Blink and you’ll miss the red door nestled between a beloved burger joint and a watch repair shop on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, in Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood. A long, velvet-curtained corridor sets the speakeasy tone for this soft-jazz locale, where dapper bartenders mix Negronis under the glow of tealights reflected in Japanese whisky bottles magnetically suspended from the ceiling.
A quiet Covent Garden juice bar’s 18-seat basement drinkery does a brisk business despite not stocking liquor. At Bring Your Own Cocktail, patrons duck behind a counter before heading down the cellar stairs with a favourite bottle in tow. The £20 cover gets you a two-hour table reservation, during which time the mixologist relies on the contents of his well-stocked vintage Italian bar cart (fresh-pressed juices from upstairs, herbs, homemade cordials and bitters) to concoct custom drinks.
Hidden behind tumbledown neoclassical buildings in the flea market neighbourhood of Monastiraki, the courtyard bar of this art gallery and cultural centre is a magnet for Athenian creatives. Stop by for the ever-changing exhibitions and daytime cappuccinos, then return for a nightcap to rub shoulders with the artists and socialites who enjoy the subdued lighting and garden-party atmosphere.
Never mind the knockoff-handbag vendor’s wares upstairs: this underground resto-bar in Little Italy is definitely the real deal. Down a staircase and behind an unmarked door, brick walls and tufted leather booths are the only constant in this subterranean den: the graffiti-chic decor, like the drinks, is ever-changing (a chalkboard announces the day’s fresh fruit for the bespoke cocktails).