‘Speak easy boys, speak easy…’

Chicago Caper; The Decor

‘The Chicago Caper’, a ‘How To Host a Murder’ game by Decipher Inc, is set in a ‘speak easy’.

A ‘speakeasy’ is a term used during Prohibition (1919-1933) to describe a place selling illegal alcohol. The style ranged from shabby hole-in-the-walls to fine restaurants, sich as New York’s ’21’ Club.

To enter ranged from using codes, stating who sent you, through to using businesses as fronts, with the speakeasy in the back rooms.

To create this effect, the front entrance of our house was set up as a printing company with printing presses, rolls of paper, moveable type and lots of books as props.

Chicago Caper; The DecorChicago Caper; The DecorChicago Caper; The DecorChicago Caper; The Decor

The ‘speakeasy’ entrance was blocked off with a ‘sliding wall’. When the code, which had been sent to guests earlier that day, was uttered, the wall slid open for them to enter.

Chicago Caper; The Decor

Speakeasy’s were all about the alcohol, so the main feature in the room was a bar and shelves of alcohol. Even if you have empty bottles, no one will know (unless they reach for them!), so place them together for the overall feel.

The bar was a long wooden table with a long mirror placed on top, with two large palms in black containers (both from Ikea). Next to it, shelves with more bottles, cigar boxes (which I was able to buy empty from Devlin’s Cigars in Subiaco), and glassware. Secondhand stores are great for finding bits and pieces for this. Other things to include can be champagne buckets, glassware, mirrored items, and silverware.

Chicago Caper; The Decor Chicago Caper; The Decor

Champagne cups were used in the 1920’s. These were purchased from Wheel and Barrow for $6.00 each, Not cheap, but they were a main feature on the bar with the champagne bucket holding the sparkling wine.

Chicago Caper; The Decor

To create the restaurant feel, we used four tables from Ikea ($19 each) and covered them first with cardboard to cover the slated boards, then in white tableclothes (if you run out, white bed sheets work). Everyone sat two to a table.

Chicago Caper; The Decor

Props were also left around making the bar the photo backdrop, allowing for action shots.

Including toy guns…

Chicago Caper; The Decor

furs and feathers…

Chicago Caper; The Decor

long cigarette holders…

Chicago Caper; The Decor
the actual bar made for a prop itself…

Chicago Caper; The Decor

Chicago Caper; The Decor
and guests brought along their own props to play with.

Chicago Caper; The Decor
Chicago Caper; The Decor

See the last post for photos of all the characters.


  1. This is awesome! Found your post via a google search- just about to host our own Chicago Caper, and I love your explanation/diagrams of a Speakeasy and the pics. Thanks for sharing! Would also love to see the menu!

  2. Hi Steph,
    I found the glass decanter bottle and ice bucket at a second hand store. I kept checking in until I found what I was looking for. eBay is also a good place to look!

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