Forget drinking a beer in the food court. These hidden cocktail bars provide a unique way to enjoy a drink at the airport.
There is just something about being in the airport. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, when you get past the security line, it’s time for a drink! Whether that’s a mimosa or a bourbon on the rocks (hey, we don’t judge!), having a pre-flight tipple is almost a rite of passage.
But what could possibly make that drink more fun? Finding a secret airport speakeasy, that’s what. Not only will you probably have some well-made cocktails in a far less crowded atmosphere, but drinking in a speakeasy is also a novelty that never wears off.
We scoped out some of the speakeasy bars designed to elevate your airport experience and found out all the need-to-know details so you know where to go, what to order, and how to get in.
Top Picks for You
WHERE: Hong Kong International Airport
While it may not be a speakeasy per se, it is hidden just enough that if you blink, you’ll miss it. However, if you find yourself in Hong Kong International Airport, Intervals is not a place to be missed, so ensure you build in some extra time for it. Speaking of time, that’s the main theme of Intervals, as airport time is never truly “real” time, but it is a place where time is always top-of-mind.
The sleek bar has a global cocktail concept, gorgeous views of the runway, and a cocktail flight program broken down by how much time it should take you to finish. Each flight has between two and five choices, so sippers can try an array of drinks. Yes, Intervals can make full-sized cocktails as well, but what’s the fun in that?
The Gate Clock
WHERE: Dublin Airport
What happens when a speakeasy is hiding in plain sight? That seems to be the case with The Gate Clock, Dublin’s hidden airport bar. Located in Pier B – Departures and away from the hustle and bustle of the airport, finding your way to The Gate Clock will take you through twists and turns that may make you want to leave breadcrumbs down–or at least consult your Google Maps when finding your way back to the gate. An old-style Irish pub in décor, The Gate Clock serves up traditional Irish fare and a good pint of Guinness. It’s the best place to have your last Irish meal–and a bit of quiet–before hopping your plane home.
WHERE: Denver International Airport
On the way to Denver International Airport is a brand-new speakeasy concept to Concourse A. While it was set to open in Fall 2023, the project has hit a few delays. However, according to locals, it will be well worth the wait.
This new bar will be done in partnership with James Beard Award-nominated Sean Kenyon, owner of the famed Denver, CO-based speakeasy Williams & Graham. Kenyon recently told What Now Denver that his mission is to elevate the airport cocktail scene.
WHERE: Newark International Airport
While it may not be a speakeasy, it will do you one better; it’s a whole restaurant! That’s right, United Airlines is hiding an entire eatery right under our noses. Classified is an invite-only restaurant in which an exact location is never disclosed, even if you’re invited. But the vibe and the runway views are second to none.
If you are able to secure yourself an invite, the pickup point is in Saison in Terminal C. One cool perk: Once you have been invited to Classified, you can return on future visits. Order an EC Chicken sandwich, one of the exclusive restaurant offerings, with a glass of French Champagne from the extensive list. It will pair nicely with the welcome bubbly.
INSIDER TIPGuests are invited to Classified via the United Airlines app, based on their reward status.
"1850" Speakeasy Bar and Connie
WHERE: John F. Kennedy International Airport
Hidden behind a door in the American Express Centurian Lounge is a sleek, intimate speakeasy serving up perfect pre-flight tipples. Located in Terminal 4, walk to the far left after passing through security and find the entrance to the Centurian lounge.
Since this speakeasy is in the Centurian Lounge, you will need a qualifying American Express card for access. The speakeasy itself, dubbed the “1850” Speakeasy Bar, can be found behind a copper-paneled wall within the lounge (hint: Look for the bar!). The bar is known for its classic cocktails, like a boulevardier or an espresso martini. However, one can never go wrong with a glass of wine for a pre-flight treat, expertly sourced from local producers.
Also at John F. Kennedy International Airport is Connie. You may have heard of the TWA Hotel, directly across from the JetBlue Terminal, and may even have carved out some time to grab a sip at its bar, The Sunken Lounge. But there is a place to get a tipple that is a secret there too–Connie. The hotel has turned its Lockheed Constellation “Connie” airplane into a cocktail lounge that serves drinks and light bites. There is even a fresh take on a vodka martini on the menu: Vodka Is My Co-Pilot. Reservations not accepted, so you better hope no one else knows about it either.