I love secrets. Don’t we all? When you find out someone has a secret, you want to know what it is, every last detail of it. And maybe it’s this very reason that I love the idea of hidden restaurants and bars that constantly pop up here in London and around the world.
Known as speakeasies, they originally came about during the Prohibition era in 1920′s America when a booze-ban was placed on the country. Secret clubs then opened where illegal alcohol was sold.
Although not illegal these days, the speakeasy craze is steadily becoming more popular in big cities. With hard-to-find entrances, no phone numbers, hidden rooms, and wine served in tea cups, it provides an almost Alice in Wonderland feel to the thrill of the chase. And a chase it is, these places aren’t letting just anyone in.
A favourite of mine, is PDT (aka Please Don’t Tell) in the East Village of New York. I wanted to share this little secret with you, just in case you have an upcoming trip across the pond sometime soon.
PDT is a hidden cocktail bar inside the walls of Crif Dogs, an East Village hot dog selling institution. Check out the website here: www.crifdogs.com and take a look at the menu, you’ll have seen nothing like it anywhere else. You can indulge in a spicy red neck dog and a side of chilli cheese fries prior to your reservation, or even better, once inside PDT you can order from the secret bar, having your food delivered through the secret wall. COOL!
So this is how it works:
Making a reservation: Note down the number from the PDT website (www.pdtnyc.com), phone at 3pm on the day you wish to make a reservation. Don’t phone at 4pm, there will be no tables left. Keep fingers crossed at all times for extra luck in blagging a reservation. It’s not easy.
How to find it: Walk down the stairs into the Crif Dogs restaurant on St. Marks Place. Look for an old-fashioned phone booth set inside the left-hand wall. Step inside. Pick up the phone. Press the buzzer. A voice answers and once your reservation is checked, the wall of the phone booth opens to let you into the small windowless cocktail bar.
Address: 113 St. Marks Place (between 1st Ave and Avenue A)
…. from there you could go for dinner to the underground Mexican restaurant in Soho, but I’ll leave that for another time.
Shhhh, Please don’t tell