“Got a secret, can you keep it?” There’s a hidden speakeasy in the The Mob Museum in Las Vegas that you can enter (for free) if you have the password. Find out more about it in this The Underground at The Mob Museum review.
For more help planning your trip, check out all of our posts about Las Vegas.
There’s a Taylor Swift interview that floats around on social media from time to time where she talks about enjoying things, like genuinely enjoying things. And how that’s okay.
She says, “I don’t think you should ever have to apologize for your excitement. Just because it’s like, I don’t know, just because something’s cliché doesn’t mean that it’s not something that’s awesome. The worst kind of person is someone who makes someone feel bad, dumb or stupid for, like, being excited about something.”
I bring this up here, in our The Underground at The Mob Museum review, because that’s how I feel about this spot so much. It’s quirky, it’s gimmicky, it’s cliché, and I loved every single bit of it. We had such a good time there earlier this month.
The Underground is a secret speakeasy hidden in The Mob Museum in Las Vegas. You search for a barrel to find a staircase that leads to a door with a sliding peephole where you need a password to enter.
We have a similar speakeasy in Wilmington, which is down a hallway and then you knock on a door with a sliding peephole (which doesn’t require a password).
These are very much IYKYK places, which most people about because they’re the worst kept secrets. And yet, they feel secret. Which is really fun. And why The Underground should be on your list of things to do in Las Vegas next time you’re in town. That and because the beer-braised beef sliders are very good.
The Mob Museum is located in Downtown Las Vegas, which is somewhere you should visit when you’re in town. Get off the Strip. Live a little. And, if you decide to, our list of 10 Must Do Things In Downtown Las Vegas will help you plan that portion of your trip.
The Underground at The Mob Museum Review
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Quick note about The Mob Museum (technically the National Museum Of Organized Crime And Law Enforcement). It’s a really great museum, located in a former Las Vegas post office, that has floors of exhibits where you can learn about the history of organized crime. So I hear. We didn’t go.
You don’t have to purchase a ticket for The Mob Museum in order to check out the speakeasy. If you have a general admission ticket to enter the museum, you can get to the speakeasy, which is in the basement of The Mob Museum, through a stairway located in the box office in the lobby of the museum. If you don’t have a ticket, you can still enter. You just need a password.
How to Get Into The Underground Speakeasy at The Mob Museum
If you’re looking at The Mob Museum from Stewart Avenue, you’ll want to head to the right side and go to the back of the building where you’ll see a large wooden barrel.
To the right of the barrel is a nondescript staircase. Walk down it.
Once you’re down the staircase, you’ll see a green door. Knock.
A doorman will greet you, open the sliding peephole, and ask you for the password (which you can find daily in The Mob Museum’s Instagram stories or on its website).
The door will open and the doorman will give you wristband that allows you access to The Underground. The wristband doesn’t allow you access to the actual museum or any of the museum’s exhibits.
Then, you’ll walk right into the speakeasy.
At its core, the speakeasy is an exhibit, just like other exhibits in the museum. The difference is that this exhibit contains interactive experiences: eating, drinking, and a distillery tour (for ticket holders).
The Underground is modeled as a prohibition era speakeasy, with plush leather couches and a fully stocked bar. But, since it is an exhibit, there are tons of artifacts and information cards around the speakeasy, plus videos that play non-stop (although you can’t actually hear them while you’re there). That’s a nice perk for anyone (like us) who came solely for the speakeasy and not for the museum. You do get a little big of mob history with your drink.
There are a bunch of tables and seating in The Underground, both within the speakeasy itself and at the bar.
There’s free live music on the weekends (8 pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday; 7 pm to 11 pm on Sunday).
The hand-crafted cocktails reflect the cocktails made at the time. If you’ve been to a craft cocktail bar since the resurgence about a decade ago, you’re familiar with this prohibition-era style.
Pete started with the Bathtub Fizz, a nod to “bathtub gin” (the name for alcohol made during prohibition because it was either made with water from the bathtub or made in the bathtub, depending on which folklore you like best). This cocktail was basically a Sloe Gin Fizz, made from gin, sloe gin, aperol, sugar, lemon, egg white, and bitters.
It’s served in a bathtub, which you can keep for an additional $20.
But, rather than spend money on a tub, Pete ordered a second cocktail. This time, he went with the Giggle Water. That’s seasonal fruit-infused vodka, lillet, bitters, and sparkling wine (a nod to the popular 1920’s drink the French 75, according to the menu).
