The Mob Museum’s new Prohibition exhibition may leave you thirsty.
Since opening in 2012, The Mob Museum has been named one of TripAdvisor’s “Top 25 U.S. Museums” and “A Must for Travelers” by The New York Times.
Las Vegas is a town that embraces its history, for better or worse. The Mob Museum, also known as the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is the apotheosis of this mindset. It provides an interactive journey of the history of the Mob, not just its place in Las Vegas’ early days, but its impact on our identity as a country.
The museum recently unveiled The Underground, its permanent exhibition of the Prohibition era. From 1920 to 1933, spirits were forbidden, inevitably giving rise to the Mob, which quenched America’s thirst for drink the only way it knew how. “The Underground, with a working speakeasy and distillery, [is] a living exhibit, encompassing the culture of Prohibition while evoking the lost ambiance of the Jazz Age,” says Clint Thoman, the museum’s food and beverage director. “It offers signature cocktails from the era—drinks that Al Capone or Bugs Moran would be well acquainted with—including such favorites as the Scoffaw and Bee’s Knees.”
Of course, there’s much to learn about Prohibition throughout the museum. Fun trivia about this tumultuous period in American history is chronicled everywhere, from quotes in the museum’s bathroom to coasters printed with Prohibition-era facts. Artifacts include flapper dresses and a still for making liquor at home.
“The Underground is more than just a bar in the basement of a museum,” Thoman adds. “It’s an immersive exhibit that tells the story of rumrunners, bootleggers, moonshiners and the colorful characters that populated the illicit world of secret drinking establishments. [You’ll] learn about famous female speak-easy owners—ladies like Texas Guinan, who might even still have a ‘VIP secret’ to reveal if you know where to look.”
Drink in—and drink up—this lesson in history, and be grateful that we live in a time when liquor flows freely and abundantly in our city.