A Guide to Seattle Speakeasy-style Bars

Blink and you'll miss these hush-hush bars.

Thanks to its proximity to Canada, the Emerald City was never truly "dry" during the Prohibition Era. Big-time bootleggers (including Seattle police lieutenant Roy Olmstead) smuggled in large shipments of Canadian booze via the miles of beaches along Puget Sound. Today, that secretive spirit lives on in the speakeasy-inspired bars dotted around town.

Bar JusticeOne of the most recent additions to the scene is hidden in plain sight within By the Pound, a newly opened takeout delicatessen on Capitol Hill. Reservations are mandatory; when you book your table, you'll be given a password to gain access to the bar, which is concealed behind what appears to be a walk-in refrigerator. Along with craft cocktails, the menu includes wine, beer and a dozen unique boilermakers—not to mention charcuterie and cheese platters from the deli.

Bathtub Gin & Co.This Belltown fave is tucked away in the basement of a former hotel on Gin Alley.

Knee High Stocking CompanySome of Capitol Hill's finest cocktails, plus Filipino spins on American comfort foods.

Needle & ThreadUse the vintage phone by the door to access the more intimate upstairs bar at Capitol Hill's Tavern Law. There's no menu; bartenders craft custom drinks based on your tastes.

Civility & UnrestThis moody bar beneath the swanky W Bellevue hotel describes itself as "a daring exploration into cocktail culture" and features gourmet bar bites by James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Wilson.

Lara Hale
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