Chicago’s Newest Secret

By: admin 30 December 2015

By Alice Smelyansky

Amidst dark alleyways and dim-light restaurants, well-dressed individuals gather in clusters outside seemingly unassuming doors. There’s no sign, no trademark exterior to attract passerby. But this new trend is no gimmick, it’s a craze from the past making its way onto the streets of Chicago. Want to know what’s inside? Check out some of Chicago’s finest speakeasies.

Originated during the Prohibition era in the 1920s, a speakeasy was established as a hidden place to serve alcohol. Though alcohol is legal today, secret bars are bringing back the allure of exclusivity with tiny establishments tucked away in basements and dark streets. For night dwellers that desire a taste of the past, there’s no better place to discover a mysterious world than at a speakeasy.


Three Dots and a Dash

435 N. Clark St.

For Polynesian-inspired drinks, food and décor, head to a secret alleyway in River North and experience a traditional tiki bar.

Most popular drinks: the Painkillers, the Three Dots and a Dash and the Jet Pilot

Source: Beverage director Diane Corcoran


Jimmy at the James Chicago

610 N Rush St.

“Those who want to find us are going to.” – manager Matt Hunnel

The Jimmy prides itself as a “hidden jem” on Rush Street. With a space that brings you back to the 1970s and artisan ingredient cocktails, you can relax in the laidback lounge.


Headquarters Beercade River North

213 W. Institute Place

If it’s your youth you desire to re-discover, the basement level of Headquarters Beercade offers just that — 65 quality arcade games and the absence of your phone. The bar encourages guests to put away their phones and let them charge in a locked drawer while they enjoy a rotating craft beer menu, gourmet food and a world without technology.  


Photo credit for Jimmy at the James Chicago: Anthony Tahlier

Photo credit for Three Dots and a Dash: either Anjali Pinto or Jeff Marini (see photo caption)

Photo credit for Headquarters Beercade River North: Headquarters Beercade


Log in or register to leave comments