The Underground at The Mob Museum
Take the basement stairs back in time and immerse yourself in The Underground. Wind your way through an enticing Prohibition-era world. Surrounded by stories, images and artifacts from the 1920s, experience Prohibition-era cocktails in our speakeasy and tour our on-site distillery for a taste of the past.
Travel back in time to the Prohibition era, when tens of thousands of speakeasies operating in hard-to-find places satisfied the nation’s thirst for forbidden spirits. Informative and entertaining exhibits, videos and artifacts tell the stories of the Roaring Twenties, which saw the rise of flappers, jazz and the Mob. The speakeasy exhibit is built around a well-stocked bar and a stage for evening entertainment, creating a lively environment inspired by that bygone age.
Prohibition made it illegal to brew beer or distill liquor, so America’s unquenched thirst for alcohol demanded an underworld solution. The Mob filled the void, smuggling spirits into the country and producing moonshine from hidden stills. This exhibit tells the stories of bootleggers, rumrunners and the government agents who tried to take them down. The centerpiece is a working still producing moonshine so you, too, can have a taste of this formerly forbidden engine of American commerce.
The sights and sounds of the Prohibition era come alive in the Alleyway, an immersive, experiential gallery leading to The Underground. Guests descending from the first floor hear historic audio recordings of Prohibition’s advocates and opponents. The story of the Lizzie D, a rum-running ship that sunk off the New York coast in 1922, is illustrated through artifacts recovered from the wreckage. A 300-gallon tank, featuring fish native to the north Atlantic, re-creates the ocean floor where pieces of the Lizzie D wreckage — and the liquor it was hauling — were found. A phone booth from the Four Deuces club, headquarters of Al Capone’s criminal operations in Chicago, is on display and offers an enticing photo opportunity.