Speakasy Bars are hush-hush bars that became an epidemic in the 1920’s, when the selling of alcoholic drinks was prohibited in the United States. Fast-forward to a few decades later and you will find underground bars scattered around Manila’s more vibrant areas despite their unflashy and oftentimes undetectable facades. Here we give you 5 speakeasies in the Metro where you can hold clandestine meetings, loosen up, and hide from all the noise.
Alcohol by Volume
Basement Floor, 22 Jupiter corner Galaxy St., Bel-Air, Makati City
ABV for short is one of the best speakeasy bars around, which is hidden inside a diner-style burger joint called Lazy Bastard. You have to enter a fancy elevator space that opens up on the other side which instantly teleports you to Prohibition Era New York style. ABV is calm and fascinating, housing only about 10 tables. Ask for a copy of the “Bible” if you want a more extensive array of drinks and cocktails.
227 Salcedo St., Legazpi Village, Makati City
This is probably one of the most known speakeasy bars, having pioneered the speakeasy trend in Manila. One needs to have a sharp eye if planning a visit. Blind Pig is in an ordinary building with nothing but a small braille sign at the entrance. The luxurious interiors lit up by candles and a very dim chandelier make for a very intimate and private experience. So if you are looking to have a nice and cozy night, this is the perfect spot.
5 Paseo Parkview Tower, Valero corner Sedeno St., Salcedo Village, Makati City
The bar’s entrance is behind the smoking area of Bugsy’s, and can only be revealed after you are asked, “Would you like to try the Red Rabbit?” Red and black dominates the interior of this speakeasy, and its decors capture the mystery and spell of the 1920’s era.
G/F RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Center, 26th St., Bonifacio Global City
The most unnoticeable of all is Bank Bar. Guests have to go through a stockroom of a convenience store, 7-11 to be exact, before they get to the gates of this underground cathedral. What makes this place more unique is the transformation it offers through the night. You just have to go there and see!
The Thirsty Barber
G/F Promenade Mall, Wilson corner P. Guevarra St., Addition Hills, San Juan City
The only speakeasy in San Juan City, hidden behind a wooden shelf of a barbershop. The bar’s concept and interiors take inspiration from New York, where speakeasy bars were abundant. Don’t leave without grabbing a drink from their broad drink collection.
Keep in mind, speakeasy bars expect their guests to follow certain rules on proper decorum. Loud voices, flash photography and smoking may get you kicked out. Remember, people come here for privacy and peace.