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Nashua’s New Speakeasy Bar, Codex

Last night Nashua’s new speakeasy bar, Codex, opened it’s doors (or rather, its secret panel) and I stopped by for a quick peek to check it out. I don’t want to spoil the fun of Codex, there are so many neat details creating the prohibition ambiance, and they’re fun to discover on your own. This is just a gist of the bar. Some things are best left experienced!

Where: Codex, 112 West Pearl Street, Nashua, NH

Websites: Facebook Page or ivotewet.com

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These are testimonials from a Senate hearings in 1919, speaking to the effect of prohibition in Nashua.

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Despite these cheery reports, it must have so hard on a mill town and it’s industrial workers.

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While the storefront looks like a bookstore, a secret panel swoops open to a retro, glam bar with creative cocktails and vintage decor. Speakeasies during prohibition (1920-1933) required a password to enter, but don’t worry, you won’t need a password for Codex. If it’s busy inside Codex uses an app that will text you when your table is ready. (Perfect from keeping any lines from drawing attention to the hush-hush establishment, but also wonderful for the winter crowds.) While dressing to the theme is encouraged, it’s by no means mandatory, so don’t worry about a dress code.

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Shhh…the entrance is around the corner, under the Youth Council sign…

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I had to wait a few minutes for my classic cocktail, but once my Pink Lady arrived I understood why. First, a fresh citrus aroma wafted from the foamy, egg white top. It was a rich, creamy, but not too sweet cocktail served in a demure cocktail glass. It reminded me that just like food, there’s a real science and art to mixing the perfect cocktail. Beer is served in hefty glasses with detailing – a touch that adds to the vintage feel. I didn’t get to try any of the apps, small plates or desserts like jello and root beer floats, from their food menu this time around. If you have, let me know how it is in the comments below!

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A keyboardist by the door added to the 20’s atmosphere by playing upbeat, ragtime melodies. You’ll remember from my Gate City Brewfest post here, my biggest turn off at bars or events is music that’s so loud you can’t hold a conversation. The music here manages to jazz up the space without inspiring people to dance on table tops, flapper style.

The bar seems best suited for large groups, one room is almost exclusively lounge areas for large parties with semi-private sections. The smaller room with the bar also has some tables, but a hostess will seat you, so don’t worry about finding a spot yourself. I loved the murals of writers painted on the wall, including a soon to be finished Robert Frost one (he loved NH, check out my piece about his Derry farm here) and the vintage style furniture. It looks cozy and elegant.

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Emily Dickinson on the wall.

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Between the old mill buildings and historic monuments, Codex fits right into Nashua’s downtown area. In fact, the very building that houses Codex was once a bootlegger (spot? distillery?) on the second floor, according to one of it’s owners. It’s a glam spot with delicious drinks and a unique vibe that adds some much need jazz to Nashua.

 

9 Comments on Nashua’s New Speakeasy Bar, Codex

  1. If I don’t have facebook, how can I get in contact with this restaurant/bar? We want to have a large party and I cant seem to find the restaurant info, menu or phone number on the web…..

  2. My first time to CodeX was last night. My friend who brought me raved about the bacon caramel chex mix. We found out it is no longer on the menu due to a change in chefs.We had a veggie flatbread and fried mushrooms which were both very delicious and enough to share. The drinks were excellent! The environment and music took you back to what those prohibition days must have been like. I will definitely be visiting again

    • Hi Lynn! Thanks for sharing your experience! Fried mushrooms sound delicious – I will have to try those next time I’m there.

  3. Last night was our 1st time there and we enjoyed it very much! Will visit again.

  4. Why would you put a bar inside of a Community Council for troubled youth?

  5. This place looks AMAZING!!

    Sidenote; in your last sentence, it says “much need” instead of “much needed”. Sorry, the Editor in me couldn’t resist. 😉

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