this site is my collection of all things cocktail since 1980 • please give credit if used for media purposes • condensed mobile version coming soon
Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons
United States of America
Flora-Bama (Est. 1964) | Perdido
Nicknamed “the Bama,” this extremely popular dive beach bar, oyster bar, honky-tonk roadhouse, and package store is located at the Florida and Alabama border. At one time, they had over twenty bars with several bands playing. The Bama has made the Bushwacker their signature drink and they are known to hold sold-out annual events such as Super Bowl Chili Cook Off, Mullet Toss, Bulls on the Beach, and Polar Bear Dip. Over seven country singers have mentioned the Bama in song. Some of those artists include Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, and Blake Shelton.
B&B Bar (Est. 1908) | Kodiak
This oldest bar in Alaska displays their liquor license as proof.
The Crystal Palace Saloon (Est. 1879) | Tombstone
This oldest bar in Arizona was originally built in 1879, then burned down in 1881. It was immediately rebuilt, then burned down again in 1882, and then was immediately rebuilt a second time. The most famous patron was Doc Holiday. The second story was not a brothel like most saloons; it housed the offices for such notables as US Deputy Marshal Virgil Earp, attorney George W. Berry, and Dr. George E. Goodfellow. Today, the Crystal Palace slogan is “Still Serving Good Whiskey and Tolerable Water.”
Drift Inn Saloon (Est. 1902) | Globe
The Drift Inn Saloon is said to be haunted with the ghosts of ladies of the night due to the second level being used as a brothel back then. Today, it is one of the top biker bars.
The Ohio Club (Est. 1905) | Hot Springs
The Ohio Club is the oldest bar in Arkansas. During Prohibition, the bar turned into a secret speakeasy and was renamed the Ohio Cigar Store. Out front was the cigar store, but in the back was the bar. It has been said that the club was visited by almost every well-known gangster of the time including Al Capone. Today, there is even a statue of Al Capone sitting smoking a cigar outside on the sidewalk.
Baseball legend Babe Ruth was known to visit because Hot Springs hosted spring training, and as for jazz entertainment, Al Jolson, Mae West, Louis Armstrong, Sammy Davis Jr., and Tony Bennett helped with that. The Ohio Club still has entertainment seven nights a week.
Iron Door Saloon (Est. 1852) | Groveland
The Iron Door is believed to be the oldest bar in California and gets its name from its swinging cast-iron front doors, which were shipped from England. The bar sits just miles from Yosemite. Today, the saloon’s ceiling is covered in wadded-up dollar bills, elk heads hang on the wall, and you can even see a few gunshot holes.
Balboa Café (Est. 1913) | San Francisco
The elegant Balboa Café has been making classic cocktails since they opened. It’s also a classic place to eat American fare and people-watch. The interior has remained mostly untouched since 1913.
Buena Vista Café (Est. 1912) | San Francisco
The Buena Vista Café is most known for introducing the Irish Coffee to America in 1952. Today, they serve over 2,000 a day.
Elixir (Est. 1858) | San Francisco
As the second oldest continually operating a saloon in San Francisco, Elixir is a testament to the storied saloon history of the wildest of Wild West towns. H. Joseph Ehrmann is the eleventh proprietor since 1858, having lovingly restored its Victorian bones in 2003 and bringing the bar to international renown while playing a significant role in the revival of cocktail culture in the early 2000s. Today, it boasts one of the best whiskey collections in the country and 365 days of service, never closing to the public for private events. As Ehrmann continues to invest in historic research and physical restoration, the saloon is poised to continue serving San Francisco, and the world, for generations to come.
Old Ship Saloon (Est. 1851) | San Francisco
This oldest saloon in San Francisco sits atop a gold rush ship graveyard. In 1849, Ship Arkansas left New York and six months later arrived in San Francisco. It ran aground on Alcatraz, then was brought to shore and converted into a store. In 1851 it became a saloon with a plank entrance. By 1857, the ship was dismantled and built upon. After the great earthquake of 1906, a brick building was erected.
Magic Castle (Est. 1963) | Hollywood
I’m sure you’ve heard of the world-famous Magic Castle, but just in case you haven’t—google it. It’s the most unusual club in the world. You can’t just walk in, however, there are ways to gain access (again, google it). In 2012, beverage manager Chris Taggart introduced classic and craft cocktails in all five of the Magic Castle bars: W.C. Fields Bar, Grand Salon Bar, Owl Bar, Palace Bar, and Hat and Hare Pub. In 2005, the Academy of Magical Arts Awards held at the Magic Castle added a new category—Bar Magician. My friend William H. “Doc” Eason is the first to win this award. To date, he has won six on Bar, Owl Bar, Palace Bar, and Hat and Hare Pub. In 2005, the Academy of Magical Arts Awards.
