Marblehead gets new speakeasy-style cocktail bar

Breweries & Bars

Sure, speakeasy-style bars and craft cocktails aren’t new, but in Marblehead, The Hidden Door stands out.

The Hidden Door is a new speakeasy-style bar that focuses on craft cocktails in Marblehead. Courtesy of The Hidden Door

Look for a white picket fence, and you’ll find a bar tucked away in Marblehead that is standing out from the town’s typical nautical-themed joints and waterfront dining. 

Named The Hidden Door, there’s no signage or even a noticeable entrance, taking inspiration from speakeasy-style bars that rose in popularity several years ago.

Husband and wife owners Todd and Victoria Horvath said they took a risk when opening The Hidden Door. There are bars in Marblehead, but most are in restaurants and don’t specifically focus on their cocktail programs.

“When you walk in here, you definitely don’t feel like you’re in Marblehead anymore,” Victoria said. “We have a lot of great restaurants and a lot of great bars that have such a huge following. Our space, though, is completely different. It’s all purposeful to feel that way.”

The bar was years in the making for the Horvaths, who said owning a joint is the first for them despite many years in the service industry. 

After years of tending bar and waiting tables at other establishments, they decided in 2019 to run their own bar, one that would be inspired by the 1920s Prohibition era as a nod to the decade to come.

They of course could not have predicted the pandemic to interrupt their business plans, but Todd said it gave them even more time to carefully put together a theme. 

During an interview, the Horvaths didn’t want to give too much away to keep some mystery when it comes to the new bar, including how to get in, hours, and the menu (it should be noted that their address is listed online).

Victoria said people should look for the “white picket fence” but that the door is in fact hidden. Cryptic photos on Instagram show moody lighting, vintage books, and a leather-bound menu. Victoria designed the bar with burgundy furniture and velvet curtains, in a space just barely lit up with candles. 

“It’s definitely a moody, sexy feeling here,” Victoria said.

But they were willing to dish about some drinks. Some are classic, Prohibition-era cocktails that have stood the test of time. Others come from the early aughts, a period that revived traditional drinks and technique. 

One such cocktail on their menu of 12 drinks is the revolver with coffee syrup made in-house, coffee liqueur, bourbon, orange bitters, and a flamed orange peel. 

“It gives it this caramelized orange flavor on top,” Todd said. 

There’s also a white negroni, a gimlet with rosemary, and the scotch-based penicillin. Each of the cocktails, Todd said, have at least one ingredient that is made in-house. 

Todd said they aren’t here to reinvent the wheel, but rather bring cocktails to Marblehead that they’ve enjoyed after having worked in restaurants and bars for decades. 

“Our drinks are created with a little bit of care and preparation, and you watch that happen in front of you, and I think that there’s something magical about that,” he said. “That makes the drinks taste a little better.”

If patrons want a beverage other than a cocktail, the Horvaths said they also have beer, wine, hard seltzers, and even mocktails available. There’s also a food menu that includes small bites and desserts, which Victoria said makes it the perfect place to go in Marblehead for an after-work beverage, or for a post-dinner nightcap.

If you happen to go there when there’s a wait, which according to some commenters on their Instagram, there very well may be, the Horvaths said they’ve been passing out hot buttered rum to keep patrons warm while they stand in line. 

“We are extremely grateful,” Victoria said. “We don’t have any hours posted, we don’t have a sign, and people found us. It’s really, really cool.”