Las Vegas sees approximately 42.5 million visitors each year. Among these yearly visitors are foodies, gamblers, those who want to take in the shows, and those looking for something new and different.
One thing that isn’t lacking in Las Vegas is cocktails, beer, and wine. Virtually every hotel has a bar, and they are in abundance up and down The Strip.
No Las Vegas vacation would be complete without at least one stop at a bar to sample the drinks. In fact, drinking and gambling go so well together that you can do both in every casino you visit.
But what if you want something off the beaten path? A bar that isn’t packed with noisy tourists? A place where you indulge in something a little different?
That’s when finding secret bars in Las Vegas should top your itinerary. The truth is that the city is thriving with speakeasies and fantastic places to make your trip more memorable.
Where are they? Use this guide to help you find the best speakeasy in the city.
What is a Speakeasy?
The definition of a speakeasy is an illegal nightclub or liquor store. They are also historically called a blind pig or a blind tiger. Speakeasies rose in popularity during Prohibition when alcohol was illegal.
Prohibition lasted between 1920 and 1933 and estimates indicate that there were more than 100,000 speakeasies in New York City alone during that time.
There were hundreds of speakeasies in Las Vegas as well since it was a city where Prohibition was only sporadically enforced.
These days a speakeasy is a retro bar, club, or lounge that is modeled after the secret bars of yesteryear. Though it isn’t illegal to patronize one, part of the experience is feeling like it is.
The name comes from the need to “speak easy” about the establishments so that law enforcement didn’t get wind of their location and shut them down. If a raid happened, the liquor was dumped out and many people were arrested.
You certainly don’t have to worry about that these days, but the illicit feel of a speakeasy is a fun way to make a memorable night and enjoy some of the secrets that Vegas has to offer.
What Makes a Speakeasy Different?
Before you go hunting for speakeasies on the Las Vegas Strip, you should know what you’re looking for. A great starting point is to do a simple Google search for “speakeasy near me.”
Unlike the hundreds of traditional bars you’ll find up and down the Las Vegas Strip, a speakeasy isn’t typically a place you can walk right into. You’ll need to know where you’re going and how to get in.
The nature of a speakeasy is that it’s a secret, so you can also do a bit of sleuthing by asking the locals where to go. You might also go exploring and see what you can find on your own.
A speakeasy is a smaller and more intimate setting than your average Las Vegas bar. It’s designed for staying a while and having top-notch drinks in a cozy atmosphere.
Many speakeasies can accommodate only small groups, as few as 20 in some cases. You may need a reservation and might need to plan well in advance before you visit one.
Harking back to the 1920s when liquor was illegal and speakeasies were hidden in plain sight, many of the Las Vegas options are right there, but you may not notice them.
That’s part of the fun of seeking them out on your Vegas trip. Knowing what makes it a speakeasy allows you to add it to your list of places to visit before you go home.
Whiskey and bourbon were common kinds of liquor being served in 1920s speakeasies so you’ll find this on many menus today. Of course, you can also find anything else your heart desires – from tequila to vodka to gin.
How to Find Secret Bars in Las Vegas
Back in the day when alcohol was outlawed and bars were a secret, they were often fronted by a legitimate business. The allure of the Prohibition heyday in Vegas means you can often find secret bars in much the same way.
Most often a secret door was used, behind which was the speakeasy. They were often marked in an innocent way that wouldn’t alert a passerby what was lurking behind the door.
People had to be in the know to find the speakeasies. If you’re a visitor to Las Vegas, chances are you aren’t aware of these secret images. That’s why you’ll need to chat up the locals.
During Prohibition, finding a speakeasy meant being in the know. It meant mingling with the people who could fill you in on where to go and when to make an appearance.
Often, there was a secret code, handshake, or card that must be produced to gain entrance to the secret bar. While most places won’t require this now, make sure you know if there are any special requirements to getting in.
Our door is clearly marked and we’re here to welcome you right in, anytime. For a truly authentic speakeasy experience, look for the 1923 and make your way inside.
Making the Speakeasy Experience Your Own
Finding secret bars in Las Vegas is a big part of the allure. But once you’re inside, there’s a lot more fun to be had. The best piece of advice we can offer is to not be afraid to try something new.
Most speakeasies pride themselves on their list of unique cocktails that you can’t find anywhere else. Part of the experience is giving them a try. Whether bourbon is your thing, or you prefer tequila, you’re bound to find something great.
Of course, you will never get enough of us here at the 1923 Prohibition Bar, the best speakeasy in town. Located between the Luxor and Mandalay Bay, you’ll love the unique drinks, cozy atmosphere, and great crowd. Visit us today.