The latest speakeasy bar in the Fort is the Back Room at the ground floor of Shangri-La at the Fort hotel. Opened in September 2018, the Back Room is the second hidden bar that is located in the Shangri-La at the Fort. The first one, called the Hotel Bar, is actually not managed by the hotel.
The Back Room is owned directly by Shangri-La at the Fort, but you will not be able to order food from other establishments managed by the same hotel. According to the head bartender, the Back Room has its own unique identity, which is a bar with the theme of a 1920s prohibition era drinking place in the USA. The interior design, waiter/waitress uniform, food and beverages are all part of the theme.
That is why, you will see a shoe shine chair at the entrance of the bar, a vintage megaphone and other items that look like they belong to the set of The Great Gatsby, a novel written in 1925 about a rich family that lived in Long Island, New York, inside the bar.
As a speakeasy bar, the entrance of the Back Room is not marked. You will find a doorway along 30th Street just before you reach the 5th Avenue. After walking through a 30-foot hallway, you will see the shoe shine chair and the entrance of the bar.
The bar is quite spacious for a speakeasy bar. It has a main section where the bar counter is located, as well as a quieter section. In that quiet section, you can really have good conversations.
It has an extensive drinks menu, with drinks grouped by their main characteristics. For example, the four drinks that belong to the group called 'Moonshine adventurous" are made from exotic ingredients and with names like Potato Factory and Green Hat. The four drinks under the group of "Live Wire Glamorous" have names like "Razzle Dazzle" and "Hotsy Totsy" and have comparatively lower alcohol content than the other groups. Drinks start at around P450 per glass, so it is not a place for thirsty people with limited means.
They do have cocktail bowls for sharing. The On a Toot group of punch bowls cost P1,800 each.
Their food menu has about nine items. "Burnt Ends" is beef brisket or pork shoulder (P425). The gambas is prawns in garlic oil (P750).
The Back Room is a bar that brings you back in time to a foreign land and has an ambience that is conducive to good conversation, the old way of communication that is nearly forgotten in the age of social media and electronic gadgets.
The Back Room is opened from 6pm to 1am from Monday to Thursday, and 6pm to 2pm on Friday and Saturday, and closed on Sunday.