There’s an air of intrigue behind the walls of speakeasies. Once built to hide the consumption of alcohol, modern speakeasies may be difficult to find, but now they boast about the specialty cocktails that await the guests.
Enjoy a night out by taking a leap back in time to the Prohibition era or to where cool breezes blow in tiki oases. Enjoy craft cocktails and the mysterious charm of each speakeasy you find around San Diego County.
Raised By Wolves
The newest speakeasy on the scene, it's in possibly the most unassuming location of the bunch — a mall. Located in the northwest corner of Westfield UTC, Riased By Wolves is fronted by an upscale bottle shop. A sneaky fireplace mantle in the shop doubles as the entrance to the beautifully adorned hidden speakeasy. “I feel like this is the best cocktail menu we’ve ever done,” said CH Projects operations team member and Polite Provisions bartender Erick Castro.
4301 La Jolla Village Dr., Ste. 2030 at Westfield UTC, 619.629.0243
Located inside Neighborhood , a restaurant/beer bar in downtown San Diego, is a secret passageway to the early ’20s. Head to the restaurant’s restroom and find a pile of kegs, which is really the secret door to Noble Experiment. Enter the intimate space and sip on handcrafted cocktails from simpler times. Make sure to make a reservation exactly one week before wanting to check it out by texting 619.888.4713.
777 G St., downtown, 619.888.4713, nobleexperimentsd.com
Leave your cell phones behind, dress to impress and drink with an open mind by embracing days of yore at the Prohibition Lounge. Expect to find men behaving chivalrously and ladies sipping on their favorite martini. Enjoy live music and handcrafted cocktails that will make your night out one to remember.
548 Fifth Ave. downtown, 619.501.1919 prohibitionsd.com/rules
Located inside the revamped Craft & Commerce — behind the stainless steel door and walk-in cooler closet — is the tiki speakeasy False Idol. Partnering with tiki expert Martin Cate (of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco and Lost Lake in Chicago), Consortium Holdings Projects (those responsible for Noble Experiment as well), the space features a “fully immersive environment” with Polynesian artifacts and tiki décor alongside exotic, tropical drinks collaborated upon by Cate and CH Holdings mainstay Anthony Schmidt.
675 W. Beech St., Little Italy, 619.269.2202, falseidoltiki.com
Bar Three Price
If you love to sip on various kinds of whisky, Bar Three Price has your fix. Inspired by the whisky bars in Japan, this establishment is hidden behind North Park’s Seven Grand Whiskey Bar located in North Park. In this backroom you’ll find the night’s featured live music, which has included some of San Diego’s top jazz performers.
3054 University Ave., North Park, 213hospitality.com/barthreepiece
The Charles Kenneth Speakeasy
Enter a dapper world at this special escape from reality, and enjoy an atmosphere built to entertain. In order to make your way inside you must know the secret password and enter around the corner from The Land and Water Company. Once inside, follow the simple rules of staying off your phone and dress to impress while opening your mind to a new experience. Enjoy your favorite booze and the popular Tiki Wednesdays (where the best dressed of the evening can win a free drink).
The Grass Skirt
By day (and into much of the night) its front is Good Time Poke, which serves fresh seafood bowls. But enter the kitchen’s refrigerator doors and you’ll be transported to the tiki oasis of The Grass Skirt. Explore one of the exotic cocktail offerings, snack on plates and pu-pus all while kicking back in cozy booths or up front at the main bar. If you’re really a rum nut, join the Rum Club and get discounts on your bill, exclusive invites to rum tastings, plus entry to rum and cocktails knowledge classes.
910 Grand Ave., Pacific Beach, 858.412.5237, thegrassskirt.com
Vin de Syrah
While technically not known as a speakeasy, you must enter this wine parlor through a hidden door underneath the Melting Pot restaurant in downtown San Diego. Once you find it, you’ll be lead down the rabbit hole to this Alice in Wonderland inspired establishment. Oh yeah, and there's a TV inside the bar area that shows people at the entrance trying to find the door. Let the hilarity ensue. Enjoy a wide selection of wines, cocktails and amazing cheeses, along with other small bites that allow you to feel the vibes of the evening’s jazzy music and electric lounge setting.
901 Fifth Ave., downtown, 619.234.4166, syrahwineparlor.com