The Saloon (Est. 1861) | San Francisco
This bar is believed to be the second oldest bar in California. It has survived earthquakes and fires. Back in the day, the upstairs was a brothel, but today, it is one of the best blues dive bars around. There are too many famous patrons to mention, but the owner’s favorite celeb story is the night Johnny Depp took over door duty so the doorman could have a restroom break.
The Tonga Hut (Est. 1958) | North Hollywood
Don the Beachcomber opened the first American tiki bar in Los Angeles in 1934, but it closed in 1985. The Tonga Hut is the oldest tiki bar in California. Tiki was hip from the 1930s through the 1960s, but out of style from the 1970s through 2000, but the Tonga held on tight and stood the test of time.
The Mint (Est. 1862) | Silverthorne
The Mint is the oldest Colorado bar still in operation. It still uses its original name and building and was built fourteen years before Colorado was a state.
Griswold Inn Tap Room (Est. 1776) | Essex
Griswold’s sits on the Connecticut River and has operated as a working bar and hotel since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Fifty years after being in business, the steamboat “golden era” grew in popularity and the Griswold flourished. Many celebrities have visited Griswold’s, including George Washington, Mark Twain, Katharine Hepburn, and Albert Einstein. From the 1960s through today, the Griswold has been the backdrop for several TV shows and films.
Palace Saloon (Est. 1903) | Fernandina Beach
Fernandina Beach, Florida, was a major rail and seaport back in 1903, so the Palace Saloon was established. Adolphus Bush, founder of Anheuser-Busch, was the design consultant, and today, many of the designs are still in place, like the embossed tin ceiling, inlaid mosaic floors, mahogany hand-carvings, a forty-foot bar lit with gas lamps, and walls painted with six commissioned murals.
Captain Tony’s Saloon (Est. 1958) | Key West
This building has been around since 1852, and it has been a city morgue, icehouse, telegraph station, brothel, cigar factory, and speakeasy. After Prohibition in 1933, it was Sloppy Joe’s until 1957, when they moved down the street. This is where Jimmy Buffett got his start, Ernest Hemingway was a regular, and presidents have visited. Oh, there is a tree inside the building that has hung seventy-five people, and the tombstone at its trunk does not mark a real grave, but one of the coroners from the 1800s buried his daughter under the building where the poolroom is located.
Murphy’s Bar & Grill (Est. 1891) | Honolulu
The Murphy’s Bar & Grill building has had a “retail spirit” license since the 1860s and was first known as the Royal Hotel. In 1891, a bar was built in the hotel, and the waterfront hotel became a gathering place for ship captains, merchants, and gentlemen to meet and drink. Over the years, the bar changed owners and names many times. Since 1987, it has been known as the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, and the bar is called Murphy’s Bar & Grill (it’s an Irish bar).
Tropics Bar and Grill at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (Est. 1957) | Waikiki
In the 1950s, Hawaii went through grand construction because they wanted to bring tourism to their islands (they were not a US state until 1959). Hilton’s Hawaiian Village started as a small hotel named the Niumalu Hotel in 1928. Then, in 1954, Henry J. Kaiser purchased the Niumalu and eight oceanfront acres, and new construction began. It was renamed Kaiser Hawaiian Village. This is where the legendary bartender Harry Yee invented the Blue Hawaii. Harry also is the first to start putting paper parasols and fresh orchids in drinks and invented many more cocktails like the Tropical Itch, which was garnished with a bamboo back scratcher. Conrad Hilton bought the Kaiser Hawaiian Village in 1961, the same year Elvis Presley ﬁlmed Blue Hawaii. Elvis stayed at the new Hilton Hawaiian Village on the fourteenth ﬂoor of the Ocean Tower (Ali’i Tower) in the Mahele Suite. The Hawaiian Village was also the birthplace for exotica music.
White Horse Saloon (Est. 1907) | Spirit Lake
Not only is this saloon the oldest in Idaho, it was also the tallest building in 1907. They say that the bar is known to be haunted by a woman named “Big Girl,” and many employees over the years have several stories to share. The bar still has its original hardwood floors, and there are eight flophouse rooms upstairs where patrons can crash.
The Village Tavern (Est. 1849) | Long Grove
The Village Tavern has been in continuous operation since 1849. The antique thirty-five-foot mahogany bar has been preserved. It even survived Chicago’s Great McCormick Place Fire of 1967.
Knickerbocker Saloon (Est. 1835) | Lafayette
The Knickerbocker was the first bar in the state to receive a liquor license. It was named the Gault House, then the Cherry Wood Bar in the 1850s. In 1974 it was renamed Knickerbocker Saloon after a large player piano.
