Speakeasy-style bars in Kansas City

The seating + bar area inside the basement of Hotel Phillips.

P.S. Speakeasy is open seven days a week. | Photo via P.S. Speakeasy

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What’s the password? Getting into a Prohibition speakeasy in the roaring ‘20s could be some whiskey business. Today, speakeasy-style bars — like these four in KC — act as a nod to the past.

P.S. Speakeasy

📍 106 W. 12th St., Kansas City, MO

Under the radar, underground, and undercover. Those are the vibes you’ll walk into at P.S. Speakeasy. The bar is in a long-forgotten basement mail sorting room. Now, patrons must get a Hotel Phillips employee to open the secret door behind the reception desk. Bestsellers include Jet Fuel (made with J. Rieger’s dry gin), an old fashioned, a margarita, and Crime of Passion (featuring housemade blood orangecello).

Paper drink menus on a table featuring two cocktails.

Swordfish Tom’s does not take reservations. | Photo by @nataliegibsonxo

Swordfish Tom’s

📍 210 W. 19th Ter., Kansas City, MO

You’ll find the entrance to this quaint bar at a plain door with typeface font down an alley in the heart of the Crossroads. Capacity is capped at 30 people, meaning you’ll have to wait for the light over the door to switch from red to green before entering. The bar focuses on pre-Prohibition era cocktails and doesn’t serve beer, wine, or food.

The interior of the Hey! Hey! Club featuring velvet green booth tables + dark leather and wood.

The drink menu features a rotating Hey! hey! Club special. | Photo by Michael Robinson

The Hey! Hey! Club

📍 2700 Guinotte Ave., Kansas City, MO

Located in J. Rieger & Co., this basement bar isn’t much of a secret. But the lavish leather furnishings, plush velvet accents, dark woods + strong libations are enough to transport you back to the era from which it was inspired. The original Hey Hay Club (yes, there was a spelling change) at 4th Street + Cherry Street operated from 1931-1938 and hosted jazz musicians like Count Basie and Lester Young.

The amber bar with flowers hanging from the ceiling above it.

The Fall also offers bottle service packages. | Photo by @leahandrus

The Fall

📍 4128 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, MO

Where whimsical storytelling and the Prohibition era style meet. 🤝 This underground experience is tucked away in an unlikely location at Westport Ale House. The amber bar boasts electric décor + VIP rooms — and is themed around “Alice in Wonderland.” You’ll run across cocktails that pay homage to Lewis Carroll’s story, like the “Queen of Hearts,” made with handcrafted strawberry syrup.

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