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Speakeasys in the city or North Shore?

I know this discussion has been done before, sort of, because I've read the boards looking for an answer. Please forgive me if I just haven't stumbled on the right thread yet.

I'd love to have my birthday (end of June) at a speakeasy. I'm not looking for the kind of place where the cocktails are exquisitely executed and drinks cost $19 apiece-- I want a place with the cosy, secretive atmosphere of a traditional speakeasy. Good drinks and good food are necessary, of course, but I'm more interested in the atmosphere.

Ideally, the place I find would have a "joe-sent-me" type feel, complete with little or no signage, a password, art deco interiors.

I've looked at Drink, Alibi, Lucky's, Saloon, Bostonia Public House, JM Curley, Russell House Tavern, Trina's Starlite Lounge, basically every place I came across on here, on Google, at the Globe, etc., and nothing really seems to fit what I'm looking for. I know these exist (think NYC: Bathtub Gin, Apotheke, Raines!) but I haven't learned of any here.

Any suggestions would be a great help. I'm totally willing to have my friends come to Boston or Cambridge, but anything on the North Shore is great too, if any exist. Thanks!

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  1. Back Bar, Saloon and Brick n Mortar come to mind. There is also a new place in the North End Parla, which I haven't been to, but seems to fit the description.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Matt H

      Parla's atmosphere sounds and looks great, I'll have to keep my eye out for menus and reviews. Thanks!

    2. It's funny, maybe i have a diff vision of a speakeasy, but the ONE place that comes immediately to mind for me--is Cuchi Cuchi in Central Square. Designed to look like a Victorian bordello and all the 'girls' wear costumes and jewelry from that period. They seem to have a blast, like family, and the customers seem to have alot of fun. I haven't eaten there in awhile but the menu is all small plates and very eclectic, and some of the dishes are particularly good. Not expensive. I liked their bar creations too.

      Otherwise, there is a Salem sister of the Boston Mex restnt - Lolita Cocina- that was moving spots in Salem, and , if settled, is likely to have the feel you are seeking,and some very good SW/Mex riffed food.But google is very confusing about them,sorry.

      Happy Bday in advance. Hope you have a great night!

      1 Reply
      1. re: opinionatedchef

        Thanks! Cuchi Cuchi definitely sounds great and I think I'll have to scope it out. Plus the prices look reasonable compared to a lot of the places I've looked at.

        The restaurant you're thinking of in Salem is Red Lulu-- while the food was alright (not great), the prices were outrageous and the vibe was definitely vampire's-den rather than speakeasy, lol. Either way, though, their new location isn't slated to open until the fall. :)

        1. re: CportJ

          To be more specific, there are no password places. Lucky's doesn't have a sign. Does Drink? You can see people in there from the sidewalk, so pretty obvious what's going on there. Saloon is less obvious, under Foundry. Brick and Mortar would be less obvious if it didn't often have a line. I like Green Street, on a side street in Central. JM Curley is a great place, as is Bogie's Place steakhouse within it, but not sure that's what you are going for.

          1. re: CportJ

            If you want cozy and quiet, just go to any of these places on a Tuesday.

            1. re: CportJ

              I did think about an early/midweek gathering but I think it would be very small, since we'd all be coming after work from the north shore and cape ann-- I'd probably end up canceling on my own party! JM Curley is actually pretty high on my list right now but I've never been before. I've never heard of Green Street, I'll have to check it out. Thanks.

              1. re: archiegirl0625

                Just a heads up - JM Curley is generally packed. Even getting there at 5:30 on a Thursday it's pretty crowded. They definitely have good food and drink, but it's the opposite of cozy.

                On the other hand, the steakhouse inside JMC (Bogie's Place) truly does have that vibe. Great drinks, great food, and an ambience wholly apart from what's going on on the other side of the curtain.

          1. Are you looking for places similar to what we have in NYC - Please Don't Tell, Angel's Share. Fig 19, Attaboy, etc?

            1 Reply
            1. re: willscarlett

              Ugh I miss Angel's Share. I really don't think there is any hidden gem like that around Boston. Bogie's Place is sort of like that but it's a steakhouse.