This Fort Lauderdale Hotel Converted a Room Into a Speakeasy — and the Best Bartenders in the Country Are Pouring Drinks

Hyatt Centric Las Olas speakeasy

On Feb. 12, Fort Lauderdale will welcome its newest bar. But, to get in, you're going to have to know the secret code.

The Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale is preparing for the debut of 901, a guest room converted into a secret speakeasy that happens to also come with a bartender-in-residence program that gives back to the food and beverage industry.

Room 901, the hotel explained in a statement, "will evoke classic Prohibition vibes with bites and libations to match." Its menu includes appropriately-named cocktails like the "Late Check-Out" and "The Butler Did It." As for food, the hotel's executive chef, Greg McGowan, created an opulent menu to fit the vibe, which includes mini Connecticut-style lobster rolls, roasted bone marrow with spicy pickled vegetables, and house-fried potato chips tossed in duck fat and served with truffle crème fraiche.

Hyatt Centric Las Olas speakeasy
Hyatt Centric Las Olas speakeasy

Guests can enjoy these bites and cocktails while lounging in a space that feels like a time warp back to the 1920s. Inside, they'll find bookshelves lined with vintage titles, a record player spinning classic tunes, plush velvet furniture where they can sit and sip, and antique artifacts and artwork that will inspire the senses.

As for who will be serving guests those drinks, the speakeasy's bartender-in-residence program invites bars from around the country that are closed as a result of the pandemic to host pop-up events to keep their legacy alive, while also offering their bartenders all the perks of a South Florida vacation (in addition to compensation for their service in the speakeasy).

Starting things off is the famed Washington D.C. speakeasy The Gibson, which plans to bring its signature cocktails to 901 during its bartender-in-residency time from March 3-17. Patrons can expect to sip on the "Hay Fever," made with vodka, St. Germain, lemon, grapefruit, and grenadine, and finished with a flaming lemon squeeze.

The 901 can be reserved as a private experience for up to six guests at a time and is bookable by reservation only. To book, guests can email [email protected] or visit the bar's website. There is a minimum of $50 per person, with a one-hour minimum for 1-2 guests and a two-hour minimum for 3-6 guests. Upon reserving the speakeasy, guests receive a password to give at the front desk in exchange for an unmarked key to room 901. Just make sure to knock twice or you may not get in.

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