The Return of Speakeasies

By MORGAN BRANHAM

In the metro-Atlanta area, speakeasies are up and rising. The bars, which are named after their illegal counterparts from the days of Prohibition, have become trendy because of the exclusivity and privacy they represent.

The Fred, a speakeasy bar in Sandy Springs, is one of the most exclusive bars in the Atlanta area. The bar is connected to and owned by the sports bar, Taco Mac, and it has grabbed the attention of many people because of its secret entrance and the promise of an exclusive beer selection. People come from all over Georgia to visit the underground bar in search of a fun and hidden drinking environment.

“I enjoy going there because it truly is a bar for beer geeks,” said Fred bar regular Junabelle Devaga. “The food gives you a gastro pub feel, while the beer selection is always changing. I love talking to other guests about the new beers. Not only do I educate them, but I am always learning from them as well. In all actuality, The Fred is my neighborhood bar.”

Devaga finds that The Fred has an amazing environment and is a great place to meet people. She feels privileged to be part of a secret that only a handful of people are aware of and enjoys the opportunity to try exclusive and rare beers that most people do not get to try.

According to Beer Street Journal creator Reid Ramsay, speakeasies are so successful because they’re often an addition to a large business model such as Taco Mac. Ramsay is also the beverage project manager for Taco Mac.

“People want their spot and a place that just a handful of people know about,” Ramsay said. “The experience is elevated with a royal treatment by Taco Mac and other bigger businesses rewarding their guest with a secret and underground dining and drinking experience.”

Ramsay has visited many speakeasies and says he has experienced something new in every one of them.

Taco Mac is planning to open a new The Fred speakeasy in Charlotte, N.C. It is scheduled to open late March, 2013.

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