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Top Speakeasy Bars in Birmingham

26th July 2016 | Birmingham | JD Parties Staff

The 1920s was a difficult time in the US for men and women who wanted to kick back and relax with a nice drink. Prohibition was in full swing, meaning alcohol was illegal. But not everyone was willing to accept that! Speakeasies were illicit establishments that cropped up around the US, selling bootlegged alcohol in secret underground or back room bars.

Prohibition may have ended in 1933, but speakeasies are still a highly popular establishment. In the last decade, more and more of them have cropped up around the US and UK for those who want that “retro style” ambience and drinks.

If you’re looking for a unique place to drink, you’ll definitely want to visit a speakeasy! These venues may not be illegal, but they have the secretive, underground feel that transports you back to the thrilling times of drinking in defiance of the law. Here are a few of the best speakeasy Birmingham bars you’ll find:

Bacchus Bar

Looking for a secret place to grab a drink? This New Street establishment is located on the lower ground floor of the Burlington Arcade, and its home to some of the best cask ales and prohibition-style drinks you’ll find in Birmingham. Few of the speakeasy bars Birmingham has to offer can compare to this gorgeous venue, with its snug coves and dark wood and wrought iron décor. Definitely a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of life!

GraceBee Bacchus Bar Birmingham

Did You Know: Speakeasies were also known as “blind tigers” or “blind pigs” because they charged 25 cents for access to an animal exhibition, serving alcohol as a “complimentary” beverage to circumvent the law prohibiting the sale of liquor.

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The Jekyll and Hyde

Located in the Colmore District, this unique bar has its own Victorian gin parlour and a wide selection of cocktails you’ll find nowhere else. If you want the quirkiest selection of drinks and cocktails, you’ll love this out-of-the-box speakeasy Birmingham venue! Try a toothpaste-flavoured rum, share a drink from a mini-bathtub, or ask the barkeep for the strangest drink they’ve ever made. You won’t find a venue more off-the-wall than this!

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High Line Bar & Lounge

Manhattan’s High Line is a striking walkway that meanders along a disused spur of the New York Central Railroad, offering stunning views and a beautiful walk. The High Line Bar & Lounge brings the flavours of the 1920s to your backyard! The uber-elegant lounge has the feel of an old-time speakeasy, with an understated décor and delicious old-style cocktails. You can enjoy a retro speakeasy Birmingham party, an Afternoon Tea with cocktails, or a cold drink, and the low-leather seats will make you feel right at home.

Fun Fact: The term “speak easy” comes from the practice of speaking quietly about the place when in public, or speaking quietly inside the bar in order to avoid attracting attention.

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Just because speakeasies were popular in the US, that didn’t mean everything was fully American. Many speakeasies served food and drink from the Continent, and the Annexe holds true to this tradition. With its French cuisine and prohibition-style cocktails, you can get the best of the US at the height of the 1920s. The food is indulgent and tasteful, the drinks chilled and retro, and the environment comfortable. You’ll feel like you’re in The Big Easy (New Orleans) during the height of bootlegging and speakeasies–what a way to spend your Saturday night.


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The Church Inn

For those who want delicious cocktails served with pub food, this is one of the best speakeasy bars Birmingham has to offer. You get the brightly coloured drinks, secret underground vibe, and the theatricality of the 1920s all mixed into one brilliant venue. For an adventurous night of “breaking the law”, this is the speakeasy you’ll definitely want to visit.

Did You Know: Most speakeasies disappeared after 1933, only opening again in the 2000s.

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The Bureau

Also located in the Colmore District, this Birmingham speakeasy is a bespoke-style bar that blends the secretive nature of a blind tiger with traditional bar charm. You have the classic ambience of a high-end bar, with marble bar tops, towering luxe ceilings, and mahogany-style leather booths. Combine that with prohibition-era cocktails, a bespoke interior, and a leather bound drinks menu, and you have the perfect place to feel alive. You’ll love the unique culinary offerings–everything from Smoked Martinis to Chocolate Eggs. Sound weird? Try it, and you just might love it!


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40 St Paul’s

For the gin-lover in you, 40 St. Paul’s is the best speakeasy Birmingham has to offer. With more than 60 types of gin behind the bar, you can find just about any gin cocktail ever created–and a few you’ll never have heard of or found elsewhere. Don’t go looking for a visible sign; you’ll have to look for the number 40 on Cox Street. The black door with its large number is the only clue to invite you into this retro-style drinking establishment. If you’re not there before 11pm (Tue-Sat, or 8pm Sun), you’ll find the party has moved elsewhere.

Check Out This Bar Here!

Speakeasies are all the rage these days, and they’re worth spending a night or two visiting some of these amazing establishments. If you want to do something new and unique, try these venues! Or, join JD Parties at our Christmas and New Years Eve Roaring 20s parties. We bring all the mystery and danger of the 1920s, combining it with throwback dishes, retro-style cocktails, and the glitz and glamour of the Prohibition Era. From unique cocktails, to a full costume ball,to a spectacular live show, JD Parties provides you with everything you need to have the party of the year! Click here to find out more about our Speakeasy Themed Christmas Party in Birmingham.

Which of these bars seems the most appealing to you? Why? Leave a comment and let us know…


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