When headed to Savannah there was only one speakeasy that popped up on our list, but it was a very well known touristy spot, so we dug a little deeper into this historic Georgian town. Our first stop of the trip was a unique establishment unlike any other we’ve visited, as it is part of an authentic Prohibition Museum in downtown Savannah.
A bar in a museum initially sounds as touristy as it can get, but this speakeasy was a breath of fresh air set aside from the hustle and bustle outside; ironically no one really seemed to know it was even there. As your hidden bar enthusiasts, even we struggled to find the entrance, assuming it’d be at the entrance to the museum (which was closed), so we meandered around the block and finally had to ask someone where to find it. On the opposite side of the building from the museum entrance, you will find a door with the sign “Congress Street Up” hanging above it. When we arrived they had a vintage clad bouncer waiting to card everyone before letting them up the stairs to the bar.
We knew we were going to enjoy our visit as we climbed the stairs adorned with historical murals of Savannah, local bars, and prohibition themed illustrations. A museum that is all about Prohibition is going to know how to do a speakeasy the right way after all, and they were certainly themed to the T! We entered through another door and found a glorious little space with two rooms, high metal plated ceilings, and a lavish bar. Saddling up at the bar we met Amelia, the head bartender, who wore authentic prohibition attire and shook a mean craft cocktail. She was happy to chat with us while we drank and educate us on all kinds of history from the museum (Such as why the bar is called “Congress Street Up,” referring back to how people would find the local booze under the fed’s noses during prohibition).
The cocktails were inventive, classy, and strong; all of our favorite things. Most unique to our experience was the adorable little bathtub we received the first cocktail in. The drink is called Prohibition Portia, served as a tiny bubble bath, rubber ducky included. I have never drank such a cute libation! The Portia is a gin, wonder mint, and curaçao mix. Our second order included a Dry County, a completely different type of cocktail we’d never tried. It included St. Augustine gin, sherry, and kronan served at room temperature; a very sophisticated drink.
The establishment stayed relatively empty and low key the night we visited, we love this because it adds to the feeling that you alone are in on the secret. Congress Street Up is open to museum attendees during tours, open at night when the museum is closed (to those who can find it), and even offer fun mixology classes you can register for at the bar. Overall we were incredibly surprised by the service, appeal, and secrecy of a bar that is not even popularly listed yet as an actual speakeasy in Savannah. We are excited to help break the news. So when you’re next in this historic little southern town, make sure and tell Amelia we sent you, and ask to keep your rubber ducky for good luck!