The speakeasy style seems to be a trend showing no sign of demise. It went global after the phenomenal success of PDT (Please Don’t Tell) in New York, which opened back in 2007. Accessed through a vintage phone booth by a hot dog joint in the East Village, it made everyone feel like they were in on a fantastic secret, like they were about to commence on an unknown adventure. That’s the true appeal of all speakeasies – they play with our sense of imagination and urge to overcome the mundane.
PDT advocated fine etiquette (for example, no hitting on women you don’t know) and even finer cocktails with a vintage edge. Soon the rest of the world followed suit, and every other bar that opened was branded a speakeasy. These days the term is used in its loosest possible meaning to include almost all bars with a concealed or unmarked entrance, and more often than not with a vintage aesthetic, whether in décor or drinks menu.
In reality, would we really want to return to the days of Prohibition when inevitably the bootlegged booze burned your throat and police were a pain? Probably not, but nonetheless it conjures our fantasies of the roaring twenties when women in tasselled, glittering dresses drank gin from teacups and did high kicks.