Let's start off with a little history lesson: speakeasies were illegal establishments started in the 1920s that sold alcohol as a direct result of the Prohibition, which outlawed the sale, transportation, and manufacturing of alcoholic beverages. Thankfully, that's now a thing of the past, but that's not to say that mystery and puzzles don't make things more interesting. If you're tired of the same old downtown bars that everybody seems to frequent, check out these six hidden bars detailed below for a more interesting and enhanced cocktail experience.

1. Bar Ilegal

A photo posted by Clive Bar (@clivebaratx) on

Home of the first mescaleria in the U.S., this tiny stone cottage is tucked away in the backyard of Clive Bar and strongly resembles Hagrid's hut. Here, you can sip on mezcal, a spirit similar to tequila that's made from agave plants native to Mexico. Flickering candlelight, an intimate atmosphere, and potent drinks makes this hidden bar a obscure gem you won't want to share. 

Bar Ilegal is open Fridays and Saturdays from 8PM-2AM.

2. Midnight Cowboy

Previously an oriental massage parlor, this under-the-radar downtown gem serves up all kinds of specialty craft cocktails. To secure your spot, make a 2-hour reservation ahead of time on their slightly misleading website. When you arrive, ring the buzzer marked “Harry Craddock” for entry. No reservation? Check the light above the door to see if it's illuminated, signaling walk-in availability.

#SpoonTip: Look for drinks marked with a cross on the menu — you can watch these cocktails be made table-side. 

Midnight Cowboy is open Tuesday- Sunday from 6PM to 12AM. 

3. Firehouse Lounge

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Situated in the city's oldest standing firehouse, Firehouse Lounge is known for its Prohibition-era cocktails, live music, and ambiance. To get into this speakeasy, simply move aside the sliding bookshelf in the hostel lobby to reveal a whole new world. Mind. Blown. 

Firehouse Lounge is open Monday and Tuesday from 5PM-2AM and Wednesday through Sunday 12PM-2AM.

4. Garage Bar

The classy, swanky Garage Bar is located — you guessed it — inside a parking garage. To get in and start sippin' on delicious, inventive cocktails, head to the northeast corner of 5th and Colorado Street and follow the "Cocktails" sign. 

#SpoonTip: Garage is home to the 2015's Official Drink of Austin, the Indian Paintbrush. Be sure to try this fruity, citrusy cocktail garnished with a sprig of rosemary. 

 Garage is open Monday through Saturday, 5PM-2AM. 

5. Red Room Lounge

This alluring downtown basement lounge was founded by a wine aficionado who envisioned a laid-back speakeasy where both conversation and wine would flow easily. How to find it? It's discreetly located right behind Vince Young's Steakhouse. 

#SpoonTip: Look for the door with a small red lightbulb hanging under the awning. If it's illuminated, it's open!

Red Room Lounge is open Tuesday through Thursday 5PM-11 PM, and Friday and Saturday 5PM-12AM.

6. The Secret Bar

The Secret Bar, hidden in the Living Room Lounge at the W Hotel, will make you feel like you're an extra in Mad Men. The thick, plushy seating and dark, cozy vibes are made even better by the tasty cocktails served there. To enter this bar, go through the Records Room in the W's Living Room Bar and get ready for a exquisite evening. 

The Secret Bar is open every day, 4:30PM until late.