that during American prohibition bartenders were considered the walking dead – hence the name “Death and Company” of this prohibition style bar in Manhattan’s present day East Village. Here you will find old fashioned stirred and shaken drinks such as the Straw Dog – that’s Compass Box Asyla Scotch, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, fresh squeezed lemon juice, Bitterman’s Grapefruit Bitters, and muddled strawberry – and the Bella Luna which is Plymouth Gin, St. Germain Elderflower, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and Creme Yvette. There’s an abbreviated wine and beer selection but an intriguing list of Champagne cocktails and punches to make up for it. There’s also a “Bites” menu with a lobster roll and crispy pork belly. The scene is all marble and mahogany, quiet but lively. They don’t let more people in than there are seats for so it’s never too crowded but you may have to wait outside – though it’s no problem, the doorman is quite friendly.
If there’s one place in Chicago that oozes its quintessential jazzy charm that dangerously flirts with a heavy history of mafia, then the Green Mill Jazz Lounge is your place. Not having changed much since its opening in 1907 (yes, 1907), the place is dark, smoky (even still, post no-smoking laws somehow) and sexy.
Back in the day the place had an outdoor dancing and drinking garden lit by lanterns, where people arrived by horse and buggy. The garden was complete with horse-hitching posts. It soon transpired to be a mobster hangout when some of Al Capone’s henchmen became part owners. So much drama went down here that Sinatra himself played a singer whose throat and tongue were once slit in this club over good ol’ mobster issues. Alas, Sinatra had to spend some quality time for “research” at the Green Mill as well.
It survived prohibition as a speakeasy and the decor of that era remains. Today, you can catch killer jazz there any night of the week, Mondays being a favorite for the Patricia Barber quartet. It’s all about the music and history here so don’t get too glammed up unless you’re trying to live vicariously through its history by transporting yourself in an immersion of jazz notes, strong cocktails and a big black booth that maybe Capone himself sat in: in which case, you just may be able to pull it off.