Secret Spots around New York to discover with Irene!

Speakeasy Bars in NYC (Part II)

Categories: Around NYC with Irene
Are you a fan of the Roaring Twenties? Would you like to re-live that atmosphere? Then, we must go to one of my favorite Speakeasy Bars in NYC. When we talk about the prohibition era in New York, it's pretty impossible not to mention the several speakeasies of the time. One of those places is still active today, but it is not easy to find it, the entrance is still very well-hidden!

I'm talking about the Back Room, a timeless example of New York's past. The speakeasy, known simply as "The Back of Ratner" in the 1920s, hosted theater and film actors, wealthy socialities as well as famous gangsters of the time. The place was perfect for a "business meeting" ... do you want some name? Bugsy Siegel, Lucky Luciano, and Meyer Lansky just to name a few.

This may be the only bar where the bouncer asks you "The Back Room?" and shows you a metal gate and a sign that reads -- "Lower East Side Toy Company". Stairs lead you to a dark-looking alley ... rusty iron steps lead you to a closed door. Find some courage and open that door!


The room is dimly lit and people gather near the bar to chat, there are those who dance and those who drink ... Along the front wall of the bar, you see the original 1920s mirrors and on walls of the elegant lounge, furnished with velvet sofas, tables, and rugs, paintings of impertinent women stare back at you ... How can you not feel like you are back in the 1920s?

Not to forget the habits and customs of the time, when alcohol was outlawed and was consumed in secret, the Back Room cocktails were served "masked" in teacups, beer bottles in brown paper bags, draft beer in a coffee cup while spirits, the famous shots, in espresso coffee cups. All traditions that are still kept very much alive today.

In recent years, the speakeasies are back in fashion and many night clubs put up a speakeasy vibe without necessarily being an original spot from back in the day ... However, you can rest assured The Back Room, still so well hidden, is the Real Deal! An authentic underground-bar born during the Prohibition era and still in business today. Let's not forget that we will use the very same hidden-entrance used 100 years ago!

The Back Room has been used as a movie set for famous TV series -- "Boardwalk Empire" -- have you seen it? It is its rich and authentic history that distinguishes The Back Room from other "speakeasies" bar of today

How to get there & Good to Know


Address 102 Norfolk Street (tra Delancey e Rivington Street)
Phone +1 (212) 228.5098
How To Get There: Subway Essex St. (Line J, M, Z), Delancey St. (Line  F), Grand Central (Line B, D) Bus M9, M14, M15, M21.
Opening Sunday - Monday  7:30 am - 2:00 pm, Tuesday - Thursdaay 7:30 pm - 3:00 am, Friday - Saturday: 3:00 pm - 4:00 am

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