Historic Abandoned Speakeasy Tavern Found Hidden Beneath An Old Hotel

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For years, some business-owners in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina have shared the legend about an abandoned speakeasy from the 1920s, hidden beneath Fayetteville Street. Now, after a little construction work was done on an the old Sir Walter hotel — the rumors have proved to be true.

Like a hidden time capsule, the bar has not been used in decades.

Bill Sallada, who owns Rocket Fizz on Fayetteville Street and will soon be moving his candy store into the historic structure, said, “The basement level bar, speakeasy was in the hotel. Political deals were made there.”

The main entrance and stairwell to the tavern had been sealed many years ago by a wall, leaving everything inside the tavern sealed away!

A few months ago, crews cut a hole in the dry wall, like a portal to another world, revealing the old wooden doorway to the tavern.

The Hotel Sir Walter opened in 1924, serving as Raleigh’s premier hotel for almost 40 years, according to Goodnight Raleigh.

More than a simple hotel, it served as a headquarters for political activity statewide in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Lacking office space around the Capitol, these leaders “did much of their work and determined much of the political history of the state in the Sir Walter,” according to the statement of significance on the nomination form to become a historic landmark.

In the 1920s when the hotel was built, America was in the midst of prohibition. It is said that the bar dates back to this era, which would make this bar a speakeasy – or illegal underground bar!

In North Carolina, during prohibition, illegal moonshine operations blanketed the thick woods and mountains surrounding Raleigh.

The hotel is now used as apartments for the elderly.

How cool is this? Imagine the stories that this place holds!