SPEAKEASY BARS IN BOLOGNA
Between refined drinking, mixology and mystery.
Come find out four gems of the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, Bologna. Speakeasy and special clubs with unique cocktails where to enjoy a cozy atmosphere.
A fascination for the hidden and privacy, soft lights, jazz music and you dive into the night so smoothly.
Yes, that’s the typical Speakeasy bar, and we all know about it: the brilliant solution by a genius pub owner of the Prohibition period (1888 – the 1920s, USA).
135 years ago a new type of pub was born, right when selling alcohol became illegal in the USA, so, discretion and quiet chatting was a must to keep it going.
Well, that formula never got old, instead, like most top-quality wines, it seasoned!
And now it comes to Bologna, a century later: a city of ancient architecture, great local food, and the mysterious owner of 7 secrets.
Could you think for a minute that speakeasy kind of pubs could be missing?
Here are four you shouldn’t miss!
Between exclusivity and renewal
The DONKEY is known to locals for its refinement and elegance. It was opened a few years ago by Michele Collina and his associates, already very active in organizing events in the Bologna nightlife.
Forget the typical wood & leather only of the classic speakeasy in undergrounds, because the DONKEY takes you up: more specifically, it’ll take you to the second floor of a dark alley close to the two Towers, the symbol of Bologna.
This club is to be entered with a secret password and boasts experienced bartenders and excellent service.
Great cocktails are accompanied by a menu of culinary delights among 50s modernism design, velvet armchairs and soft lighting.
DONEKY owns a selection of local salumi (cured meats such as prosciutto crudo di Parma 16 mesi, mortadella and salame) and cheeses, as well as fish delights: squids, scallops, octopus and sardines.
SLOW GIN is served! DONKEY’s pub is one of the few in Bologna to serve this limited edition Gin by “Winestillery”, distilled in Chianti wine barrels. With an artisanal process, the pomace is left to macerate in the gin, giving the sugary notes typical of the sloe Gin and making it a perfect grape color Gin for slow tasting.
And I must thank DONKEY’S bartenders to make me discover this amazing gin!
If you’ll have the curiosity to look deeper into Bologna, behind a certain medieval door DONKEY’s universe might open up before you. Don’t forget to reserve your table to enjoy your night there, where a membership card is needed.
A speakeasy bar for music lovers
Jam sessions, concerts, and “English aperitifs” events framed by a warm atmosphere: that’s what you can expect from this secluded but fully equipped bar.
Grace and Edoardo, respectively born in Melbourne and Bologna, met in Australia, traveled together, and decided to open their Pub in Bologna mixing up the traits of the places they loved, including Berlin.
Indeed, they gave Elektrobau to our city In 2019: conceived as a dive bar with different seats to be rearranged according to the various types of events.
“Music has always been very important to us and although the club wasn’t designed to play live we
tried to develop an acoustic live project which is mainly based on a jam session taking place every
two weeks organized by our in-house band”.
An excellent selection of drinks and spirits, a mixed international menu (I’ll never forget that mortadella and cheddar sandwich), and the stylistic hallmark of the place: a Liberty lamppost in the middle of the room.
The atmosphere and furniture take you away from Bologna for a night to catapult you into a vibrant place among posters of excellent British rock albums, including “December’s Children (And Everybody’s)” by The Rolling Stones and the hypnotic big poster of “Unknown pleasures” album by Joy Division, which completely covers a niche near the door.
That’ll strike you every time.
The ceiling presents murals by Alex Senna, a Brazilian street artist and friend of Elektrobau.
The peculiarity of the place is that it generally opens at 6 pm but is always open “till late”, come and try it!
Every Wednesday til the end of June there will be concerts and jam sessions.
It’s a perfect place for those who want to socialize even if they don’t speak fluent Italian.
In the “English aperitifs” events you’ll meet Americans, Italians, Canadians, Australians, French people and more.
Elektrobau Bar– Via Nosadella 2c (Bologna)
Cozy and friendly unsuspectable club
Immersed in a jazz bar atmosphere, Bohémien is an intimate place with comfortable sofas, a counter for chatting, a piano to play and retro lamps and books. Soft light and Speakeasy-style tranquility aren’t missing in this social club.
Various snacks are offered to be consumed with refined drinks.
Bohémien is officially a social club where almost everyone knows each other, they love their trusted customers, and you could be next! The funny thing is that it’s invisible but in plain sight at the same time.
It has become a friendly refuge between the former Jewish Ghetto and the starting point of the University area.
And since there’s no pub sign, you must be careful observers to really find it!
Bohémien’s Menu includes rich bruschettas, cured meats and traditional Bologna dishes.
Concerts and cultural events such as independent documentaries nights, presentation of travelers’ books, and vinyl DJ sets.
Follow their social media and you won’t miss them. You’ll need the A.I.C.S card to enter.
Bohémien Social Club – Via Marsala 20 (Bologna)
ANARCHICO (Circolo La Paresse)
Spare room and game nights in this hidden bar
A “hidden” place that has the great advantage of being spacious and welcoming can be a short Anarchico’s description.
It’s also called “Circolo La Paresse” and it’s a pub of a simple retro style.
It has a historical political value since it was the headquarters of the Manifesto in the 70s, Lotta Continua, and many autonomous left-wing collectives, and perhaps this is the reason it is located in a hidden street keeping it protected by strangers’ eyes.
Customers, who usually discover it through word-of-mouth of friends, really like Anarchico club for its quiet atmosphere.
As ARCI assoc. states: “the stories and legends of revolutionary Bologna now live in the soft light of this Arci club, a hidden refuge in the heart of the city. Between beer, wine, foosball and chess, it’s a shelter from the outside world.”
Different generations now take it as a meeting point where to restore themselves with good food and drinks. Anarchico’s is very frequented by students thanks to its cheap prices.
The ARCI card is requested to enter, and it will serve to support a valuable association promoting cultural and social equality; who’s helped the development of recreational clubs in Italy since the 1950s.
There are many board games made available by the restaurant, including DIXIT and Carcassone, to accompany the drink and create social relations among the long wooden tables.
Cheap prices and good drinks!
Anarchico – Via Avesella 5a (Bologna)