I have a new obsession with secret places. One of my favorite things to do is to visit different cities and find their underground taverns or back-alley restaurants. Even things like the Starbucks secret menu gets me excited.
Perhaps my obsession started after I read The Diviners, by Libba Bray. It’s a story that takes place in 1920’s Chicago, a time of prohibition when secret clubs and speakeasies where thriving.
I may be a little weird, but nothing sounds more exciting than people partying and having clandestine meetings deep beneath the walls of the city.
So like The Diviner’s main character, Evie, I went out in search of a speakeasy. They’re definitely harder to come by in 2016, but after doing a bit of research, I found one right in the heart of downtown Seattle, Bathtub Gin & Co.
As I’m walking through the alleys and parking lots, between huge buildings and a few shady characters, I arrive at a door that I barely even noticed.
The door is embedded in a brick wall, with graffiti and caged windows. Gold numbers tell the address. It looks like nothing special.
Next to the door, there is a tiny back and gold plate that says “Bathtub Gin & Co.” I would never see it if I wasn’t looking.
Once inside my eyes have to adjust to the darkness. There are quite a few people packed in this microscopic space, with buzzing energy that is imperceptible from the outside.
There are two floors. The second floor has the tiniest bar I’ve ever seen. The lower floor has a swanky lounging area, a few small tables, and a bathroom.
A chandelier accents the ornately tiled ceiling and a cherry wood balcony winds down into the darkness. Vintage wallpaper partially covers some of the brick.
I feel as if I stepped back in time, into another decade, almost another world. And I fall in love immediately.
We settle into a tiny table next to the staircase then order a couple of strong drinks. Mine happens to be named after Audrey Hepburn, my favorite classic movie star. I watch the door and listen to the hum of conversation.
It’s difficult to take pictures because of the low lighting and cramped space, but that makes it feel even more secretive.
So basically, that is my first speakeasy love story. I am in love with speakeasies. I’m sorry the photos couldn’t have been better. It was so dark!
Have you ever been to a speakeasy? If not, go explore the cities around you and find their hidden spots. It will make you feel like you’re part of an exclusive club, like you know the city intimately. And next time your friends want to go somewhere new, you’ll know just the place.
What secret spots have you found? Share them in the comments…unless you don’t want anyone else to know. 😉