The consumption of alcoholic beverages was shunned and combatted for nearly 80 years before the United States government passed the 18th amendment. This created a time known as prohibition. While the prohibition era lasted a mere 13 years, 1920-1933, countless fantastic stories have arisen and inspired books, movies, and a general fascination with the culture surrounding the ‘speakeasy.’ Revolutionaries, from nearly a century ago, have created inspiration for everything from names of bars and pubs, to the actual design and decor, creating an upscale and exciting environment for patrons to enjoy their night out on the town.
One of these inspired establishments rests, undetected, behind the wall of a humble sandwich shop in Shanghai. The room is full of modern, brightly colored decor with an antique Coca-Cola Classic vending machine resting against the wall. This vending machine is actually an inconspicuous entrance to ‘Flask,’ an upscale cocktail bar reminiscent of the classic speakeasy of yester-year.
The back corner of this Shanghai sandwich shop houses a dirty little secret.
This antique Coca-Cola machine has been transformed into a doorway to something unexpected.
Instantaneously, the bright colors and lighting of the sandwich shop dramatically disappear as you enter the mysterious space with warm, muted light.
This was intentionally orchestrated by Alberto Caiola. He is the architect responsible for the design of this establishment and wanted to incite further curiosity amongst the patrons.
The retro-modern appeal to this establishment makes for a fantastic ambiance that is an absolute necessity for an upscale cocktail lounge.
An artistic representation of flasks under fabric adorns one of the main walls. This plain and dark, but unusual and three-dimensional piece of art, helps add to the mystique of ‘Flask’.
Retro styled couches, basic tables, and simplistic stools coupled with the raw and rustic looking walls really adds to the speakeasy feel of this corner of the bar.
The copper lighting features reflect the muted light creating an excited feeling. It’s almost as if the lights have been turned low and you are supposed to speak in hushed tones to avoid detection by the police.
These bottles hold over 6.5 gallons of whiskey. Their presence offers a nostalgic feel, very reminiscent of the home-brewed spirits from the days of prohibition.
What an amazing design for an upscale social establishment. To ensure that their patrons have an evening to remember, they automatically add the elements of mystery, excitement, and prestige by utilizing a secret door as the main entrance. The interior is adorned with superb surroundings that seem to whisk you away to a wonderful world reminiscent of a speakeasy from way back. There was apparently an immeasurable amount of thought and effort exercised to create this wonderful recipe for a magnificent modern speakeasy suitable for the sophisticated traveler or recognizable regular alike.