Ever find yourself in the mood for some swanky, jazzy vibes to transport you back a hundred years or so?
Luckily for us, CapNY is home to some actual bootlegging legends (check out @bootleggerbungalow on Instagram, you won’t be disappointed). We’re also home to entrepreneurs who know just how to leverage our rich history into some seriously cool speakeasy-style bars and restaurants. Photo: The Lounge at The Maker, Hudson
Four CapNY Speakeasies
We’ve cherry picked four bars that we think exude the turn of the century aura. They’ve got sexy, tactile interior decor, and they reside within 200-year-old buildings. Romance and legend and cocktails. It’s a can’t-miss night on the town.
9 Maple, Saratoga Springs
This speakeasy sure doesn’t make itself hard to find — the address and the name of the bar are one and the same. This self-proclaimed ‘Jazz Lounge’ is in a narrow brick building dating back to the 1880’s. This spot can get pretty crowded on the weekends when Saratogians pack into the space to listen to raucous live jazz bands.
While they’re known especially for their espresso martini, they also offer an impressive menu of 250 martinis. In addition, they allegedly have the largest selection of single malt scotch from Manhattan to Montreal. (We can’t wait to begin fact-checking this). The mahogany bar and iron-cast light fixtures are in keeping with the 1880s aura, while bartenders are dressed in formal attire as they shake two martinis at a time. Stop in early for a quiet drink or head in late-night for a bustling good time.
9 Maple, 9 Maple Avenue, Saratoga Springs, IG @9mapleave
The Berlin, Troy
This sultry spot in Troy sits on the second floor above the Troy Beer Garden, with an inconspicuous side-door entrance on the left side of the building. Complete with Chesterfield sofas, floor-to-ceiling red curtains, and gilded frames from wall-to-wall, The Berlin doesn’t leave even the smallest details unattended to. Intricate wallpaper, exposed brick, and tall ferns provide solarium vibes during daylight hours, and transition perfectly to mysterious night club after dark. Ten original ‘Haus Cocktails’ and nine wines offer a selection for anyone’s palate. This is the perfect spot for after dinner drinks and optimal mood lighting.
The Berlin Lounge, 2 King Street, Troy, IG @theberlinlounge
The Maker, Hudson
As the prolific city of Hudson continues to put itself on the international ‘map’, this spot certainly hasn’t wanted for media coverage — it’s an exemplary example of historic renovation. Because of the building alone, we’d be remiss not to include The Lounge at The Maker. Built inside of a restored carriage barn, a marble and mahogany horseshoe bar acts as the grand focal point. Tassel-lamps descend from the ceiling. Intricately tiled floors, dark panel walls and heavy velvet curtains erase the last hundred years. It’s a complete the time-travel experience. With their unique and inventive cocktail list and small bites, The Maker lounge is a great stop for a date night or late-night get together.
The Maker, 302 Warren Street, Hudson, IG @themakerhotel
Elixir 16, Troy
The history of the building at 45 2nd St is the most interesting and unique of any on this list. Originally built as a single-family home in 1822, it was renovated and the bottom floor used as a doctors office for nearly 100 years until now-owner Megan Reavey bought it in 2016. She pays homage to this in a couple of ways. The first is slightly macabre: in the front room sits an old, 1940’s medical bench, complete with stirrups and parchment paper rolled over the surface. She tells us that when she bought the building, this medical bench was still in use! The second homage is in the name. “The definition of Elixir is something the doctor prescribes, or a magical potion,” says Reavey.
The floors, fireplaces and chandeliers are original to the building. The ceiling tile is also of the 1800’s but salvaged from other buildings. Up until just a couple of years ago, there was no signage on the bar whatsoever. Instead, there was just a sandwich board out front that said ‘Curious? Come see for yourself’. They offer a wide selection of craft brews, as well as dumplings and board games. This one is an absolute must for the history buff or the craft beer enthusiast.
Elixir 16, 45 2nd St, Troy, IG @elixir1
Written by: Cabrina McGinn
Born and raised in the Capital Region, Cabrina McGinn started her blog in 2019 to highlight the exceptional bars and restaurants that the 518 has to offer. Prior to that, she had spent many years in the restaurant industry, bartending all over New York State. Cabrina lives in Saratoga Springs and enjoys exploring the Hudson Valley and Adirondacks on the weekends. Visit the blog on instagram @straightupstate or online at https://straightupstate.com