There was a time when wanting to imbibe in anything stronger than water included knowing the right people, location and/or password. Prohibition in the U.S. lasted from 1920 through 1933. The Mob Museum's newest exhibit highlights that time in American history, as told through an interactive history of the prohibition. Part of the new display includes a working distillery and a speakeasy. In "The Underground" speakeasy, you will be able to purchase The Mob Museum's own house-brewed beer as well as prohibition-era cocktails. There is also a VIP section, accessible through a hidden door (an "ultra-private, intimate speakeasy-within-a-speakeasy", according to the museum).
Artifacts within the exhibit include:
- One-gallon "alky cooker" - used to make small batches of alcohol.
- Johnny Walker bottle - a bottle recovered from the Lizzie D, a tugboat that was used to smuggle booze during Prohibition (the boat itself sunk in New York in 1922).
- Valise with hidden flasks - a product made by Abercrombie & Fitch, it was one of the ways someone would hide his/her personal stash.
- Budweiser frozen eggs - one of 25 non-alcoholic products the beer company had to resort to making during prohibition.
- Grape brick sign - a product from California grape growers that could be added to water to make grape juice. Adding yeast would eventually turn the grape juice into wine.
- Flapper dress - one of the most iconic women's fashions from the time.
"The Underground" at The Mob Museum is open from 9am to 10pm from Sunday through Wednesday, and 9am to midnight. Access to this new speakeasy is included in museum admission, or is complimentary after 5pm.