We love it when a little magic mixes with our drinking, whether it’s through simple bar tricks or otherworldly fantasy cocktails. You’re never too old for a good illusion, especially when that illusion actually stumps and amazes. And sipping a libation while watching a magician do their tricks makes the magic that much more amazing. These five bars across the United States have nightly and weekly magic shows for anyone looking for a mystical good time.
The NoMad Bar already serves some of our favorite cocktails in New York City. So when we heard that they were putting on an intimate magic show in a suite upstairs, we had to check it out. Dan White is The Magician, and he’s been performing on stages around the world for two decades. Each ticket costs between $95 and $115, depending on how close to the stage you want to sit. The show runs approximately two hours, with a brief intermission. Each table gets a bowl of tasty gourmet popcorn at the start of each act, and classic cocktails from Leo Robitschek are available for purchase. The show is truly mesmerizing and enchanting—even those skeptical about magic will be fooled.
The Magic Parlour is now in its seventh year at Chicago’s historic Palmer House Hilton Hotel, so you know it’s gotta be good. Award-winning, third-generation magician Dennis Watkins runs the show, where cocktail attire is suggested for an evening of sophisticated illusions. There are two showtimes on Friday nights and three on Saturdays, and additional performances are added around the holidays. The show runs 90 minutes without an intermission. All tickets cost $79 and include wine and beer, and soft drinks are available for anyone younger than 21. If you’re hungry before the show, onsite Lockwood Restaurant and Bar offers a $41 prix fixe menu for anyone with tickets to the show.
Spencer Horsman, the resident magician of Illusions Bar & Theater, was born into the entertainment business. Both of his parents were clowns in the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, and he was performing with David Copperfield and Lance Burton in Las Vegas before he was 15. Horseman performs every Friday and Saturday night at 9 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 and seating is first come, first served, so Illusions suggests you arrive before 8:30 to snag a seat. In addition to the $20 ticket, there is a wide selection of spirits, wines, beers and whiskey flights for sale. Be on the lookout for special events throughout the year, like the “double straightjacket event” and variety burlesque shows.
If you’re tired of looking for a member to get you into the Magic Castle, this weekly LA pop-up is the next best thing—in fact, the intimate show is even better, if you ask us. Every Monday night, the backroom of Woodley Proper in Encino turns into a magic-lover’s wonderland with an intimate show for a dozen guests. Bartender and magician Benjamin Schrader started the weekly show, and every magician who performs there is a headliner at Magic Castle. Shows begin at 7 and 9 p.m., run about an hour and cost $25 per person. Complimentary garlic and thyme popcorn is served, and specialty cocktails—concocted by Schrader—are available for purchase.
Not only is The Lorelei a fantastic place to catch the sunset if you’re hanging in the Florida Keys, but the funky, laid-back bar has some of the best free entertainment in town. Bands play from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The other nights, rockin’ magician Michael Trixx puts on his famous magic show. Trixx’s glam rock, hair metal aesthetic is charming, and his show is full of illusions to astound and delight. Think levitations, fire eating, confetti blizzards and live birds appearing and disappearing into thin air. Get there early to snag a good seat and catch the sunset while you sip on Lorelei’s famous Frotharita—a 20-ounce half frozen, half rocks Margarita that comes together for one behemoth of a drink.