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What is a hidden bar? A new trend among young people

What is a hidden bar? A new trend among young people

Bars are no longer unfamiliar entertainment venues for today’s youth. However, the music and noise of these places can be uncomfortable for many. If you still want to enjoy alcoholic drinks in a secretive space, a hidden bar is a great choice. This model originated in the US in the early 1920s and was later introduced to Vietnam. Let’s explore “what is a hidden bar” with Kamereo in the following article!

The hidden bar model is no longer unfamiliar to today’s youth
The hidden bar model is no longer unfamiliar to today’s youth

What is a hidden bar? What is a speakeasy bar?

A hidden bar is also known as a speakeasy bar. This type of bar operates in a secretive manner. Therefore, a hidden bar does not have recognizable signs outside or loud music like traditional bars. Typically, people learn about speakeasy bars through recommendations from friends or family. You might need someone who has been there to guide you, or you need to know the password to get in for the first time. This type of bar is quite new and different compared to popular bars and pubs in Vietnam today.

A hidden bar is a secret bar in the heart of the city
A hidden bar is a secret bar in the heart of the city

Origin of the hidden bar

The hidden bar model started appearing in the 1920s in the US. At that time, the US government prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages. As a result, bars had to operate secretly to avoid detection. To increase competitiveness due to the inability to advertise, they focused on investing in interior design, ambiance, drink quality, and customer experience.

A few years ago, the hidden bar model began to be introduced to Vietnam, mainly in major cities, and received positive feedback. The special feature of this model is its very safe and quiet space because it only accepts a limited number of guests. Therefore, you can enjoy excellent drinks, immerse yourself in soft music, or chat with friends and colleagues when you visit a speakeasy bar.

A model from 1920 due to the US ban on alcoholic beverages
A model from 1920 due to the US ban on alcoholic beverages

Characteristics of hidden bars

Initially, hidden bars mainly served middle and upper-class customers. This group of people sought privacy and a safe space for conversation or business negotiations. Later, the model became popular and was loved by many. Many young people visit hidden bars to relax, enjoy music, and escape the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Each speakeasy bar has its own style, depending on the owner’s preferences and business plans. Some places focus on dedicated bartenders who listen and chat with customers. Meanwhile, many hidden bars invest in space and music design to create a wonderful relaxation experience. However, the quality of drinks is still an important factor that helps customers decide to return.

A hidden bar is a secret relaxation place in the heart of the city
A hidden bar is a secret relaxation place in the heart of the city

Costs at speakeasy bars

It is difficult to determine the exact cost of a visit to a hidden bar. You will need to consider many factors such as location, the bar’s reputation, type of entertainment, number of drinks, and chosen dishes.

Some drinks and cocktails at hidden bars are often more expensive than at regular bars. This is understandable because you are paying for a unique and refined experience. Typically, the price of a cocktail can range from 200,000 to 400,000 VND, depending on the quality and reputation of the bar. If you plan to visit a hidden bar in the evening, the total cost will not be less than 1,000,000 VND.

Additionally, entrance fees at speakeasy bars usually range from 100,000 to 400,000 VND, depending on the bar and the day of the week. Some bars may charge a service fee, especially high-end ones. In this case, you should add a tip for the staff, typically from 15 to 20% of the total bill.

Costs at hidden bars are usually higher than regular bars
Costs at hidden bars are usually higher than regular bars

Things to note when visiting hidden bars

Although the speakeasy bar model has been in Vietnam for several years, it is still not widely known to the general public. Therefore, when visiting for the first time, you should note a few things:

