Downtown Phoenix is known for its quirky arts-centric personality. It’s a place where old car showrooms are transformed into restaurants and new murals pop up every day. In the heart of this modern city, deep underground, a secret bar epitomizes the vibrant unconventionality of fusing new and old.
If you blink, you’ll miss it.
Phoenix’s secret speakeasy bar, Melinda’s Alley, is marked only by a single red light glowing above its dingy doorway; but like so many things, it is not what is outside, but what is inside that matters.
Down an industrial, metal staircase, a dimly-lit speakeasy style bar is hidden away– a reminder of the bygone days of Prohibition and rebellion. Glowing red lights, colorful rugs and dark Victorian furniture characterize the diminutive bar’s vibe.
With only a handful of tables, and a couple of oversized, velvety bean bag chairs, the intimate venue is its own tiny world. Modern worries slip away as patrons settle into the soothing ease of the retro bar.
Melinda’s serves only four varieties of specialty craft cocktails at a time, in addition to the classic Old Fashioned. Cocktail offerings are changed regularly. There is no beer, wine or food, and most cocktails run about $12.
The close proximity of other bars and restaurants in the area make Melinda’s Alley the perfect first stop on a bar crawl, or simply an unorthodox setting in which to grab a drink.
Normally walking through an unmarked door in a dark alley is a bad idea, but in this case, only delicious libations, an edgy ambiance and good times lie on the other side.
The bar, which is nestled in the basement of the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, has no website. For more information, see the speakeasy’s Twitter page.