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Seven Cozy Southern Speakeasies (and What to Order When You Go)

Danielle Wallace

Nov 29, 2023

Modern bars nod to the history of Prohibition, which ended ninety years ago this winter

In 1933, the Great Depression was at its peak. The first drive-in movie theater opened in New Jersey. Dustbowls swept across the Midwest. The original King Kong premiered in New York City. But one of the most notable moments of the year was the ratification of the twenty-first amendment on December 5—the end of Prohibition. For years across the country, speakeasies had sold alcohol illegally and inconspicuously to patrons, employing passwords and hidden doorways, many of these illicit bars tucked into basements and unassuming buildings.

Ninety years later, even though bar culture is alive and well, some Southern speakeasies nod to these traditions with passwords, secret entryways, and a few modern twists. 

In the historic West End of downtown Greenville lies a 1920s building once used as a bottling facility for Dr Pepper. Now, Vault & Vator includes the original motor and wood slat elevator from the bottling facility (the vault door was added later), and guests can even sit at a table in the elevator. Since 2017, Vault & Vator has been serving craft cocktails and small plates. One of their most popular drinks, the Dealer’s Choice, asks guests to select words from a list of a dozen or so adjectives, like fruity, sweet, or refreshing, to create a custom cocktail. Other drink options include the Three’s Company, with rye whiskey, amaro Montenegro, and dark chocolate, and the “Dead Poet,” with strawberry Campari, red wine, champagne, and soda.

View the Full Article from Garden & Gun Magazine

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