Five Speakeasies in Salt Lake City That Take you Back in Time

Salt Lake boasts a lively bar scene, offering patrons the opportunity to indulge in classic cocktails and experience the nostalgic allure of bygone eras. As a city with a history steeped in speakeasies during the Prohibition era, Salt Lake was a hotbed for covert drinking dens. Today, a handful of these historical speakeasies still remain, while others have been imaginatively reimagined, transformed into trendy bars that pay homage to their secret past. Let’s take a look at some of the best speakeasy-inspired bars that Salt Lake has to offer, where you can transport yourself back in time and savor a drink in a setting that captures the alluring glamor and intrigue of the 1920s.

Bars With Speakeasies

The Rest at Bodega Nestled in the heart of Salt Lake lies the tiny bar  Bodega, which exudes an aura of mystery and intrigue. Bodega is more than just a typical bar, it also houses a hidden speakeasy known as The Rest. Descend the stairs to find the subterranean gem that awaits you, and you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into the 1920s. Dark wood, macabre taxidermy, and antique books add to the bar’s atmospheric charm, while the ample selection of premium whiskey and other classic cocktails ensure you’ll be well primed for a night of relaxation and indulgence.

The menu is constantly changing but their famous Beer Can Chicken has earned a permanent spot due to its sheer popularity. This delectable creation features an entire chicken breast, delicately stuffed with beer and cooked to mouthwatering perfection. Served alongside with tender potatoes and crisp asparagus, all smothered in a luscious creamy sauce.  It takes about 45 minutes to order so don’t wait to place your order. When it comes to the drinks, the establishment’s policy is shrouded in secrecy. From cocktails and wine to beers and bitters, rest assured you will not be disappointed.

Inside at Prohibition

Rabbit Hole Lounge at Lake EffectAs you make your way down the stairs into the Rabbit Hole Lounge, a surge of anticipation washes over you–it’s as though you’re gaining access to an exclusive club. With its flickering candles and carefully curated decor, the Rabbit Hole is a veritable boutique of sorts–a unique and unforgettable space that is perfect for hosting parties and events. However, it’s not just the size and atmosphere of the Rabbit Hole that makes it a sought after spot, it’s the energy that permeates every corner of the space, alive with the sounds of jazz from the ‘20s.

The dinner menu has just about everything you can think of, from fried pickles to ahi poke bowls. However, it’s the cocktails that are my favorite here. It’s not just the unique and quite hilarious names that prompt you to order them, it’s the flavor and quality of ingredients that make them my favorite. From nutty to tropical to sweet to sour, they have everything, with my personal favorite being the Hogsmead–a drink that feels like fall. With pineapple Plantation rum, mixed with cinnamon, High West simple and whipped cream. If you’re a Harry Potter fan this is definitely the best “dirty” dupe of butterbeer.

Bars That Feel Like Speakeasies

Prohibition It would feel wrong to exclude Prohibition in an article on speakeasies in Salt Lake. Located right outside the city in Murray, this 1920s inspired hotspot takes you completely back in time, making it the perfect destination to experience the glamor and intrigue of the roaring twenties. Although Prohibition isn’t a speakeasy, it oozes the vibe and atmosphere of the era with its eclectic decor, ambient lighting and vintage furnishings. 

Prohibition offers a unique and unforgettable experience with its retro-themed ambiance and top-notch drinks and food. The food menu here is a standout with the best bites you’ve ever had in a bar. While the cocktails range from classic to innovative. Their bartenders are true artists and know how to create the perfect libation. So, slip on your flapper dress or fedora and head to Prohibition for an evening filled with good food, great drinks and even better company!

Bourbon HouseThis cozy bar, located in the basement of the Walker Center, exudes an atmosphere of warmth and intimacy. As you make your way through the dimly lit staircase and passageway to Bourbon House, you can’t help but feel like you just stepped into a different time and place. While it may not be a traditional speakeasy, Bourbon House certainly has all the elements required to encapsulate their guests in the era of prohibition.

As you settle into one of the comfy couches or take a seat at the ba top, you’ll be greeted by an impressive array of craft cocktails–each one perfectly crafted to tantalize your taste buds. Also, sports fans will be thrilled to discover that Bourbon House has eight flat screen TV’s and a projector, with every channel available to satisfy even the most die-hard enthusiasts. For those who prefer a different kind of entertainment, the bar features local DJs every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. While the atmosphere may be reminiscent of a speakeasy, Bourbon House is anything but exclusive. With something for everyone, it truly is a bar that can be all things to all people.

The BackdoorNestled down the alley on Edison Street behind Laziz Kitchen, Backdoor is a cozy, speakeasy-style cocktail lounge that exudes an intimate and secretive vibe. It’s the perfect spot to unwind with friends over dinner and drinks after a long day. The menu features food items from the new Laziz Kitchen, so you know you’re in for a treat. As you walk into the seductively lit room, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into a scene from a classic movie. The ambience is further enhanced by the tiny little lambs on the tables, making you feel as if you’re the only one there.

The bartenders at Backdoor are truly amazing. They are highly-skilled and can whip up a delicious cocktail for any mood or occasion. Whether you’re in the mood for something classic or experimental, they’ve got you covered. The drinks are not only delicious but visually stunning, so be sure to get your cameras ready for those insta-worthy drink pics.

See more stories like this and all of our food and drink coverage. And while you’re here, why not subscribe and get six annual issues of Salt Lake magazine’s curated guide to the best of life in Utah. 

Julia McNulty
Julia McNulty
Julia McNulty is an intern for Salt Lake magazine. She is currently enrolled at the University of Utah and is studying English. In her free time she enjoys skiing, reading, and traveling.

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