Every city has its hidden gems. For KL, these are its many secret bars – or ‘speakeasies’ – many of which you would have to know about to ever find. The concept for these hidden bars, and the term ‘speakeasy’, originate from the Prohibition Era of the United States during the 1920s.
During this time, the manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol was banned throughout the country, leading to many secret bars popping up in surprising locations. Though KL boasts a great many of these themed establishments today, here are just four of the best.
Keep it under your hat
More of an open secret thanks to its rapidly-rising popularity, Tate at The Intermark Mall epitomises what KL speakeasies are supposed to be. With a well-concealed entrance and some fantastic cocktails, Tate’s cosy interior is a must-see experience. Keep your eyes peeled for a top-hat shaped light in front of a white wall.
Hide in plain sight
Easily KL’s most mischievously named and located bar, the rebellious drinkers of the Prohibition Era would have approved of Barlai Pudu not just being located within a stone’s throw of a police station, but even being named after it.
On a quiet street in Bukit Bintang sits a charming cocktail hideout whimsically named after the balai polis – ‘police station’ – under whose nose it cheekily exists. Just look for a giant metal structure on Jalan Sin Chew Kee.
One for the road
When visitors to KL first hear of a hidden bar located behind an old parked Sunbeam Alpine car in Bangsar Shopping Centre, many believe it to be just a myth. But Mr Brooks is very real and very worth seeing.
With a two-way mirror lining one wall, patrons can sit with a drink from the bar’s extensive menu and watch oblivious shoppers walk by just feet away from the secret establishment.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Hold the phone
Straight out of a spy movie, the entrance to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in Avenue K shopping mall is through a hidden door in a vintage red telephone box.
With its wellconcealed entrance, leather furniture and extensive liquor and cigar lists, it is undoubtedly one of KL’s finest ‘hidden gems’.