From Speakeasy to Home of the Juicy Lucy!

In 1928, at the height of Prohibition, the 5-8 Club opened amid the high living flapper era operating as a "speakeasy" serving beer and liquor illegally, along with a light food menu, to its thirsty patrons. "Speakeasies," a uniquely American word by the way, got their name because those wishing to enter a "speak" were advised to knock softly at the door and speak quietly (easy) to the doorkeeper so that no law enforcement authorities could overhear their conversation.

Prohibition itself, dubbed the "Noble Experiment," became law on January 16, 1920 with the passing of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. The United States remained officially "dry" until Prohibition was repealed by the 21st Amendment December 5, 1933. By the end of just the first year of Prohibition, illegal booze was a big business, there being twice as many "Speaks" in the U.S. as there had been legal drinking establishments prior to Prohibition.

Clearly, America's appetite for beer, wine, and liquor did not diminish during Prohibition — it just went underground. In 1925 alone "the Feds" seized over a million gallons of liquor and seven million gallons of beer. The 5-8 now remains one of the last "speakeasies" operating in America.