Before the Prohibition Era, Tampa Bay was widely considered one of the “wettest” regions in the Sunshine State. But, on New Year’s Day, 1919, Tampanians discovered that their Bay of Booze had officially run dry.
The National Prohibition Act banned the manufacturing, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages. But, undeterred Tampanians found ways to sidestep the newest law — opening their own speakeasies. The most popular of which was Eagle’s Club, more famously known as the Key Club, which opened in 1927.
There’s something so romantic and mysterious about a speakeasy — it could be the history or the secret agent vibes of finding a hidden entrance and knowing the password. Whatever the reason, TBAY has several discreet drinkeries replicating that speakeasy vibe. But the secrets out — consider this your manual to our favorite nooks, crannies, and hidden spots that welcome in-the-know patrons.
🤫 We didn’t include exact addresses to make this more of an adventure and less of a roadmap. Visit their websites to learn more.
- Ciro’s | In order to step foot into Tampa’s oldest speakeasy, make reservations, and call for the password before you arrive.
- The SpookEasy Lounge | Missing Halloween? Press the right spine on the bookcase to get in on this horrific yet sober Ybor City speakeasy. Then tuck into your chair and enjoy a unique Kava concoction.
- Blind Tiger Coffee | It’s not quite a clandestine bar, but this local brewing brand is speakeasy-themed + the quality and original roasts are so great tasting they should be illegal.
- Tiny Tap Tavern | More of a blink, and you’ll miss it — this tiny yet intimate gas station turned pool hall has been around since 1951.
- Bar Chica | Once you push past the back door inside of Bodega, you’ll find a dim-lit room that’s outfitted with gold tabletops and dark blue walls. But the real appeal is the juicy Latin twist that engulfs the menu and cocktail bar.
- Dirty Laundry | Ring, ring. It’s for you. Pick up the payphone, get the password, punch the numbers in, and climb through a laundry machine. Pro tip: If you’re down for a night filled with dance and sweat, go on Latin-American Night and bring a camera for a neon-lit Insta post.
- The Saint | To get in, you have to confess your wrongdoings. Goody-goodies get turned away, and “sinners” are invited to play. Inside the discrete sanctuary is an unrivaled cocktail experience.