Step back in time at Thompson’s Bookstore in downtown Fort Worth. This classic speakeasy combines literature and liquor in its vintage 1900’s building. Named after a previous tenant, Thompson’s Bookstore retained the literary atmosphere and added some classic cocktails to the mix. Through the main entrance you’ll find a dark and sultry lounge, and its winding staircase takes you to the heart of Thompsons: the basement speakeasy. On busy weekends, you can navigate to the speakeasy by following the staircase, but on weekdays you’ll enter around back with a password. Check out their Facebook page for entrance passwords!
2. PASCHALL BAR
Head to Paschall Bar in Denton for a relaxed atmosphere, masterpiece cocktails created by professional mixologists, and literary inspiration. This hidden gem is set in a library/parlor combo, covered in traditional paintings, Persian rugs, and long leather couches. It’s known for its great low-key vibes, where the music isn’t too loud and the crowd isn’t too rowdy. Top that off with friendly servers, and you’ll see why Paschall’s is such a gem! So how do you get in? Look for the unmarked wooden door to the right of Andy’s Bar, give your ID to the bouncer and go up the ridiculously steep stairs to a hidden oasis overlooking the square.
Candy anyone? Satisfy your sweet tooth and make your way to Truth and Alibi, a speakeasy hidden behind a 1920’s candy store front. While there aren’t sweets for sale at The Original Deep Ellum Candy Company, Truth & Alibi does dish up some candy with their masterpiece cocktails. You can find the password each weekend on their Facebook page here. Give the password to the doorman, and he’ll escort you into the bar, where you’ll be welcomed by ritzy vintage chandeliers and a dark atmosphere lit up in neon. Reservations are recommended!
One of the newest speakeasies in town, this little bodega in West 7th is still somewhat of a mystery. You can grab your groceries up front, or, if you’re looking for more than chips and a sandwich, type in the secret passcode on the “refrigerator door” to make your way into the surprisingly large bar in the back. I’ve heard that their Instagram account holds the key to your entry (of course, the passcode changes), and that “Fort Worth’s Worst Kept Secret” offers happy hour every Thursday from 2 PM ‘till close.
5. KENNEDY ROOM
This Uptown speakeasy is as intimate as it gets. At 350 square feet, the Kennedy Room brings character and eccentric JFK touches into its small but welcoming space. Housed in a former members-only club, the Kennedy Room is a great place for drinks and conversation amidst a fireplace backdrop and dimpled red leather couches. And don’t let its pretentious history fool you—the food and drinks are very reasonably priced. No password required; you’ll find it on the first floor in the Montaigne Club building next to Old Warsaw.
You know you’re about to get into something great when you’re in a place called Prohibition Chicken. As the name suggests, you’ll find a clever mix of alcohol and chicken in this restaurant-speakeasy combo. Created by four guys with a passion for whiskey and chicken, you can enjoy your locally-sourced meal and then grab a stiff drink in the hidden Volstead Room. All you have to do is ask the bartender for the weekly password, and enter in through the back telephone booth. This is a family and pet-friendly restaurant, so the more the merrier!
The best way to describe SCAT Jazz Lounge is as an underground jazz club with an old Hollywood vibe. You’ll enter this swanky music venue through a short dark alley where you’ll find the elevator entrance. Located in Sundance Square, its intimate atmosphere is filled with the music of talented local, regional and national artists (mainly featuring jazz). Reservations are recommended for busy weekends; however, there is standing room if tables are full.
8. HIGH & TIGHT
Get your hair cut and your drink on—speakeasy style at High & Tight in Deep Ellum. This Dallas barbershop and bar brings the allure of a speakeasy into something as commonplace as a barbershop. But of course it’s not your everyday barbershop. Whether or not you’re getting a haircut, you can head on to the back of this 1920’s themed shop for a vintage cocktail. You’ll find the bar once you’ve passed the velvet curtains. Book your haircut experience here.