The best thing about New York City is the bars. That makes me sound like an alcoholic, but it’s true. The city has a very lively happy hour scene and an array of different bars to choose from to forget about your job. You can choose anything from a classy wine bar to a southern themed bar with a mechanical bull. But, some of the bars themes are a little more secretive.
They are prohibition era themed bars. They are “secret” bars hidden in dark alleys, fast food restaurants and even phone booths. When I first moved here I was googling cool bars in Manhattan and came across the article “21 Hidden Bars in New York City” and immediately become fascinated with the idea of secret bars.
I have been to one on the list called the Apotheke in Chinatown. It is down a strange street in Chinatown (next to the best dim sum place ever) and it just looks like a typical door. It has a small sign hanging over the door that says chemist (which I have learned from friends is what Apotheke means in German). There’s a guy that stands outside in the street that when you get close to the door will ask for your ID and the password. To get the password you have to email them ahead of time, each month has a new password. When you get inside you are immediately transported into a 1920s/chemistry themed bar. There are chemistry symbols all over the walls and all of the lights are made from chemistry beakers and flasks. The drinks are amazingly complex mixtures made by mixologists (so naturally they’re $15). At 9 a live band plays in the corner and at 9:30 and 10:30 there is a Burlesque show on the bar (literally she stands on the bar).
It has quickly become one of my favorite bars (though due to being broke not one I frequent). But, it has made me want to finish the list of other secret bars. Some have become not-so-secret and become packed at night after about 9pm. The next one I want to try is a more well-known secret bar called Please Do Not Tell. I guess I already broke the first rule…