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What is a Speakeasy Door?

Thursday March 14th, 2024
Fascinating periods in history have a way of immortalizing themselves in film, art, books, and architecture. A perfect example of this is the Prohibition Era in the United States, which has become glamorized as a time of elaborate parties and mysterious backroom speakeasies. With a handcrafted speakeasy door, you can add a touch of that same alluring mystery and glamour to your very own home.

5 Benefits of Speakeasy Doors 

  1. Security 
  2. Durability 
  3. Iconic Look
  4. Historic Design
  5. Versatility 
An artisan speakeasy door comes with many perks, not just its interesting history. We'll look into all these perks closely. First, let's talk about what a speakeasy door is and why it's special. After that, you'll definitely want to check out our collection of speakeasy doors for the home.  

What is a Speakeasy Door?

A speakeasy door traditionally marked the entrance to a speakeasy, an underground bar that was popular during the Prohibition Era. The Prohibition Era in the United States outlawed the manufacturing, transportation, and sale of intoxicating liquids from 1920-1933. 

All alcohol consumption was banned in an attempt to boost the morality of the American people, and prevent accidents and injuries at work (before the prohibition, drinking at work was common). While this law benefited the workplace, it didn’t stop people from enjoying alcoholic beverages, and gave rise to speakeasies. 

The name “speakeasy” came from the patrons of these establishments choosing to “speak easy” about them. “Speak easy” meant to keep things on the down low so the authorities wouldn’t find out about them. These underground establishments quickly gained popularity, and were the beginning of the American nightlife we know today. 

Because speakeasies were meant to stay discreet and protected from the authorities, they often had special doors that included secret locking compartments. Nowadays, one popular feature is a small square window near the door's top, often with metal grilles, known as a speakeasy window.

When someone approaches a speakeasy entrance, the person behind the door can slide open the secret compartment and speak to the person without opening the door. This is how they could exchange passwords and information without the visitor knowing what was happening within. The metal speakeasy grille added a layer of security and protection for the person behind the door. 

Speakeasy doors are often highlighted in films dedicated to this era, and are still popular today. With your very own speakeasy style door, you can recognize the significance and allure of that era, boost curb appeal, and more. 

5 Benefits of Speakeasy Doors 

Besides the obvious historical significance, speakeasy doors have other advantages you may be surprised to learn about. By understanding each of these benefits, you can confidently decide if a speakeasy door style is right for your home. 

1. Security 

One of the main functions of historic speakeasy doors was to add security to the speakeasy entrance. Not only were the doors usually made from durable solid wood or iron, but the speakeasy grille over the window helped protect the inside occupants from curious outsiders. 

This same security feature benefits homeowners today when they purchase a speakeasy exterior door. With the authentic speakeasy window and metal grilles on your modern exterior door, you can check who’s outside, and even speak to them while staying safely indoors. This aspect is highly beneficial when a stranger is at the door, because a front door with speakeasy grilles means you don’t have to completely open the door to see who it is or what they need. 

The speakeasy grille and window aren’t just fancy decorative accents on modern doors—they are fully functional features that will increase your front door security. The security of a speakeasy entry door is perfect for urban areas where street foot traffic is common. 

2. Durability

Authentic speakeasy doors were built to withstand outside force—they couldn’t be a flimsy barrier, otherwise, intruders could easily knock them down. As such, they were usually iron doors or solid wood doors. 

Because Rustica upholds traditional craftsmanship, our speakeasy doors are just as strong and durable as historic speakeasy doors. Our exterior speakeasy doors are made with the finest solid wood and iron grilles. Coupled with our modern manufacturing techniques and understanding, our wooden speakeasy exterior doors are incredibly durable and built to withstand the harshest of elements. 

With a custom speakeasy front door made by our talented craftsman, you’ll receive an incredibly strong and durable door that will last for decades to come. In this way, you’ll have the best of both worlds: a unique and historically charming front door and a solid wood, heavy-duty, long-lasting exterior door. 

3. Iconic Look 

There’s no doubt about it—speakeasy doors have a charming and iconic look. No other door can match their unique style, making them a stylish addition to any home. 

Let’s face it: front entry doors receive a lot of attention. They are the first thing people see when approaching your home; as such, they are the first impression of your home’s overall style. Considering this, it’s important to mark your home’s entrance with a look that perfectly matches your interior style and design goals. 

