6. The Cellar at St. Mazie Bar

72. Cellar at St Mazie-Williamsburg-Brooklyn-Combined-NYC-001

At St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club in Williamsburg, an easy-to-miss door across from the bar opens onto a staircase that descends to the cellar—and that’s where you’ll really feel transported. The dimly lit, low-ceilinged room was carved out by Italian stonemasons in the 1880s and served as a speakeasy and gambling den during Prohibition. With antique portraits hanging on the stone walls, rough hewn wooden tables, and a small bar in the corner, it has the feel of an Old World wine cellar, like the ancient dank bars in Paris’s Latin Quarter. When you stand there, with the Django Reinhardt guitar strands reverberating through the wooden beams up above, you feel the forbidden excitement the people who came here to drink illicitly must have felt. Back then, this was a working class neighborhood full of Italians and Eastern European Jews. Today, the owners insist there are ghosts haunting the cellar.

Located at 345 Grand Street, Brooklyn.

Read about 10 other bars in New York City that are literally under ground. Discover 90 of NYC’s hidden bars and restaurants in the new book New York: Hidden Bars & Restaurants.