Speakeasies of the 1920's
• Formed in the 1920’s
o Prohibition(banned the sale of liquor) was the main reason for speakeasies being formed
o For every saloon that closed from loss of money approximately half a dozen would open up underground.
o By the middle of the 20’s there were 100,000 speakeasies in New York itself.
• Benefits of Speakeasies
o One of the many underground owners claims his speakeasy net him $1370 a month.
$400 of his earnings went to paying off Prohibition Agents, police officers, and the New York District Attorney.
• They would also pay the officer on duty $40 to turn his back during a delivery.
• A little security
o In the “21” club in Manhattan there were four alarms incase a raid would happen
o There were also five places they could hide the liquor including secret doors to escape the raid.
For this extra security it took a pretty little nickel to pay off the officers who knew about them not to snitch.
_WRONG DOINGS OF SPEAKEASIES_
—-Speakeasies weren't always the safest things to get included in because of the mobs and the criminals.
This image is of the Saint Valentines Massacre
These men were shot and killed by Al Capone
one of the big time mobsters in the speakeasies business
_FAMOUS SPEAKEASIES OF THE DECADE_
This bar opened in 1907 as one of the modern-day jazz
club but was bought in 1910 and was renamed to the Green
Mill Lounge. In the twenties one of Al Capones men bought 25%
ownership of the spot and it quickly grabbed the mobster attention.
With all of the people Capone new his lounge stayed well stocked.
There were tunnels leaving and entering the speakeasy for easy
This bar was one of the more famous speakeasies because it
had a dining area at the front but that was not the speakeasy. The
speakeasy was located behinde a metal door that read Room 21 on
it. This speakeasy actual had multiple alarms to warn the mobsters
that a raid was accuring and they needed to get out.
YE OLD TAP ROOM
The "Tap Room" as its more commonly known has undergone
several changes over the years serving not only as the famous
prohibition speakeasy but, before that, as a trolley repair station and
the Union Pigeon Racing Club. But it's the years of illegal liquor-ing which
have really left this spot with one of the most lively histories in all of Detroit.
The Seelbach influenced a big drinker like F. Scott Fitzgerald inspiring
him to include the location in his The Great Gatsby but that was before Prohibition.
During the 20's, Al Capone dined at the Oakroom — described as a "gentleman's
billiards hall". If Capone was hanging out there, you know the Seelbach knew how
to throw a party even when liquor was illegal.
__NEW YORK CITY__
BILL'S GAY NINETIES
This spot started out as a private home to a reverend and his
family during the 1850's but when the house fell into the hands of Bill
Hardy in the 1920's, it became a speakeasy. Hardy had held several prominent
positions, including boxer, jockey and "Broadway dandy", he developed some
connections with those who could ply him with liquor.
Goggin, Clare. "America's Most Infamous Bars: Former Speakeasies & Mobster Hangouts". <http://www.digitalcity.com/2008/11/10/americas-most-infamous-bars-former-speakeasies-and-mobster-hango/>.
By: Devon Swart