COLORADO SPRINGS — A century ago, drinking alcohol became illegal.
While many Americans are in the midst of “dry January,” January 17 once marked the start of a dry 13 years for all Americans. The 18th Amendment in 1920 banned the “manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors.”
Brooklyn’s on Boulder is just one speakeasy-style nightspot in Colorado Springs that specializes in gin-based cocktails in a stylish setting.
“You saw a lot of these speakeasies find these loopholes and exploit them really well,” said Brooklyn’s on Boulder bartender Philip Taylor. “It’s the heart of speakeasies people wanted to go out and have a good time with the general affluence of the nation.”
The impact of Prohibition was felt everywhere, from small towns to populated cities.
“I think it is fun,” said customer Lauren McCoy. “You aren’t sure what to expect. You walk in, and you’re like, am I in the right place? It this really where my friend said we were meeting? You ring the doorbell, and it’s cute, it doesn’t feel pretentious it’s just a relaxed bar atmosphere. “
Prohibition also offered gangsters such as Al Capone another lucrative avenue for revenue via bootlegging, which was only contributing to crime.
“We really are dedicated to that 1920’s era,” Taylor explained. “By the decor itself, even the glassware is true to form.”
“I think it’s an era in our history that people have an affinity with,” McCoy added. “It’s something we can relate to but not relate to. It’s a secret society where only if you’re in the know then you can get in. It’s a fun idea people cling to.”
The 21st Amendment was eventually passed and ratified in 1933, effectively ending national Prohibition. The country celebrated accordingly.
“It’s kind of what a speakeasy is,” Taylor said. “It’s enjoying craft cocktails in a fun environment, really.”