Category Archives: Places

Red Phone Booth

We love speakeasies because they broke the all the rules. Alcohol may have been the lifeblood of the speakeasy, but The Red Phone Booth celebrates a vice of a different kind. While you’ll find plenty of quality cocktails here, once you step through the secret door and enter this fine establishment, the name of the game is cigars. In their state of the art cigar counter, you’ll find not one, but two house cigars.

I just love the way speakeasies get dolled up for modern times. This place, Red Phone Booth, is drawn on the old luxuries while giving its all on the technology front. Looking around, you’ll feel more like you’re in a secret lounge for the worlds elite, especially if you get on board with their membership plan and use their biometric scanner to enter. Wooden interiors, plush leather chairs, and a roaring fire gives it a cozy feeling while being visibly, undeniably high end.

Smoking not your thing? Not a problem. The air in the smoking areas is totally replaced every four minutes, and they have chairs with triple lumbar support. Biometric scanners allow entry to all locations. Cigars might be the special twinkle in their eye, but they’re still friendly to alcohol. Take a whiskey tasting course or attend one of their talks, and you’ll feel less like you’re in a bar and more like you’re attending a meeting at a culture house –a place intent on keeping its secrets but willing to share its shared knowledge with a select few. No wonder exclusivity is such a draw!

But seriously, they like to keep their secrets around here. They don’t take reservations and they don’t give out the code to get in to just anybody. Part of the fun is getting to know someone with access. Planning a trip? Maybe you can get an in with a tasting event.

Prohibition Miami

Lots of times you’ll see a bar that’s trying to recreate a “prohibition experience”. You know what I’m talking about. There’s the requesite red velvet interiors, leather chairs, artwork on the walls featuring mysterious ladies. That’s all fine and good, and you’ll never hear any complaints out of me when it’s done well. But still, there’s always that desire to see something new. When someone adds a fresh spin on the favorite theme, then there’s no better watering hole in town.

Now, most people don’t picture loud and proud Miami as taking part of the secretive glamour of the roaring twenties, but Prohibition Miami figured out how to make the two work together in a way that hits the spot. You’ve still got the typical low lighting and moody color scheme, but along with the typical reds and blacks, they’ve also thrown in lush oranges and deep greens that round out the color scheme. The combination makes it feel less like a tourist spot, and more like a local favorite.

I can’t say it enough: food is a big deal here. The place is two stories, and there’s a reason they put the restaurant on the first floor. You won’t find a lackluster dish. Everything looks beautiful and mouth-watering, while also very refined. The actual cocktail lounge of this speakeasy, aptly named the 18th, is on the second floor. The live music drifts up and down between the open floors, but there’s a totally different atmosphere up top. Upstairs is more social, with long, luxurious open seating that gives you the freedom to mingle or group off.

There’s always something new to try here, whether it’s the rotating dinner specials, the live entertainment, or the ever-present possibility that the whole place might break out into a roaring good dance party.

It seems to me that the place is more focused on the achieving the speakeasy theme rather than making you feel like you’re actually sipping on an illicit cocktail, but it achieved what it was after. Come dressed to the nines and sip on a prohibition cocktail, and watch as locals and tourists mingle.

The Rest at Bodega 331

Aw, man. You want to talk about a place that invokes the speakeasy era, how about an underground restaurant and bar that uses a different business as a cover? The Rest at Bodega 331 is located at an old location for a stock broker and investment company.

Through the backdoor “Rest” Room, you’ll find your way down to the basement where Salt Lake City boasts a legit speakeasy environment unlike any other we’ve seen. With local macabre art, dimly light environs, and a kitchen that sits in an old bank vault from the earliest years of the city. The seating area is long and narrow with a larger front room and smaller back room. You get the unmistakable feeling of going through a time-warp.

If you’re like us, you’ll go with a half-full stomach and a small group of friends to share drinks and split appetizers and meals. You’ll talk about pseudo-sordid topics and make pseudo-sinister plans in hushed whispers and with an inflated sense of importance. If you’re like us, that is.