Fort Lauderdale’s newest “hidden” speakeasy bar lives inside the Brass Tap gastropub, through a plain wooden door that seems to lead straight into a storage closet.
The door leads to Unit B, a handsome cocktail hangout that resembles a 1920s time capsule, with sturdy leather-backed chairs, faded brick walls, dark-wood accents and Prohibition-inspired drinks.
But gaining access to Unit B, opened in September by former Brass Tap general manager Mat Baum, isn’t as simple as flagging down the barkeep. Secret passwords and keypads are involved.
Here’s how to get in
As the old meme goes, one does not simply walk into Mordor for sweet libations. First, navigate to ViewUnitB.com, fill out the online form (they ask for name, email, phone number and party size) and hit “submit.” You’ll receive a door code, which is valid 6 p.m.-2 a.m. but expires at the end of the night, so repeat this step for return visits. Code in hand, visit the Brass Tap’s main kitchen and bar on the first floor and gaze around. An unassuming door near the bar has a numbered keypad lock. Punch in your personalized code, enter and climb the flight of stairs. (There’s a night capacity of 40-60 visitors and a business-casual dress code.)
What’s it like?
If the Brass Tap is a rowdy, milliennial-friendly pub, Unit B is its classier, millennial-friendly sibling, adorned with antique brass hourglass, ornate table lamps stringed with crystals, soft mood lighting and, behind the bar, rows of floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with top-notch liquor. It’s not uncommon to find costumed dancers entertaining guests.
What about the cocktails?
First, try the 21st Amendment, a fusion of ginger syrups, orange blossom honey, lemon juice and a scotch blend. There’s also 1920s Havana, combining rum, black walnut bitters and Cuban colada syrup that’s smoked with a cigar leaf.
Isn’t there also a brewery inside the Brass Tap?
There is. The Flagler Village Brewery occupies the bar’s second floor with murals and brewing tanks, making this Brass Tap location home to three businesses in one. Blended-business bars are nothing new in South Florida. In Fort Lauderdale, Next Door at C&I Studios in FAT Village is a trendy coffee shop by day and cocktail lounge by night, while Warsaw Coffee Company shares space with Milk Money, a cozy cocktail kitchen, and the Buck and Beard barbershop.
Unit B is open 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday inside the Brass Tap Fort Lauderdale, 551 N. Federal Highway, No. 600. Go to ViewUnitB.com.
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