From secret bars to American Saloon, here is a selection of seven distinctive speakeasy.
J. Boroski (category: secret place)
One of the first ‘secret’ bar opened in Bangkok by visionary Joseph Boroski, a famous international mixologist ailing straight from New York. Tucked in a small dead-end alley between Thonglor Soi 5 and Soi 7, the place is quite dark and intimate. There is no menu or price list as bartenders are handcrafting cocktails following your preferences and alcohol base. It is the perfect venue for a romantic date (there is a semi-private booth upstairs and comfortable sofas), or for cocktails lovers, who know their drinks.
Prices start from 400 baht up.
Address: Sukhumvit Soi 55 (between Thonglor soi 5 and soi 7) – BTS Thonglor
Phone: 02 712 6025
Open from 7pm to 2am
Iron Balls Distillery (category: industrial style speakeasy)
Located inside Park Lane complex, the discreet house where Ashley Sutton distilled his own gin, changed the name from A.R. Sutton Engineers Siam to Iron Balls (given after the name of his iconic gin).
As one would expect from Bangkok most famous interior designer, the concept is a mix of winding iron staircases, dark wood, comfy sofas, low ceilings salons and of course lots of copper pipes from the distillery itself. Lusciously decorated, dimly lit and reminiscence of a captain quarter on an old vessel, the overall experience is otherworldly and magical.
His gin is produced in small batches with hints of pineapple, lemon and lychees, available to take away in 375ml or 700ml bottles. The cocktail menu tends to lean toward gin-base (260-350 baht) with nine specialty drinks made from his famed botanical mixture. The bar motto is “You always have options if you have balls”.
Address: Park Lane Ekkamai, G/F, Sukhumvit Soi 63 (BTS Ekkamai)
Phone: 02 714 2269
Open daily from 6pm to 1am
The Owl Society – Whiskey Saloon (category: American style speakeasy)
The Owl Society, located on Sukhumvit soi 61, took over an old Ekkamai house, which was renovated into a warm and cozy bar with industrial vintage charm. Beautifully crafted copper structures and an underground vibe, reminds of the hidden speakeasy clubs during the Prohibition Era.
From the wooden tables to the leather bar chairs, the restaurant/bar uses real vintage furniture from United Kingdom for the traditional look and feel. Hoping to bring together people of different backgrounds and convey the message of “whisky in a tea cup” to women of all ages, this unique whiskey society offers up to a hundred whiskey labels from all over the world, ranging from top-shelf to local favorites. There are two private rooms upstairs to host your own private party
Address: 8/1 Sukhumvit soi 61
Phone: 02 046 3798
Open daily from 5pm to 2am
Havana Social (category: Cuban themed speakeasy)
The second bar by the creative team of Soho Hospitality, the group behind Above 11, ‘secret’ speakeasy Havana Social attracts a more mature crowd than it’s sister venue. Once stepped inside, patrons are transported to a portal to pre-revolution Cuba with faux-semblants, shuttered windows, spare lighting and crumbling walls giving off a convincingly clandestine feel.
Look out for the ‘Telefono’ sign in a small alley opposite Fraser Suites and step inside a nostalgic phone booth, dial the secret code (1940#) and a false door swings open. The dimly lit bar teams retro cocktails with a wide selection of Rums.
Address: 28 Sukhumvit 13 alley
Phone: 087 066 7711
Open daily from 6pm to 2am
Chez Jay Wine room and Boutique (category: cozy Italian style bar)
Chez Jay (previously Bellino) was one of the smallest bars in town when they opened, with just three tables on the inside and two more on the terrace. They recently relocated and took over more space and rearranged the bar in the middle while the boutique moved on the side. Elegant ladies can find Italian handmade white cotton dresses and leather shoes or accessories directly imported from Capri in Italy.
The space layout and sofas set a particularly cozy ambiance, reinforced by the constant presence of the jovial owner, Jay Boccia, who will often join his guests to spice up their conversation. The selection of wine and fresh dishes, like the venue itself, is small but on point. We’d recommend one or two mixed platters to share (olives, cheese, cold cuts), and sampling a few wines by the glass.
Address: 49 Terrace, Sukhumvit 49, Sukhumvit Road
Phone 092 639 2895
Opened Monday – Saturday from 6:30pm - late.
Maggie Choo’s (category: Oriental style speakeasy)
A speakeasy in the 1930s-Shanghai mold, it is fronted by a traditional noodle shop festooned with parasols and antique birdcages that serves a mean bowl of Ba Mee Moo Dang (BBQ pork with egg noodles in broth). Step past the curtained entrance and it’s a whole new world, with a vintage casino-style bar, leather couches, Qipao-clad lovelies that pose atop the bar-top or on swings, and a jazz soundtrack. The libations are strong and aromatic, like the “Empress of India,” a delicious blend of vodka, dragon fruit, marjoram, and lime.
Address: 320 Silom Rd, Silom
Phone: 091 772 2144
Open daily from 7:30pm to 2am
Sing Sing Theatre (category: bar and club with semi-secret hidden bar)
Quickly taking over the party crowd from Maggie Choo’s, Sing Sing Theatre latest glam bar-club cum theatre designed by nightlife mogul Ashley Sutton, will seduce lovers of elevated dance floor and burlesque performances. Upon entering the theatre, visitors will be captured by a mysterious and sensual atmosphere. The architecture and interior design reminds on an ancient Chinese courtyard theater or a high-end brothel that used to serve the nobility or Bourgeoisie. Mezzanines flank the main stage with two sunken bars on each side and secret passages leading to semi-private booths overlooking the dance floor. At the center, resident DJs spin party-hard tunes, back dropped by birdcages, parasols, red lights and exotic dancers dressed in sexy Qi-Pao.
Address: Sukhumvit soi 45 entrance between Quince and Casa Pagoda (BTS Thonglor)
Phone: 063 225 1331
Open Tuesday to Sunday 9pm to 2am