Speakeasies Across the State Keep the Vintage Vibe Alive

Find snug spots all over Rhode Island transporting us to a different era of '20s


With the temperature dropping and nights growing longer, the idea of cozying up with a cocktail seems all the more appealing, but there’s something special about sipping somewhere secret. Speakeasy bars are no new-fangled thing, but in an era where the ‘20s conjure face masks and social distance, it’s nice to escape to a time where that meant quiet corners, crystal glasses, and dim lights. While many of these Prohibition-era inspired juice joints might be serving hand sanitizer alongside their cocktails, they all keep the snug vibe alive, whether it’s with specialty drinks or lush decor. Some are now pouring onto patios under the stars, so be sure to check – you might want to wear a scarf but it will be so worth it.



This self-described “speakeasy kitchen bar” hides in the far back of House of Clocks Plaza, but inside channels a previous century with golden-hued walls and painted ceilings tiles. The menu features classic Prohibition-era drinks like sidecars and G&Ts, plus fun specials named after local landmarks – South County Old Fashioned, anyone? Settle in for a cozy drink or have yourself a full dinner prepared by Chef Phil Giguere. 2352 Mendon Road, Cumberland 


The Avery

A few blocks off of Broadway into the West End, this art deco-style bar has had to shutter indoor service for now, but they’re fortunate to have a spacious, open square to stagger socially distanced tables around a bubbling fountain. The Avery specializes in classic cocktails, and their autumn specials are all about warmth, featuring a Black Manhattan with 100-proof rye whiskey, savory amaro, and a mix of bitters. 18 Luongo Square, Providence • @theaverypvd


Courtland Club

A nondescript building with simply the number “51” on a transom window is home to one of Providence’s oldest clubs, membership not required (though soon available once again, to keep the tradition alive). Find creative cocktails inspired by Zodiac signs or paired with to-go ice cream, and definitely don’t miss their newest attraction: “Magic Hour” specials that feature a ticketed prix fixe drink and small plate tasting menu on the patio, perfect for sipping under the stars. 51 Courtland Street, Providence • @courtlandclub


The Charlestown Rathskeller

This restaurant and bar, nestled in the woods, was once an actual speakeasy circa 1933. Today, patrons can dine in the restored tavern, drink at any of the indoor or outdoor bars, and even play lawn games, enjoy live music, or swap stories by bonfire. Along with a robust menu of pub food, choose from their cocktail list of Rathskeller favorites and an entire selection of Bloody Marys. 489a Old Coach Road, Charlestown 


The Dean Bar

The discreet cocktail lounge tucked into The Dean is anything but your run-of-the-mill hotel bar, known for crafting elegant drinks with surprise twists like egg whites, amarillo chiles, and pomegranate honey. While the bar is currently closed, find food and drink from north to-go during Open Air Saturdays, when the Dean Marketplace sets up in the parking lot. “Soon enough,” they promise, “we’ll be drinking whiskey neat hiding in the shadows of The Dean Bar.” 122 Fountain Street, Providence • @thedeanbar


The Eddy

This classy downcity bar boasts a dimly lit, minimalist interior with a penchant for creative concoctions. Find 1920s-style snacks like deviled eggs and pickled veg to indulge while you imbibe, available for to-go orders and spacious patio dining by reservation. While the inside remains closed for the time being, order an old fashioned or negroni to enjoy outside, or try the popular bartender’s choice: You choose the spirit, and a mixologist will take care of the rest. 95 Eddy Street, Providence 


Far West

Recently reopened with a lush patio nestled in the Rooms & Works lot with greenery between each table, Far West isn’t quite as much of a secret as it used to be, but plenty worth stumbling upon. The inside exudes industrial charm, and their variety of cocktails combine different styles, like a classic negroni but with mezcal. Add popcorn and finger-food snacks, and enjoy an autumn evening outdoors. 55 Cromwell Street, Providence 



Perhaps the most authentic speakeasy joint you can find in 21st-century Providence, Justine’s looks like a lingerie shop from a first glance at the mannequins in the windows. But once you enter through curtains, the bar room drips with low-key ambiance, featuring art nouveau light fixtures and blue-and-gold crane wallpaper. A favorite cocktail is Free Man in Paris, a gin drink with a few dashes of absinthe, aperol, and citrus. Try it inside where limited capacity seating is enforced or outside on their secluded patio. 11 Olneyville Square, Providence • @isadoras93club


The Royal Bobcat

Framed portraits of dapper felines lining the walls are this joint’s defining feature, and they’re now available on T-shirts to make up for not being able to see the real deal in person. The Royal Bobcat currently offers carry-out cocktails, along with Korean-Cajun fusion eats from the in-house Hanju Kitchen, with a few outdoor seats. Seasonal specials infuse jalapeño, sage, and basil into some favorite classic cocktails. 424 Atwells Avenue, Providence 


The Walnut Room

Nestled on the corner of South Main and Power Streets is Providence’s newest cocktail lounge reminiscent of a Prohibition-era speakeasy: warm woods – hence the “Walnut” – velvet curtains, gold accents, stone hearth, cozy nooks, and crystal glasses. Listen to a playlist curated by local DJ Brown Bread as you pick from the carefully crafted selection of cocktails that embrace fall with essences of spiced pear, orange, and caraway. 245 South Main Street, Providence • @thewalnutroompvd


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment