Tired of the flashing lights and the thumping bass of dance music that fill the crowded clubs of the metro?
Fret not, intimate hidden bars, otherwise known as “speakeasies” exist for people who look to fancy a drink and have meaningful conversations with some friends at the same time.
Speakeasies were once popular for being the illegal drinking spots of the Prohibition era in the United States. Today, the word is mainly used to describe modern bars that are hidden from plain sight. This trend has picked up over the last few years with these speakeasies now being known for serving high-end liquor and having a distinct charm in their ambiance.
1. Thirsty Barber
Hidden behind a wooden bookshelf reminiscent of Batman’s Batcave, Thirsty Barber is the speakeasy housed within a barbershop. When the sun sets and the lights go dim, the barbershop merely serves as the gateway to a night of good food and drinks.
With nicely decorated, spacious, and dimly lit interior, Thirsty Barber provides the kind of comfort one could expect when visiting a speakeasy. On top of draft beer, they serve cleverly named cocktails like The Under Cut, a refreshing tequila orange mix. They also have dishes that go well with any of their drinks like their Glazed Chicken Skin.
Here, haircuts and drinks go hand-in-hand. Thirsty Barber is located at the Ground Floor Promenade Building, Wilson Street, corner P. Guevarra Street, San Juan City and is open from 6pm to 1am. Average price for cocktails and drinks around P300-P500.
2. Finders Keepers
In completely contrasting vibes, this speakeasy shares the same roof as underground warehouse club Black Market. Unlike its next door neighbor, Finders Keepers feels more relaxed and casual from its music to its neon-red aesthetic.
They serve all kinds of drinks one comes to expect from a place like this with the inclusion of some signature cocktails like what they call the Beergherita, a mixture of beer and Cazadores tequila.
Patrons from Black Market could sometimes spillover to Finders Keeper making the place more packed than usual but it never really ruins the atmosphere.
Finders Keepers is located at Warehouse 5, La Fuerza Plaza, Chino Roces Avenue Corner Sabio Street, San Lorenzo, Makati City and is open from 8pm to 4am. A pint of beer would cost around P100 and most of their specialty drinks would average around P300-P400.
3. Unit 27 Apartment Bar + Café
At Unit 27 Apartment Bar + Café, customers can order brunch and coffee in the morning, and drinks and cocktails in the evening. With the lighting and furnishing meant to feel like a New York City apartment, the place never fails in feeling cozy and comfortable!
Their speakeasy is not exactly hidden; it’s just situated two floors above the cafe.
Like most of the speakeasies on this list, they serve beer and a number of special cocktails; what brings people to Unit 27 though are the local performances from indie bands and artists. In case, it’s a little too early to party, their Jack Daniel’s Aussie Bacon and Egg is a must try.
Unit 27 Apartment Bar + Cafe is located at Icon Plaza Building, 26th Street Corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. The place is open for coffee and breakfast as early as 10am with the bar opening sometime in the evening. The place closes at 10pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Sundays, 2am on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 4am on Fridays and Saturdays. A pint of beer costs approximately P200.
4. LIT Manila
For a different speakeasy experience, LIT Manila is a Japanese whiskey bar tucked away in Serendra’s row of restaurants. With just a handful of tables available, most patrons sit on the bar in front of the large exquisitely illuminated display of whiskey bottles.
They have a huge selection of cocktails and it may easily overwhelm those unfamiliar; it may also help to consult their friendly bartenders. They also serve other cocktails and not to be forgotten, Japanese beer like Sapporo for more casual drinkers.
You can find LIT Manila at the Ground Floor of Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig and is open from 6pm to 2am. Drinks and cocktails would average P400-P700, some even more; Japanese beer cost around P200.
5. Bank Bar
Bank Bar is a speakeasy in every definition of the word; this dimly lit lounge-esque bar has patrons entering through a convenience store called 7-Eleven.
Even though it’s a pseudo-club, you can still have some quiet time here. For this reason, they start the weekday Happy Hour with endless cocktails in the early evening going from 5pm to 8pm.
They have an endless selection of fine liquor and cocktails – too many to even name! A select number of ‘pulutan’ dishes are also available.
To find Bank Bar, to the Ground Floor of RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Center, 26th and 25th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. It’s open from 5pm to 2am, only closing on Sundays. Cocktails would cost an average of P500-P800.
Despite not having the need for secrecy anymore, how creatively hard-to-find these speakeasies are add to its unique appeal.
On top of the special drinks served, the ambiance and decor are more often than not more welcoming than the typical bar. As of writing, there’s more than a dozen of these speakeasies now open in Metro Manila!
At this rate, one can never really tell, a speakeasy could be waiting right around the corner.
Will you be on the hunt to find these speakeasies? Let us know if we’ve missed any!