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Take a sip of secrecy at these speakeasies and underground bars

When you’re looking to avoid the heat — in every sense of the word — quench your curiosity and your thirst at these upstanding but on-the-down-low establishments.

A blue cocktail is poured out of a traditional absinthe dripper.

There’s nothing cooler than a cocktail served from a traditional absinthe dripper.

Photo via @voyseypdx

Portland’s long, boozy history is loaded with bootleggers and speakeasies, and a bit of that lore can still be found around town if you know where to look. At these fine establishments, you’ll find a certain Prohibition-era glamour or arcane allure, and sometimes, a cheers-worthy mix of the two.

Voysey, 710 SE Sixth Ave.

Secreted away beneath Loyal Legion, at the bottom of a staircase marked by a candle lamp-shaped neon sign, you’ll encounter a space adorned with curiosities and eccentric wallpapers, all influenced by the illustrious designer C.F.A. Voysey. Here, scintillating signature cocktails and large-format beverages (think drinks for the table) are sure to wet your whistle — and desire for adventure.

Les Caves, 1719 NE Alberta St.

Get a taste of the underground at this relaxed, subterranean wine bar. Grab a chair at the counter, or climb into the alcove and sip your way through the diverse bottle collection on a cozy couch.

An underground wine bar

Les Caves is in the boiler room of the former Victoria Theater (1910-1965). | Photo by @lescavespdx

Photo via @lescavespdx

Bible Club, 6716 SE 16th Ave.

From the outside, this unassuming yellow house (next to PDX Sliders) looks like any other charming Sellwood neighborhood home. But stepping inside — no secret password is required — you travel back in time to the 1920s. Guests select their libations from a dual menu; on The Old Testament, Penicillin (a delicious single malt Scotch, ginger syrup, lemon and honey concoction) stands out, while The New Testament’s First Frost and Hurkle Durkle look and taste incredible in the crystal glassware.

Bar Mame, 3279 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

Venture to The Hazel Room’s side alley to find the steps leading down to a swank bar inspired by the 1958 film “Auntie Mame.” You’ll find old-timey photos and a scarf-toting buck on the walls, with art deco accents everywhere else, from the gold ceiling tiles to the tall green booths. Sit and stay awhile with a Spanish 75 in your hand.

A bartender in suspenders pours a cocktail.

Bartenders often dress in vintage suspenders or flapper dresses. | Photo by @bibleclubpdx

Photo via @bibleclubpdx

UnderBar, 1701 1/2 Broadway St., Vancouver

What says flaunting Prohibition like crossing state lines? Located in the basement of the Broadway Building where court-ordered AA meetings were once held, this lounge is a far cry from its originally intended use. Still, the quality spirits, cuisine, and events like bingo + live music are far less sobering.

The Hardware Store, 602 Seventh St., Oregon City

Ask for directions to the unassuming door at the back of The Hive Social. From there, look for a clue in the glass case on the stair’s landing. Once you have the correct code in mind, dial it under the vintage phone transmitter and enter through a painting of owner Ashley Hunt’s great-great-grandmother Olive Sauer. Et voila, you are free to enjoy the seasonal food menu and craft cocktails.

Wherever you decide to partake, make sure to check hours and reservation policies ahead of time.

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