Unlicensed saloons date way back to 1823 but it wasn’t until many years later, in Prohibition-era America in the 1920’s, the term “speakeasy” became a common name to describe a place to get a bootleg drink. Modern day speakeasy bars have become hugely popular around the world and the team at the Cellar Door Restaurant saw a gap in the market for the same relaxed yet luxurious experience in Durham which lead them to open Bar 33.
As it should be, the entrance is unassuming, a discreet, plain black door requiring a pin code to gain entry conjures images of prohibition era mobsters, guarding the door with a password and a Tommy gun.
“Sellin’ booze is illegal, ya see; so you’se gotta ‘speak easy’ boys, so no one’s the wiser.” Or maybe I’ve just watched too many gangster movies.
Bar 33 has been marketed as an exclusive bar it’s important to understand that it’s used to describe the experience, not the clientele.
“The practice of speaking quietly about such a place in public or when inside it, so as not to alert the police or NEIGHBOURS.” – Speak-Easy
Everyone can get the door code by signing up on their website and entering via a keypad on the door. The copper pipes, dark wood and pinned leather interior inspires thoughts of bootleg liquor swilling gents and gals in a corner booth while a jazz band squeezes out those syncopated rhythms.
A 45 page menu boasts a massive selection of gins, whiskies, craft beers and Cocktails. All handpicked specialities from the every corner of the globe. With exceptionally trained sta on hand with expert knowledge on an extremely wide varieties of drinks. Service is often interactive; you’re given the components of your cocktail in separate decanters and are shown how to mix to your drink to your taste. The cocktails are exquisite and crafted in style and to each guest’s taste.