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TRCH - Caitlin Moran

5 Speakeasies that Should Exist in Nottingham

6 June 17 words: Benjamin Knight
illustrations: Raphael Achache

Many Nottinghamians enjoy a good booze. But imagine, just for one second, that you’ve found yersen in a time and a place that’s banned the juice, forbade the top-shelf goods, embargoed the plonk. Our Ben Knight has put together a list of places he can imagine making darn good speakeasies if the day of doom ever did rear its bonce...

North America, 1920. The country is a mess and it’s all alcohol’s fault. Pissheads line the streets like paving stones, and the Empire State Building is made entirely of drunks standing on each other’s shoulders. Thankfully, for the good of the people, a solution is devised; ban the booze. Pour it down the sewers and lock it up in cages so it needn’t attack honest people with its siren ways again.

But that doesn’t stop everyone; illegal bars, dubbed “speakeasies”, open up in sneaky hidden places in cities across the US. Beyond the prying eyes of the boys in blue, there could be some mole people taking advantage of the sweet sewer beer.

Fast forward to Notts 2017, the way Boilermaker is hidden is pretty cool. I love prohibition-style bars and it finally curbed my suspicion of a radiator shop being open at one in the morning. Sometimes I wonder how many confused old boggers have waited out there for hours when their own boiler was on the blink, only to be greeted with a Hendrick’s. But, at other times, more importantly, I think about other cool and inconspicuous places prohibition bars could be hidden in Nottingham...

In a carriage in the Market Square ferris wheel

This one’s super exclusive. For one, the ferris wheel’s only up once a year. Second, the general scale of each carriage can only accommodate one bartender and one customer. That means you could be on the waiting list for decades. But it’s all worth it to drink cocktails and look at the dirty plebs down below.

In the undiscovered caves beneath the city

Enter through a manhole in Hockley when the moon is full and blue. There, you will meet a short man with tiny eyes. He will lead you deep into the subterranean world to a heavy iron door in the rock face. Knock thrice, and say these words: “Bar o’ bar beneath our feet, give us a pint and some nuts to eat”. You’ll be let in and given a disappointing cocktail list. All the vodka is Tesco own-brand.

Between the university campuses on Goldsmith Street

The bar itself is hidden behind a secret wall and requires a Trent and UoN student to work together to open it. The bar has not served a single customer.

In one of the solar-powered bins

Where does that solar power go? I’m not from Nottingham (boo hiss) so I’m not clued up as to the point of gathering sunlight where I put my rubbish. The only explanation is that there’s a really smelly bar connected under them, and it’s probably run by alcoholic Wombles. Broken Britain.

Behind the right lion statue

Nobody would ever suspect it.


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