Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Speakeasy revealed, sort of

Some happenings downtown are hidden from the eye because they aren’t ready to be unveiled. Others are hidden on purpose — because it makes them more fun.

So it is with a speakeasy – a kind of backdoor, hidden bar based on illegal taverns set up during Prohibition (about 1920 to 1933) that tried to get around the anti-alcohol wave that swept the United States.

Speakeasies today are legal but some require a bit of work to find. For instance, Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco is well known, but even when you get to the entrance you better know the secret to getting in or you’ll wander around aimlessly looking for a doorway.

Now a speakeasy exists in downtown Las Vegas.

I gained access under a cloak-and-daggerish promise of stealth. I said I wouldn’t reveal where it was, but I didn’t say I wouldn't write about it. It’s too cool not to mention. If you’re persistent enough, you’ll find out. Half the fun of these places is in the search.

The small bar, which is about 300-400 square feet, feels like a den with its dark wooden bar, small brownish lights and comfy chairs.

Here’s a hint to its name, written on the drink menu: “Here’s to crisply pressed carousing and nearly folded opulence.”

If you’ve figured it out, let me know.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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