You might not know this, but we’re actually terrible at keeping secrets, especially when it comes to bars. And while you might know about a bunch of these already (because, again: us), there just might be a few you don’t.
Consider this your beginner’s guide to every Chicago bar that’s — in some way (hidden entrance!) or another (no address!) — secret.
Three Dots and a Dash
Carved out of the back alley of Bub City with a pair of torches to guide your way, this Tiki-styled speakeasy is your go-to when you’re tired of sipping Scotch in the darkness, Mad Men-style, and want something a little more… fruity. Like, say, Polynesian-style island drinks mixed with 165 varieties of rum, some of them consumable from a giant treasure chest packed with dry ice and a bottle of Dom Perignon. Yes, some secrets are weirder than others.
How to get in: Locate the torches behind Bub City in the alley between Hubbard and Illinois.
Located below Mercadito, what this place lacks in hardcore secrecy it more than makes up for in cool little speakeasy touches — like a “mixologist’s table,” similar to a chef’s table, where you can get up-close with your bartender in an environment dubbed “bar theater.” Clearly Double A takes its boozing seriously. Need a little education? There’s even an in-house Mixology Academy.
How to get in: Head downstairs from Mercadito.
The Green Door Tavern is a historic watering hole with a notably vintage vibe. And beneath it you’ll find The Drifter, which somehow actually feels even more vintage-ier. That’s because it wasn’t designed as a speakeasy: it’s an ACTUAL speakeasy from the tragically thirsty days of Prohibition. Restored to a sparkling sheen, The Drifter offers a new cocktail menu every night and quirky entertainment that includes burlesque shows.
How to get in: Enter the Green Door Tavern, walk through the bar, head down the stairs in the back, and you’ll come to a waiting room. Capacity is 37, so you may have to wait a bit.