Although hardly anybody remembers the prohibition, the tradition of speakeasy bars has survived – mainly thanks to a mysterious atmosphere and an exclusive character which attract people who enjoy partying with style, good company, unusual cocktails as well as discretion provided by such places. There are a dozen or so of these speakeasy (secret) bars and despite the fact that they are not advertised, there is a lot of people interested in spending a Friday or Saturday night in such places. Below are some of the places which we think are the best.
House – Poznań
Secret bars are opening up all over Poland. Probably 2 or 3 in most major cities if you look hard enough. They represent one of the strangest exercises in nostalgia ever to grip the public, an infatuation with the good old days of Prohibition. Half the fun is the forbidden feeling of finding them. We expose the first secret bar to hit Poznań.
Hidden away from the mainstream bars and without any signs outside, you will never know that hidden behind the windows on the first floor of one of the street’s most beautiful buildings is a secret bar. For those who are lucky enough, you can enter only if you have a card which you need to swipe at various checkpoints. Even the apartment itself is protected by an electronic card swiper, similar to what you see outside banks after working hours.
Mercy Brown – Kraków
Mercy Brown easily gets a mention in this article. It affectionately calls itself a dive bar, but what you will find inside its hidden location is the furthest thing from shabby – or even ordinary for that matter. No joke, the gentlemen that tend the bar here are artists and the joy they take in showcasing their talents is a joy to watch; pull up a barstool and don’t miss the show. Once inside, you are transported to a vintage era of style and elegance, with chandeliers and frilly lampshades softly shining above and plush velveteen couches, golden drapes, and dim candlelight before you.
Behind the bar, antique glasses, stirrers, and old-fashioned vaporizers (for adding fragrance to cocktails) await alongside a staff that concocts wonderful renditions of classics with assorted twists. They make their own tinctures, the liquors are top shelf, and the tidy list of exclusive drinks changes regularly; prices start at 24zł, but it’s absolutely worth it. The perfect place for a nightcap, enjoy the dim, decadent 1920s Parisian atmosphere and electro-swing soundtrack.
Hidden above the Smakołyki restaurant with no outside signage, enter and indicate to the porter at the desk that you’d like to go upstairs; half the fun is the forbidden feeling of finding this place.
Z Ust do Ust – Kraków
Opened in July 2016, Z Ust do Ust Polish for “word of mouth” is perhaps the most secretive cocktail bar in town, as its name suggests. In what seems to have become a local tradition of secret cocktail bars, Z Ust do Ust lives up to its name by taking the idea of the hidden entrance to new heights. Finding it is a fun adventure, even when you have the address.
Once you’re in, you find yourself immediately greeted by the laidback bar staff, who have made their attentive, chummy service is one of this place’s strongest selling points. Drinks are served in shapes like bathtubs, pugs and fists, with popcorn alongside.
A fun destination for younger folks in small groups looking for an adventure with some money to burn.
Sababa – Kraków
Sababa is a covert cocktail club surprisingly located at Plac Szeroka above Hamsa. Despite the 25zł signature drinks served up by sharply-dressed barmen, there’s a certain dive bar appeal to this hidden hangout, whose black walls and moody lighting, accented by elemental metals and geometric emblems, make for a very low-key lounge.
A stunning array of different rooms, with beautiful chandeliers and a dancefloor, the cocktails, produced by a team of hipsters, are among the best in town and offer a mix of the Near East meets West.
6 Cocktails – Warsaw
Every once in a while you come across a special place. A place that feels right. A place you feel comfortable in. A place that you know is going to give you some great memories to talk about. Such a place is 6 cocktails.
Hidden away from the mainstream bars and without any signs outside, you will never know that hidden behind the windows on the second floor of one of the streets most beautiful buildings is a secret bar.
A bar for those who are invited in, you need to send them an email to arrange a day and time. For those that have been, you will know what I’m talking about.
Weles – Warsaw
If you are looking for an elegant place with unique quality and amazing cocktails, check out Weles.
Its luxurious interior impresses with well-matched antiques, leather armchairs, beautiful glass and sculpted bar made of wood and stone. Weles is a very discrete spot which is perfect for a business meeting as well as an elegant date. You just have to find it first!
Cocktail Bar by Incognito – Wrocław
A speakeasy hidden away in the red brick cellar of a cafe on Plac Solny; find it and you’ll be rewarded with cold brew cocktails, ‘molecular’ concoctions, single malt whiskey, and other high-brow drinks served by sharp-looking bartenders (beer has been scrapped from the menu for being too plebeian).
The atmosphere is classy and the music of choice is jazz and blues, providing a welcome alternative to the crazy college student establishments all too prominent in the city. You just need to find it first ?
If we have missed anything then let us know and we will go and check it out ?
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