What started out as illegal drinking establishments during the Prohibition years, speakeasies have now morphed into bars with the right hint of nostalgia and without the fear of a police raid. In the past three years, with the opening of The Cellar at Duckworth’s, the speakeasy concept has slowly taken hold of Charlotte, gaining momentum in recent months with no sign of slowing down.
Here is a rundown of some of the not-so-illicit speakeasies currently in the Queen City.
Shhh, don’t tell them about…Dot Dot Dot
With one of Charlotte’s original mixologists at the helm, Dot Dot Dot has received much fanfare for a speakeasy not quite yet open. Stefan Huebner, formerly of Heist Brewery, will curate an innovative cocktail program while still paying homage to a bygone era. Bourbon drinks will be the stars of the show, but then again, all of the cocktails will be stars.
4101 Park Road #260B; Hours TBD
Dim lights and delicious cocktails at The Cellar at Duckworth’s
Enter Duckworth’s in Uptown and descend the stairs to enter a different era, and a different bar. Leave the sports bar vibe behind for a more sophisticated cocktail bar. The Cellar at Duckworth’s features gastropub fare, an extensive list of beers, and a revolving list of seasonal signature cocktails. The space where the Cellar is located was originally built in 1912 and from the decor, the drinks, to the dress of the staff, it embraces the pre-prohibition era.
330 N Tryon St.; Monday-Wednesday from 5 p.m.-midnight, Thursday from 5 p.m.-1 a.m., Friday-Saturday from 5 p.m-2a.m. and Sunday from 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
The Dock is uptown’s newest speakeasy
Aptly named, The Dock is located in the loading dock of the Charlotte Marriott City Center. Opened in November, The Dock had many eager Charlotteans searching for the entrance. Once inside, with bare-bones decor, patrons learned the true focus of this speakeasy is on Prohibition-inspired cocktails. Currently, The Dock is closed for improvements, but be on the lookout for this joint to re-open in the coming months.
Be in the know at Room XIII
Unassuming best describes Room XIII. Located below Emerson Joseph, the men’s grooming lounge on Tryon St., you may walk right past Room XIII unless you know where to look. Poker, cocktails, cigars, and a custom punch-code for access are just some of the amenities guests at this establishment can expect. This isn’t a drop in establishment… it’s meant to be rented and can be accessed by Emerson Joseph members and non-members.
221 S Tryon St., hours based on reservations.
Saddle up at the bar and listen to great music at The Cotton Room
Named in honor of the open-air cotton marketplace that once existed in its home of Brevard Court, The Cotton Room is a newer speakeasy with a lot of history. The Cotton Room is a southern-inspired joint featuring beers from the Carolinas, local ingredients and distilleries in blending their craft cocktails. Whiskey is their specialty and if you love it as much as they do, you can join their monthly whiskey-tasting club.
144 Brevard Ct., Ste. B; Tuesday – Thursday from 5:00 p.m. – midnight, Friday – Saturday from 4:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m., and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. – midnight.