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Behind the bookcase: Discover the hidden speakeasy Founders Club

Ever wanted to enter a secret room through a bookcase? What if I told you there were cocktails waiting for you on the other side?

Add the Founders Club to Seattle's list of must-visit hidden speakeasies.

This swanky space is located inside the iconic Fairmont Hotel. But its entrance is so secret, you could be staring right at it, and still not know it's there.

When my husband and I arrived to visit the Founders Club for date night, I had to ask one of the bartenders in the Fairmont lounge for help. He pointed to a group of chairs and said, "Go stand in that general area and someone will come get you."

As we stood there, our confusion turned to intrigue as the giant bookcase in front of us began to shift away from the wall. The attendant greeted us and opened the "door" to reveal a cozy and romantic atmosphere that felt like a scene straight from the 1920s.

We scanned the plush couches and dark corners for a place to sit, then landed bar top so we could watch the master bartender, Josiah, at work.

I browsed their featured cocktails and after much deliberation, decided on an "Amedaki Falls," being the gin lover I am. Did I know what all the ingredients were? Nope! But Josiah talked me through it from his abundance of knowledge of spirits.

He began pouring it in dramatic fashion, starting with the mixing tins close together, then slowly dropping one down as the liquid became an actual waterfall, turning them over and over again, creating a mix between shaken and stirred. He then topped it off with a cucumber garnish that resembled a tiny snake. The blend of spirits was unlike anything I had previously had, including a unique flavor that told its own story.

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Warning: this is not your average gin & tonic – after ONE, I felt a little tipsy. So naturally, instead of ordering one more, I had to help my husband with his, which was drastically different, but still smooth and delicious.

He chose the "Waterhouse Syndicate," which had a whiskey base. We watched in awe as Josiah took a giant block of ice and shaved it into a perfectly brilliant diamond right in front of our eyes — like an ice-sculpting ninja! That whole magic trick was reason enough for visit, given how impressive it was.

My husband and I settled into the sultry atmosphere and talked forever, which is quite rare considering we have two young boys at home. When we first started dating, we loved finding new speakeasies, so it felt a little like going back in time. It was like we were the only two people in the world, well, besides Josiah, of course.

If you want a romantic date night, to impress a friend from out of town, or to simply escape from the world for a while, Founders Club will embrace you with arms wide open — if you can find it.

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Susan George is a content creator, singer/songwriter, and freelance lifestyle writer for Seattle Refined. Follow Susan G on Instagram. While the products, services and/or accommodations in this story were provided without charge, the opinions within are those of the author and the Seattle Refined editorial board.


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