“Speakeasy” = a place where alcoholic drink was sold illicitly duringProhibition.
We found one! Called “singlebarrel” right in downtown San Jose, and just in case you’re getting worried, NO, they haven’t reinstated Prohibition. Go ahead and pick up that glass, speak up, and take a sip with no concern of being hauled off in the paddy wagon.
So, we literally stumbled upon this place, taking a little bit of a risk in a town we’re not familiar with, and descended the dark staircase from the unmarked door on the street. At the bottom, passing a small table with two candles lit, we rounded the corner, cautiously walked down the dark hallway lined with dark drapes (Hoot thought goblins might jump out at any second) and all of the sudden, found ourselves in an all out BAR! The lights were low (very low), the jazz was hoppin, and the bartenders graciously greeted us. Phewwww, back in familiar territory…we stepped up to the bar. But what happened next was something we’d never experienced before; the bartender, who happened to be dressed in a derby hat, suspenders, and baggy trousers told us that he would be taking care of us.
What he meant by “taking care of us” was that he didn’t want us to just give him our drink order, he wanted to spend some time with us and learn what flavors and styles of cocktails we enjoyed. Once he got the scoop, he came up with a cocktail on his own. Annie had a “Dry St. John” which was a gin based martini style cocktail with a cute fresh orange twist. It was light, refreshing and had an herbal, citrus (duh, orange twist) flavor. Hoot had a microbrew beer called “Pliny the Elder” that was a smooth and delicious Imperial IPA that he thoroughly enjoyed!
Next stop was Joe, the Cigar Man! Hanging out by the huge humidor, he invited us over to talk cigars. The first question out of his mouth was “How do you drink your coffee?”. Whoa…what a concept! Next question was “What kind of red wine do you enjoy?”. Damn! What a great way to quickly learn a person’s palate, right? He recommended a cigar for each of us (different cuz Hoot drinks his black with a dab of sugar and Annie drinks hers with foofy creamer) and they were perfect!
The thing about this place that blew us both away was the overall concept and the great delivery! From the vibe in the bar to the impeccable customer service to the spot-on intuition in serving us drinks and cigars, they pull the speakeasy concept off seamlessly! We’re so glad that we uncovered this little gem, and we’ll be stopping in next time we’re passing through, and we think you should do the same! Thanks to the singlebarrel crew for an incredible experience! We’ll see you guys again soon!!!
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