Speakeasy 518

Useful Information

Location: Albany, under the City Beer Hall.
Open: All year Thu-Sat 19-close.
Fee: free.
Its a bar, buy a drink!
Classification: SubterraneaCellar
Guided tours:  
Address: Speakeasy 518, 42 Howard St, Albany, NY 12207.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.




Speakeasy 518 is a prohibition themed bar, or speakeasy as they were called. Those bars were top secret, hidden at harmless locations and camouflaged by a facade. The Speakeasy 518 tries to revive this feeling by having a secret entrance which is not marked, there is no name, no advertisement, only a single light bulb above the door. Even the website is that way. There is a comment that they open at 7, that's it. If you are lucky you'll find the calendar for reservations (psst, its the light bulb). We have no idea how you find out about the live acts.

While its a nice idea, we still like the guy selling letters for a dime at Sesame Street, but its also a little annoying. So here's the background. The pub is located in the cellar or basement of the City Beer Hall. The entrance to the Beer Hall is on the corner, if you go to the left, the road goes downhill. At the end of the building the entrance to the basement is almost level with the street. Its the unimposing wooden door with the black canopy.

There are probably half a million bars in basements on earth, and they are already listed by yelp or facebook. We added this one to our list because of the vintage cash register and the no-phone policy. And of course the secret rap and password at the door, you get them when you reserve on the website. Dress appropriately for a 1920s bar, dark jeans and a collared shirt for example.