A speakeasy front door shows you love old architecture and adore the art deco style. Your unique entry will add elegance and mystery, making your home more inviting and impressing your guests.

4. Historic Design 

Along with the iconic look of the speakeasy style, these historic doors tell a story. Their story is one of smokey jazz clubs, flappers, and moonshine. It is an era unlike any other—one that has defined much of America’s nightlife as we know it today. 

For fans of the roaring 20s (and history in general), speakeasy doors are the perfect addition to your space, and will greatly complement your unique style. They are a solidified reminder of time’s past, and a tangible representation of your love for history. 

In this way, the historic design of speakeasy doors is a great conversation starter. They are also an opportunity for you and your guests to have a little fun. Perhaps your guests will have to do a secret knock before coming in, or need to whisper a discreet password through the speakeasy window. 

There’s nothing wrong with romanticizing history when you can turn it into delightful door decor and fun for your community. This is exactly what a speakeasy door will do for your home. 

5. Versatility 

While speakeasy doors are most often used as a front door or patio doors, they can also be used as interior doors inside the home. For example, they make a great entry for a wine room, home bar, or man cave. 

Speakeasy doors are highly versatile in their ability to fit perfectly in a variety of rooms. Whether it’s a bedroom or a specialty space, they offer the same intrigue and charm as they do for front doors. 

Wine room doors and home bars are especially fitting for speakeasy doors, as this is their most traditional entry location. If you’re on the lookout for an interior door to add interest and intrigue your space, consider a custom speakeasy door. 

Rustica Speakeasy Doors 

If you’re interested in bringing an authentic speakeasy door into your home, check out the following doors. Rustica offers two custom speakeasy doors, each with its own unique design. 

Stronghold Front Door 

The Stronghold Front Door is a classic, speakeasy style door. It features a characteristic speakeasy window with overlapping iron grilles, as well as recessed vertical panels divided by stiles and rails. On the door’s exterior side, each vertical panel features prominent bolts reminiscent of Old World architecture and Spanish-style front doors. 

This solid wood door is perfect for traditional, Spanish, gothic, and Southwestern style homes. The Stronghold Front Door is also fully customizable. Rustica’s impressive customization options start with choosing whether you want your door pre-hung or slab. 

Pre-hung doors come with pre-installed door hardware, such as a jamb and hinges, as well as the threshold, weatherstripping, sweep, adjustable sill, and brickmold for exterior doors. 

Next, you’ll choose your preferred wood species and needed door dimensions. Select your custom door’s width, height, and thickness so you’ll have the exact door size you need for your rough opening. From there, you’ll choose style options, such as door finish and door texture. 

Rustica’s customization options even include door handing, which determines whether your door will swing in or out and whether it will swing to the left or right. For example, a left hand inswing door means the door will swing inward from the exterior, and it will swing to the left. 

By choosing these custom details for your speakeasy door, you’ll be sure to receive the perfect door for your space and design goals. 

Locust Front Door 

You’ll love the Locust Front Door if you prefer Tuscan style and historic architecture. This arched door blends Mediterranean style with a hint of 1920s flare. The speakeasy window on does not have metal grilles, instead featuring an arch that perfectly matches the overall shape of the door. 

This unique and charming door beautifully blends two design styles, making the Locust Front Door one-of-a-kind. This blend of styles also makes it extremely versatile, so it will fit well in a variety of homes and interior design styles. Whether you live in a cozy cottage, a Tuscan villa, or a modern home that is a mix of styles, the Locust Front Door will elegantly complement your home’s look. 

As a fully customizable door, you can make the Locus Front Door uniquely yours. After selecting the door dimensions and wood species you need, you can choose the stylish elements of your solid wood door. 

Rustica offers a wide selection of door finishes, such as clear glaze, dark walnut, or red mahogany. From there, you can select your optional door texture. Choose a weathered or distressed door texture if you want a more rustic-style. 

No matter what design elements you pick, we’re confident you’ll be more than pleased with the quality and beauty of our custom doors. 

Design a Custom Speakeasy Door for Your Home 

With a speakeasy front door, you’ll be turning heads with the elegance and uniqueness of your door. Not only will it boost the curb appeal of your home, but a speakeasy door offers security, durability, an iconic look, historic design, and versatility. 

If you’re ready to reap the rewards of a speakeasy front door, start designing your custom speakeasy door with Rustica today! We can’t wait to help you bring your home improvement project to life. 
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