Put on your best suit or flashiest dress and get ready to travel back in time! Did you know Wisconsin was a hotspot for speakeasies during the Prohibition era of the Roaring Twenties?
Whether it’s historical refurbished bars that were home to real operating speakeasies or modern-day interpretations on the culture, Wisconsin is still the place to experience a rich gangster history and see some seriously cool hidden spots.
Explore these speakeasies all around the state to party like it's 1920!
Bugsy’s Back Alley – Milwaukee
The name says it all—true to ‘20s form, you can only get in through an inconspicuous back alley entrance. Once you’re in, explore the authentic speakeasy décor and sip on some delicious vintage cocktails like a Sidecar or a French 75.
At Bugsy’s, there’s no need to dress up to grab a few drinks, but be prepared to see the staff decked out to the nines in their ‘20’s-style attire. To top off your visit, the "Showstopper Dancers" add some flapper fun and flair with live music and performances.
No doubt about it—this Milwaukee gem is the perfect way to do something different with your night.
Shaker’s Cigar Bar – Milwaukee
By day, Shaker’s in Milwaukee is an unassuming cigar bar, restored in the mid-1900s with a rustic interior. Shaker’s is complete with delicious eats and premium whiskies, absinthe cocktails and boutique wines—but if that’s not enough to pique your interest, the place is also haunted.
As a Prohibition speakeasy and site of many an illicit dealing throughout the 1920s and '30s, this bar has acquired more than a few ghoulish guests. Visit by night for the popular ghost tour at “Milwaukee’s most haunted bar” to learn more about its wild history since it was built in 1894.
If you’re feeling extra brave, stay on an overnight tour and test your wits. If ghost hunting isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the cigar bar and sip on a delicious cocktail.
Maxwell Mansion Speakeasy – Lake Geneva
Descend the dimly lit stone stairs to the basement of Maxwell Mansion, and you’ll find something unexpected—a hidden speakeasy. Built in 1855 as the first mansion in Lake Geneva, the European-style Maxwell Mansion is full of rich history, including the infamous Prohibition era, which was the inspiration for this relaxing hideaway.
Filled with edgy 1920s décor with a modern twist, this little-known bar is as good as it gets, as long as you have the password to get in! Keep your eyes open—Maxwell Mansion opens their bar for special events and on certain nights of the week, whether it’s for live music performances, cabaret shows or murder mystery events.
Check their Facebook page for event updates and password changes.
Hank’s SpeakEZ – Hartford
A night of classic bar fun is in store for you on a trip to Hank’s SpeakEZ—you’ll just have to get in the door first! There’s no password needed, but with no sign posted along the street in the speakeasy spirit, it’s a fun game to find your way in. We’ll give you a hint, though: it’s right next door to its well-marked sister restaurant, Hank’s Restaurant and Drinkery.
When you do make it to the SpeakEZ, you won’t be disappointed. The local patrons, laid-back atmosphere and flowing craft drinks will make you feel like you’re back in the 1920s. With a wide selection of specialty drinks, beer, wine and a mean martini menu, there’s something for everyone to love.
Play a round of pool or darts with friends while you’re at it—no matter what you’re in for a roaring good time!
SpeakEasy Ultra Lounge – Green Bay
If you’re looking for an adventurous night out in Green Bay, look no further than Speakeasy Ultra Lounge, the city’s very own modern-day speakeasy.
Though not a speakeasy in a historical sense, this hopping club has the ‘20s vibe down to a science—intimate spaces, dim lights, unique drinks and plenty of music to get your feet moving. It’s a popular nightlife destination in the area and features great deals nightly.
They even throw themed parties for special holidays for a new twist on classic speakeasy culture! With a little something for everyone, this is a spot you won’t want to miss on a night on the town.
Can’t get enough of the Roaring Twenties? Take a wild ride on the Wisconsin Gangster Tour to learn more about all of the baddies of the ‘20s and their adventures across Wisconsin.
This entry was posted in Pubs & Taverns, Restaurants