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DC's Best Hidden Bars & Speakeasies

by Lanna Nguyen on Sep 17, 2018 in Roundups

 
Half the fun of drinking at a speakeasy is trying to locate it. Here are some of our favorite hidden cocktail bars, the perfect spots for a quiet date night or intimate gathering of friends.
 
By day, the Shaw deli slings an array of traditional subs and Italian dishes, by night (if the light above the freezer door is turned on), it doubles as the entryway to an invite-only lounge dubbed Backroom Bar. You must be on the list or be invited by a friend who is in order to access the space. If you make it in, sip on classic cocktails in addition to house-made specialities. (715 Florida Ave, NW)
 
The unassuming front half of the 14th Street spot serves up South American rotisserie chicken with all traditional side dishes including yuca fries, black beans, rice and more. Take a closer look at the metal door in the back of the dining area: the entryway to a hidden bar where you can saddle up and drink...you guessed it, whiskey - over 99 different kinds of international and domestic whiskeys, to be exact. (1738 14th St, NW; 202-667-2456)
 
Head to Capitol Hill, where the 1920’s Prohibition-style speakeasy can be found above Acqua Al 2 through an unmarked, wooden door. The dark and intimate space is perfect for date night and with limited seating, you can be sure that even when filled to maximum capacity, the bar will retain its cozy atmosphere. (212 7th St., SE; 202-627-0994)
 
Nestled in the basement of Shaw doughnut joint, Sugar Shack, the cozy bar (it seats just 17) offers an interactive cocktail experience showcasing global flavors - cocktails and spirits are paired with bites representative of a specific region. Guests have the option of exploring individual drinks or going for a trio of cocktails from the “Atlas Menu.” (1932 9th St, NW)
 
One of the more well-known speakeasies, The Gibson can be accessed from 14th Street through an unmarked door. Once inside, you’ll find the interior to be dark and cozy - the perfect backdrop for a date night or catching up with close friends. Head outside to the back patio on warmer days - a mini oasis from the hubbub of U and 14th Streets - and sip on your cocktails whilst taking in the charming scenery of strewn lights and foliage. (2009 14th St, NW; 202-232-2156)
 
HIdden in plain sight at one of the busier DC neighborhoods, The Sheppard can be found right in the middle of Dupont Circle. Head through the unmarked front door and take the elevator to the second floor and walk through to the main bar space. Sip on house punches and enjoy live jazz music on certain nights - take advantage of their happy hour, offered from 6-8PM . (1337 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-744-4253)
 
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