Phoenix, Arizona, nestled in the heart of the American Southwest, boasts a rich history intertwined with tales of prohibition-era intrigue. During the early 20th century, as the nationwide ban on alcohol swept across the United States, Phoenix became a hotbed of clandestine activity. The city's vibrant nightlife scene, fueled by its growing population and bustling economy, provided fertile ground for the rise of speakeasies. Backrooms of laundromats, hidden rooms in butcher shops, “abandoned” buildings … all flowing with forbidden beverages. Even notorious celebrities like Al Capone and John Dillinger were drawn to Phoenix’s hidden bars. 

After the end of prohibition, speakeasies were no longer needed, but the enigmatic allure of these secret spots remained. Today Phoenix boasts a few of these clandestine bars to offer an escape from the ordinary and a journey into the past. From dimly lit corners to secret entrances, each speakeasy has its own unique charm and allure. 



Next door to Sip Coffee, Undertow invites patrons on a nautical adventure. Set inside a fictitious 19th Century clipper ship, the bar boasts an intimate atmosphere inspired by the high seas. Step inside and find yourself transported to the deck of a ship with its maritime decor and exotic cocktails. Don't miss their signature drinks like the “Poseidon's Court” or the “Chains to the Mast!” The bar is located inside locally-owned Century Grand, an immersive cocktail experience and home to two other individual bars–Platform 18 and Grey Hen Rx. There are no street or building signs. Century Grand was recently named the best cocktail bar in the U.S. at the 2023 Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s 17th Annual Spirited Awards, which is the equivalent of the Oscars for the spirits industry. 


The Ostrich

The Ostrich is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered nestled beneath Crust Simply Italian in historic downtown Chandler. Once a storage room for ostrich feathers in the early 1900s, this speakeasy retains its historic charm with exposed brick walls and cozy seating. Indulge in craft cocktails crafted with precision and care, such as the “Smoked Old Fashioned” or the “Aviation.” There are two ways to access the bar–through the restaurant (find the door adorned with kitchen utensils) and from a spot the descending staircase illuminated by a red light outside.

The Ostrich is named after a legend that goes back to 1912. It is said that post-prohibition, ostrich feathers were collected from the streets outside the San Marcos Hotel and stashed in the place where The Ostrich is located. The feathers were sold to Hollywood's elite, adorning flapper dresses and hats. A.J. Chandler, the founder of the city of Chandler, was the entrepreneur who began selling and collecting the feathers. After his death, The Ostrich was boarded up and sealed for almost a hundred years. In 2015, The Ostrich was transformed into a speakeasy for all to enjoy. 


Trophy Room

Shrouded in mystery, Trophy Room emerges from the creative minds behind Wren & Wolf in downtown Phoenix. Launched in late winter 2023, it prohibits photography inside, accessible exclusively through Wren & Wolf via a foreboding hallway. Each 90-minute adventure promises awe-inspiring interiors, interactive decor, and decadence at every turn. Indulge in jaw-dropping cocktails that taste as amazing as they look. Just remember, no phones or photos allowed inside. Be sure to try their specialty cocktails, including the “Golden Hour” and the “Velvet Mule” and visit Wren & Wolf next door for a bite afterward.


Rough Rider


Step into Rough Rider, where the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt meets the flair of Victorian extravagance! Nestled within the Ten-O-One building on Roosevelt Row, the bar offers a journey through history and taste.

Guests board the elevator and embark on an adventure through time. The cocktail menu pays homage to the rugged charm of the original Rough Riders, featuring drinks straight out of Teddy's era with a modern twist. Picture patrons sipping on the Final Warning cobbler or indulging in the Rein on Juniper tea punch, all while channeling the adventurous spirit of Roosevelt himself. From antique trinkets to whimsical memorabilia, every corner tells a story of America's past with a hint of cheekiness and charm.

So, gather friends, don vintage attire, and join in for a rollicking good time at Rough Rider. 


Bar 1912

In the Melrose neighborhood, lies a cute spot named Valentine. The space is part coffee shop, part lounge, part restaurant … and if you explore far enough, part hidden bar. Both Valentine and its speakeasy, Bar 1912, pay homage to Arizona's establishment as a state on February 14, 1912. The restaurant and cocktail menu celebrates the state's diversity, drawing inspiration from its regions and ecological zones. The space exudes simplicity and elegance, with backlit archways casting a gentle glow over small tables and a narrow bar. The bar doesn’t accept reservations, so feel free to make an impromptu visit. Valentine has not only been nominated for multiple James Beard Award nominations, but national press magazines such as Esquire have named it one of the best restaurants in America. 


Melinda's Alley

Tucked away in the basement of the Renaissance Hotel, Melinda's beckons trendy bar goers looking for an escape from the ordinary. Each weekend brings a new cocktail menu, as mixologists rotate responsibilities. Given its popularity, timing your visit is key to avoid capacity limits. Accessible via an alleyway on Central Avenue's east side, between Adams and Monroe streets, no password needed.

Melinda's Alley dates back to late 1800's Phoenix history. Although the original Adams Hotel, which stood where the Renaissance Hotel now stands, is gone, it was a luxurious hotel built in the early founding of the city of Phoenix that hosted dignitaries and other visitors before it burned down in 1910. The Adams Hotel was quickly rebuilt in 1911. The basement walls of Melinda's Alley are the original walls from the second iteration of the Adams Hotel. 


Stardust Pinbar

Step into a retro wonderland at Stardust Pinbar, where vintage charm meets modern flair. This speakeasy offers a unique twist with its combination of classic cocktails and vintage arcade games. To get in, first go to Ziggy’s Magic Pizza Shop, a vibrant pizza counter offering delicious slices. Then venture down the hallway to the right of the counter and pass through a door that may seem exclusive to employees. Sip on a Saguaro Slammer or try a Mexican Candy Shot once you get in. 


Phoenix's speakeasy scene offers a diverse array of experiences, from the opulent elegance of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour to the whimsical charm of UnderTow and the historic allure of The Ostrich. Whether you're a seasoned cocktail aficionado or simply seeking a unique night out on the town, these hidden gems are sure to delight and inspire. So, step inside, raise a glass, and toast to the timeless allure of the speakeasy. Cheers!