The Blind Pig of Prohibition Days

The term “blind pig” originated in the United States in the 19th century and was the term for lower-class establishments that sold alcohol during Prohibition. The operator of the establishment would charge customers to see an attraction, such as an animal, and then serve them a “complimentary” alcoholic beverage, thus circumventing the law. The difference between a speakeasy and a blind pig was that the speakeasy was a higher-class establishment that offered food and entertainment, but was illegal. In large cities, speakeasies even required that men wear a coat and tie, and women were to wear evening gowns. Speakeasies also served high-end cocktails and champaign. A blind pig, however, had no dress code and served only beer and hard liquor.