Tuesday, January 25, 2022 Jan 25, 2022
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Bar Review

Open Secret

Lewisville’s Prohibition Chicken is not exactly the rustic-chic suburban bar it appears to be.
By  |
CALL THEIR BLUFF: The telephone booth at the back of Prohibition Chicken is the door to an entirely different bar. Kevin Marple

Prohibition Chicken, a cocktail-and-chicken joint in Lewisville, has a miniature water tower out front. A stuffed bear guards the door, and there’s a forest’s worth of wooden decor inside.

I was seated at the bar, sipping a Forbidden Beer cocktail (absinthe, root beer, mint). Half the people around me wore plaid, and two were discussing the finer points of plucking a chicken. Drinkers were snapping photos by the “Greetings From Lewisville” postcard-inspired wall mural outside. A young woman leaned over the bar, trying to persuade the bartender to jump in the lake.

“Last time we had shots, we got in the lake,” she called.

From The Highwaymen playing overhead to the old photos adorning wood walls, Prohibition Chicken is perfectly rustic chic. Pretty, but too predictable, I thought. Not quite my style.

One thing caught my interest, though: the telephone booth at the back of the bar. I watched people go in; I watched them come out. When I went to inspect, all I found was an old-timey telephone. When I asked the bartender about it, he told me to dial “0.” (I also asked if he’d really jumped in the lake. “A gentleman does not remember,” he answered.)

In the telephone booth, a voice on the other end of the phone told me to wait, and then the wall opened. Prohibition Chicken’s hidden speakeasy bar—the Volstead Room—featured dim lighting, bartenders in circa-1920s dress, and an impressive list of elaborate cocktails with fancy ingredients like “smoked cherry plank.”

I settled into a bar stool near the wall and relaxed. This, I decided, was my kind of place.

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