  • Make a reservation: Many hidden bars require customers to call or book a table through their website. Check if you need to make a reservation before heading to the bar.
  • Find the exact address: Speakeasy bars often do not advertise publicly and may be hidden within other shops. You should have someone guide you or know the specific address beforehand to avoid difficulty finding the place.
  • Password or access code: Some places require customers to provide a password or access code to enter. This information is usually available on social media channels or when making a reservation.
  • Respect the space and bar rules: Hidden bars usually have small and unique spaces. Be polite, follow the rules about keeping quiet, or not taking photos if required.
  • Bring cash: Some hidden bars do not accept credit card payments or electronic payment methods. To avoid inconvenience, bring cash before visiting.
  • Explore the unique menu: Speakeasy bars often have unique cocktails not found on regular bar menus. Try special drinks for a different experience.
  • Go with a small group: This model usually has limited space, so ensure your group is not too large to avoid inconveniencing others.
You may need to book a table before visiting some hidden bars
You may need to book a table before visiting some hidden bars

Some hidden bars to try

The hidden bar model has appeared in many places, especially in Ho Chi Minh City. Therefore, you can easily visit these places on weekends or during trips and business visits. Here are some popular hidden bars in Saigon that you should try:

Read more: 5 must-try speakeasy bars in Saigon

Telephone Bar

  • Address: 41 Nguyễn Văn Tráng, Phạm Ngũ Lão Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 18:00 – 02:00
  • Google rating: 4.6/5 (243 reviews)
  • Website: https://www.goldenagebartending.com/

Telephone Bar is a speakeasy bar hidden in the heart of Saigon. The bar has a cozy, classic atmosphere with dim lighting and gentle jazz music. Especially, Telephone Bar is famous for its handcrafted cocktails made from the freshest ingredients.

Telephone Bar is a hidden bar worth trying in Ho Chi Minh City
Telephone Bar is a hidden bar worth trying in Ho Chi Minh City

The Iron Bank – Cocktail Vault

The Iron Bank – Cocktail Vault is a famous hidden bar inspired by the Game of Thrones series. The bar has a luxurious, upscale space with raw brick walls and warm yellow lighting. Additionally, The Iron Bank – Cocktail Vault is renowned for its unique and creative cocktails made by talented bartenders.

The Iron Bank - Cocktail Vault features unique architecture inspired by movies
The Iron Bank – Cocktail Vault features unique architecture inspired by movies

CLIMB – Hidden Cocktails Bar

CLIMB – Hidden Cocktails Bar is located on the rooftop of an old building. Therefore, the bar has an open-air space with a beautiful view of the city. CLIMB – Hidden Cocktails Bar is famous for its delicious cocktails and reasonable prices.

CLIMB - Hidden Cocktails Bar offers an open space with a beautiful view
CLIMB – Hidden Cocktails Bar offers an open space with a beautiful view

Ủ Bar

  • Address: 2nd floor, 50A Đặng Dung, Tân Định Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 18:00 – 01:00
  • Google rating: 4.7/5 (10 reviews)
  • Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/ubarsaigon/

Ủ Bar is a hidden bar with a small but cozy space. The bar’s standout feature is its quiet atmosphere, ideal for those who want to relax after a long day. Ủ Bar is famous for its unique cocktails made from local ingredients.

Ủ Bar has a small, cozy space
Ủ Bar has a small, cozy space

To – Hidden Cocktails Bar ト – 隠れ家バー

  • Address: 2nd floor, 02 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 18:00 – 02:00
  • Google rating: 4.8/5 (10 reviews)
  • Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/Tohiddenbar/

Lastly, To – Hidden Cocktails Bar is a unique hidden bar inspired by Japanese culture. The bar has a minimalist but modern space with unique artwork. Additionally, To – Hidden Cocktails Bar is known for its creative cocktails made by talented bartenders.

To - Hidden Cocktails Bar stands out with its unique Japanese-inspired style
To – Hidden Cocktails Bar stands out with its unique Japanese-inspired style

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has provided you with the answer to the question, “What is a hidden bar?”. Although it is a new model in Vietnam, it has been warmly received by many young people. If you want to learn more interesting business tips in this field, follow our Bar/Pub category!

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Nguyễn Đức Thạnh

Nguyễn Đức Thạnh

Thạnh is a creative content expert with many years of experience. Particularly, he regularly shares in-depth content on business, cuisine, technology, and lifestyle through a unique and relatable perspective. Follow Thạnh to embark on a journey of discovering fascinating insights through every word!View Author posts

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