This one wasn’t served in a fancy class, but rather, with a wafer paper that, in a simple typeface, says, “Remember, you were never here.”
Little things like that, they’re just fun.
What I did really appreciate is there are three non-alcoholic mocktails on the menu: Raspberry Lavender Fizz (which I ordered and was amazing), The Test Pilot (which my mom loved), and Pineapple Smash (whcih no one ordered because my dad ordered a domestic beer).
I like when there are fancy mocktails on the menu. It makes me, who doesn’t drink, feel included. Which bars don’t actually do often enough.
We got to The Underground at lunchtime (it opens at noon), so of course we had to eat. And, if you’re going to be sampling some of the drinks in The Underground, it’s a good idea to get some food in your stomach.
We ordered the pretzel bites with beer cheese, which of course we had to try. And, quick side note: The Mob Museum actually brews 60 gallons of craft beer per month, including The Big Al’s Ale, named for the famed mobster Al Capone. We also had the aforementioned beer-braised beef sliders and the spinach and artichoke dip.
Everything was very good. And very easy to split (which is honestly how we were ordering because it was four of us sharing).
But, better than the taste is the story behind the items. Instead of explaining to you what spinach and artichoke dip is (because we all know that already), the menu actually describes the Great Artichoke War — which I never heard of until I saw the menu.
But apparently, New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia (who yes, the airport is named after) banned artichokes after this war because Ciro “Artichoke King” Terranova (yes, his real nickname) of the Morello crime family made a million dollars importing artichokes from California into New York, tripling the price, and selling them to Italians.
You can’t make this stuff up if you tried.
So of course, we had to have the once banned vegetable along with our once banned alcohol.
The Mob Museum actually has an on-site distillery, which you can see through a window in The Underground. Moonshine is made in a 60-gallon still there.
One of the add ons to Mob Museum tickets is a 30-minute guided tour of the distillery. Tastings are available on the tour, so there are age restrictions (you do have to be 21 or older to partake in The Underground distillery tours). And, you have to have a ticket to the museum in order to add on the interactive experience.
But, why, is there a distillery in the basement, you ask? Because, during prohibition, alcohol wasn’t allowed to be made. So the mob smuggled spirits into the United States and made moonshine in hidden stills. And that’s why there’s one “hidden” in the secret speakeasy in The Mob Museum.
Speaking of interactive distilleries, if you want to see another, you need to check out Lost Spirits Distillery & Circus when you’re visiting Las Vegas.
In case you’re wondering, yes, there’s a bathroom in the hallway next to The Underground that’s open to patrons of the speakeasy.
Go. Even if you don’t have to go. Go. Because in that hallway, there are some other exhibits and artifacts, plus a fish tank with the words “Lizzie D” behind it.
The Lizzie D was a tugboat that was carrying illegal alcohol that sank in 1922. It wasn’t discovered until a dive 55 years later found the boat and bottles of bootlegged alcohol.
The Secret VIP Room
Oh? You though the secret speakeasy was the only secret in The Underground. Think again.
Along the wall furthest from the secret entrance is a large painting of a woman dressed in 1920’s style. Surprise. It’s not just a framed photo. That’s a secret door leading to the private VIP room. That’s the type of room where mob bosses held their meetings. And only people who needed to know knew about the room.
And now you know about this one. So you know the most secret secret of the secret speakeasy.
The Underground at The Mob Museum: Frequently Asked Questions
300 Stewart Ave (two blocks from Fremont Street)
The Underground at The Mob Museum is open daily. Hours are Monday to Wednesday: noon to 10 pm; Thursday to Sunday: noon to midnight
You don’t need tickets if you’re just staying in the speakeasy.
If you want to tour The Mob Museum or any of the interactive exhibits (The Crime Lab experience, the distillery tour and tasting, or the Firearm Training Simulator), you will need a ticket. Those interactive exhibits are an additional cost, just so you know.
There is limited parking available at the museum. It’s $8 for four hours. Public parking can be found at a few of the downtown Las Vegas casinos (Downtown Grand, Main Street Station, and the El Cortez), which is within walking distance of the museum.
If you want a free option, The Mob Museum is a stop on the Downtown Loop, the free shuttle bus in downtown Las Vegas.
Have you been to The Underground at the Mob Museum? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.