For all the nostalgia about the era, prohibition definitely had its drawbacks, from the undeniable ickiness of bathtub gin to, you know, booze being illegal. At the same time, it's inarguably fun to feel like you're getting away with something, which explains why Boston still has these juice joints tucked away like they have something to hide.
The 5 best (mostly) hidden spots in Boston
During the early days of the Fort Point renaissance, Lucky’s opted for out-of-the-way-no-sign-having coolness when they opened their dimly lit corner doors. Many moons later, the Rat Pack lives on in this red, plush '50s-esque escape from the norm (not the Norm). Even cooler: forget bottle service, there’s FREE shuttle service (if you’re in South Boston)!
You’ll need to navigate your way through a dark alley, a dented metal fire door, and a service corridor (past palettes, boxes, and possibly the Ark of the Covenant) to find Backbar, Journeyman’s cheeky little brother in Union Square. The industrial chic vibe and mad scientist mixology are worth the hunt.
Another member of the no-sign club, Saloon's a brown liquor oasis sheltered underground from the college student hustle and flow of Davis Square that's serving up pre-Prohibition cocktail classics (read: less show, more booze) and comfort food (as in less kale, more pork).
Champagne Lounge at RumBa (Hotel InterContinental)
If you require even more swank than Hillary, try the private Champagne Lounge, a covert gem hidden behind rich mahogany doors with golden disrobed lady door handles (classy!), discreetly isolated from the rest of RumBa. Sexy lighting, bottles of bubbly, a separate bar, and mini-chandeliers will ensure you feel superior to the riff raff on the outside.
Bogie’s Place (at JM Curley)
We’ve seen the old “room within a room” trick a thousand times (ok, maybe more like a dozen), but Bogie’s Place inside of JM Curley takes it to the next level by offering serious steaks and other refined palate-pleasers. Push past the lively JM Curley bar scene, follow the sign for “Adults Only” (presuming you are one), and you’ll discover
Narnia this safe haven for martinis and meats.
During the early days of the Fort Point renaissance, Lucky’s opted for out-of-the-way-no-sign-having coolness in this red, plush '50s-esque lounge. Even cooler: there’s FREE shuttle service to Lucky's from anywhere in South Boston!
Try the private, chandelier'd Champagne Lounge, hidden behind rich mahogany doors with golden disrobed lady door handles (classy!), discreetly isolated from the rest of RumBa.
The seasoned 'tailsmiths at Backbar concoct a myriad of alco-creations while the kitchen serves up sumptuous comfort food, in a space that feels like your garage if it was trendy and full of strangers.
Slinging bourbon below Foundry on Elm, this ode to the under-represented pre-Prohibition era throws things back with Tiffany chandeliers and hand-carved mahogany overhangs. Stuff your face with beer-battered pickled peppers packed w/ Boursin, and maple-braised pork belly w/ baked beans, before drinking said face off thanks to 16 taps, 120+ brown-booze varieties, and a slew of "bespoke" whiskey cocktails.
A steakhouse speakeasy is about as cool and one-of-a-kind as it gets in Boston, and this little surprise is tucked inside jm Curley, one of the city’s greatest bars. There’s no website and only the tiniest of signs pointing you to a curtained doorway in the back of the bar. Beyond that burgundy curtain is a small, dreamy chophouse doling out classic cocktails (Ward 8, French 75), caviar service, a wedge salad, and surprisingly affordable steak cuts, adorned with the likes of bone marrow and foie gras butter. If you're looking to impress a date/client/IRS auditor, Bogie’s is your meal ticket.