You’ll have to seek them out, but these hidden speakeasies are definitely worth the effort.
A side effect of prohibition in the United States, speakeasies were by their very nature secret hideaways, a place where you could get a drink, even though it was against the law. And now, 90 years after prohibition ended, speakeasies have made a roaring comeback. These old school bars are all twenties chic – think retro leather booths, foot-stomping tunes and a back bar that’s made for cocktails. Hunt them out, you won’t be disappointed.
The original speakeasy, The Maven was the first secret cocktail bar to open in Leeds. To this day, its doorway remains unmarked, but as you wander upstairs, their distinctive M will confirm that you’ve found your destination. Inside, suited and booted bartenders serve up creative cocktails, made with flair – and if that doesn’t put a spring in your step, the soundtrack most certainly will. This is no shrinking violet – The Maven will have you dancing until late.
The Maven, 1 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7DH.
Ever wondered about its name? Well, it’s actually another word for a speakeasy – a blind tiger was an illegal drinking establishment whose owner chose to conceal their identity. Of course, we all know who owns Blind Tyger – it comes from the same stock as Smokestack and Sandinista, but that only helps to cement its status as a nightlife destination. You can drink some of the best cocktails in the city in this petite little bar, which sits up high on Cross Belgrave Street.
Blind Tyger, 5 Cross Belgrave St, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
The Domino Club
The Domino Club is hidden within Lords Barbering – head down the back stairs where you’ll find a cool underground bar. From the cosy booths to the stage, which has played host to a long line of live jazz artists, The Domino Club has an old school vibe that will transport you back to the height of the prohibition. The one thing that doesn’t match up is their drinks – you won’t find moonshine here, it’s quality cocktails all the way, with many-an original alongside the classics.
The Domino Club, 7 Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.