Portland, Maine’s Secret Speakeasy is Not Easily Found Because It Keeps Changing
While recently visiting Portland, Maine, I went into a vintage store called Madelyn's, which just opened.
It was a cool store with unique items like vintage t-shirts, so while checking out, I started chatting with the cashier. He was saying how the shop recently opened, and how busy Market Street is.
Then he told me off-handedly, "and I guess there's a secret speakeasy around here somewhere". That got my attention. A secret bar? Game on.
Let's look at the definition of a speakeasy first. According to Britannica.com, a speakeasy is "a place where alcoholic beverages are illegally sold, especially some establishments in the United States during Prohibition (1920-33)". Britannica goes on to say there are modern speakeasies, which are quite legal, but modeled after the old speakeasies of the 1920s and 1930s.
So, my friend and I ventured out to find this secret spot, if it even existed.
After asking around and googling the speakeasy, we thought we'd found it. We barreled through the double doors and ran down the stairs, as suggested by multiple accounts. There was a non-descript brown door with a big lock on it. Dang. That's not it.
Then it hit us. It was only 4pm and it probably didn't open until later, so we decided to return that evening to see what we could find.
At about 7pm, we scurried through the double doors again, down the stairs, and opened the brown door, which was unlocked this time. It opened up into a hallway to a spa. We knocked on the door, thinking maybe there was a secret code word, but nobody answered. We knocked again. Nothing.
As we turned to leave, a large group of locals on a pub crawl came into the entryway, and proclaimed, "oh, they changed it". We asked if there was a speakeasy here, and they said yes, but the appearance was all different. I guess too many people found out about it, so they changed the entrance.
One local said, "Let's try this", and voila! A secret door opened and we all went in, as the bouncer carded each one of us.
I can't tell you more because it's a secret, and it's not very big, but I can say that it's called Lincoln's, all drinks are $5, and it's cash only. It's not fancy, but it's a place where tourists and locals can hang, pre-game, or just chill.
We met people from Portland, Maine, to Miami, Florida.
Oh, and you can't take photos of the door, or you will politely be asked to delete them.
Next time you're in Portland, Maine, check it out. There are apparently other speakeasies around town, but this one was definitely worth the "seek and find" play.