20 hidden bars in Guardian | I like to announce: the End of Speakeasy Bars

Philip Duff was so kind to upload an article from the Guardian : "Let us take you to a secret bar we know...".  20 cool places around the world to have a good drink. Some of them I never heard of - good to have new MUST VISIT places on the list: any recommendations?
This article reminds me, to write about something a like to announce since a few month: The End of Speakeasy Bars has come!
Don‘t get me wrong. The grand old Master of a speakeasy styled bars, Sasha, build 2000 this outstanding MLK  & HNY in NY and give an earthquake influence to the bar business.
Sasha set a new bench mark for any professional bartender. MLK & HNY set new standards for barflies and tenders.
  • small bar, cosy place, hidden/ no public view
  • „Some“ House-rules, to guarantee a relaxed atmosphere
  • connected / access to people who love good cocktails
  • best quality, expensive, but no stupid brand calling
  • selection of rare and "unknown" spirits
  • well educated bartenders  - full of passion
  • Very good Knowledge of classic cocktails

So... from 2000, we started to equate this list of bench mark points for a good bar „bartenders love“ with the word „speakeasy bar“. We should stop that asap. In germany, but also all over the world, I noticed bars witch call themselves speakeasy bars. And the only reason therefore in my opinion is - to use it as a marketing tool.  Now, while more and more media gets interested in good bars, classic Cocktails and also „speakeasy“ - some bar owners and PR people try to make money out of this synonym for a good bar.
In the last few years, their opened a few really good bars around the globe and they are often named „speakeasy“  - but what we actually would love to say is that they „fit“ in our „Top End Bench Mark List“.
The „new“, self-appointed, speakeasies just like to get the fame and the public/Media attention while abusing this glorious description.
They start making a game of getting the entrance and declare more and more bumptious house rules... Why? ... To get the attention of media.
A „Speakeasy“ with a website, a blog, a social network page or a PR ? Come on! You can be one of the worlds best bars without being a speakeasy - But if you are a speakeasy you are NOT automatically a good bar.
Drinking in a bar to me is a relaxing, but serious „waste“ of time. Stop making a game out of it. Some modern speakeasies are a kind of DISNEY LAND for me ... I just want to have a good atmosphere, a good drink and a good host. I am an adult. I don‘t need entertaining and game-playing in a bar.


  1. Absolute Zustimmung von mir.

    Wir haben hier mal wieder einen Vorreiter, der ein Konzept wieder hat aufleben lassen und etwas komplett neues daraus kreiert hat und seine Nachahmer.

    Das Problem was ich hier sehe, ist dass das Milk & Honey eigentlich erschaffen wurde um Leuten die ein Interesse am wirklich guten Genuss von Cocktails haben einen Ort zu geben an dem sie dies tun können.

    Die Nachahmer jedoch setzen auf Exklusivität. Hier ist es nicht der Sinn, seine Qualität vor Leuten zu verstecken, die damit nichts anfangen können, sondern es geht einfach nur darum seine Bar zu verstecken. Da der Mensch von Natur aus neugierig und wissbegierig ist möchte er natürlich lieber in eine Bar, die sich versteckt, als in eine Bar die öffentlich zugänglich ist. Auch wenn es in vielen Fällen ein leichtes ist, diese "versteckten" Bars zu finden ist es trotzdem ein Anreiz für die Menschen. Die Nachahmer hätten sich vielleicht lieber mal an der Qualität und nicht an dem Konzept des Milk & Honey orientieren sollen.

    Just my two cents...

  2. Hear hear! The genial Camper English has described some of the more recent bars that are precious about their "art" as "Shut Up And Drink Your Cocktail" bars, and sadly, he is correct. As well as greedily jumping on the speakeasy bandwagon, many bars take themselves, their cocktails and their facial hair more than a little too seriously these days.....Although it was very cool to see a good portrayal of a sort of speakeasy in "Mad Men" lately. Remember, the password is "Melbourne".....

  3. @ door ... could you give me a link to camper story ... can't find it ... sounds good. Seems I have to see Mad Men...

  4. Dear Mr. Meyer,

    It is here, under the heading Employees Trading Branch. I can confirm that Macao is a fine establishment, having visited it in a state of over-served-ness in the company of a beautiful young lady. I remain steadfast that it would also be a fine place sober in the company of a hairy bartender (although the ensuing situation would be far less congenial).....



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