Flask Speakeasy Shanghai by Alberto Caiola
While we’re glad we didn’t have to suffer through the Prohibition era, we’ve always found something appealing about the speakeasies of the 1920s and 30s, with their stealthy styling and wink-wink word-out-mouth advertising. But there’s no way we were prepared to love Flask, a new Shanghai cocktail lounge hidden behind a vintage Coke vending machine, this much.
The journey starts in The Press, a diner-looking sandwich shop, but if you look closely, you’ll see something’s up here. Look towards the corner. See that Coke machine? Pull open its door and a startlingly secret lair awaits you, one with stone walls, a drop ceiling, mood lighting, a bevy of angular cubes, and an array of 25-liter whiskey bottles strategically dividing the bar from the lounge. Architect Alberto Caiola is the mad genius behind this delightful creation, and he’s easily got our vote for design of the year, whether we’re talking 2014 or 2015, doesn’t matter.