Slippery Noodle Inn (Est. 1850) | Indianapolis
This historic bar began with the name Tremont House and was renamed Slippery Noodle Inn by the new owner’s six-year-old son in 1963. Between 1850 and 1863 it was the Concordia House, Germania House, Beck’s Saloon, Moore’s Beer Tavern, Moore’s Restaurant (during Prohibition), then back to Moore’s Beer Tavern until 1963. Today, it’s an award-winning blues bar with live entertainment seven nights a week.
Hays House (Est. 1857) | Council Grove
In 1857, Daniel Boone’s son Seth Hays built this bar and restaurant, and today it is the oldest continuously open bar and restaurant west of the Mississippi and a National Register Historic Landmark.
Talbott Tavern (Est. 1779) | Bardstown
The Old Talbott Tavern has been called the oldest western stagecoach stop in America. This dry stone building was built in 1779 and has held up pretty well through the years. Daniel Boone gave a deposition here in 1792, and it has a history of being owned and visited by Bourbon distiller greats such as William Heavenhill, William Samuels (Maker’s Mark), and the Beams. Today, the bar is a Bourbon bar.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop (Est. 1722) | New Orleans
The oldest bar in New Orleans is Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. It is located on the corner of Bourbon and St. Philip streets. It was built between 1722 and 1732, is named after the privateer (pirate) and entrepreneur (gangster) of the Battle of New Orleans, Jean Lafitte. At night it’s lit mostly by candlelight.
Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone (Est. 1886) | New Orleans
This is the most famous bar to stop by while visiting New Orleans due to its rotating carousel bar. The hotel is known for being the temporary home to writers including Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty, and Truman Capote. As a matter of fact, so many writers in its history hung out in the Carousel Bar that the Friends of the Library Association designated it an official literary landmark in 1999.
Jameson’s Tavern (Est. 1779) | Freeport
This building was built as a residence in 1779 for the town doctor. In 1801, Captain Samuel Jameson bought it and turned it into a tavern with rooms to let. It’s known that presidents and writers have lodged here. There is a plaque out front proclaiming it as the “Birthplace of Maine,” because records indicate that commissioners met in the northeast corner of the second floor to sign the final papers giving Maine her independence from Massachusetts. Later, it was sold to Richard Codman and became known as Codman’s Tavern. Through time, the building became a residence, but it has been a running tavern since 1981. In 2003, celebrity chef Bobby Flay stopped to cook a proper Maine lobster dinner.
Middleton Tavern (Est. 1750) | Annapolis
This tavern has hosted some of the nation’s most revered leaders, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. The Maryland Jockey Club, Freemasons, and the Tuesday Club met here to catch up on events while drinking, smoking, and gambling. The tavern went though many name changes, but the 1968 owners restored its original name.
The Green Dragon Tavern (Est. 1654) | Boston
The Green Tavern was coined “Headquarters of the Revolution” by Daniel Webster. The original Green Dragon Tavern served as the general meeting place and think tank for events that would eventually shape America. Samuel Adams, Dr. Joseph Warren, Paul Revere, and other Founding Fathers met in secret here to discuss events. These secret meetings led to the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773, and the departure of Paul Revere on April 18, 1775, on his famous midnight ride to Lexington and Concorde to warn patriots that the “British are coming.”
Old Tavern Inn (Est. 1835) | Niles
Michigan’s oldest bar is also its oldest business. It started as a stagecoach stop between
Chicago and Detroit.
Neumann’s Bar (Est. 1887) | North St. Paul
Their claim to fame is being the oldest continuously running bar. During Prohibition, the bar sold near beer, and the second floor turned into a speakeasy. It is said that the ladies’ restroom used to have a life-size picture on the wall of famous bodybuilder Charles Atlas wearing nothing but a fig leaf. When the leaf was lifted, a buzzer would go off in the bar.
Kings Tavern (Est. 1769) | Natchez
As you might expect, Kings Tavern has a lot of history from being a stagecoach and later riverboat stop. The first known proprietor, Richard King, opened a tavern. The building is thought to be haunted by the ghost of Mr. King’s mistress, Madeline. Her remains were found in the brick fireplace with a Spanish dagger in her chest. Today, the new owner, Chef Regina Charboneau, turned it into a fresh bar and restaurant practicing the farm-to-table philosophy. They also offer mixology classes.
O’Malley’s Pub (Est. 1842) | Weston
This bar is hidden almost sixty feet underground in the three-story cavernous cellars of what was the Weston Brewing Company. It was turned into a speakeasy during Prohibition.
Bale of Hay Saloon (Est. 1863) | Virginia City
Known as the oldest watering hole in the state of Montana. Today, two sisters, Gay and Kay (owners), offer ghost tours and Brothel Days with bed races, costume parties, and lectures. Oh, and the city population is 196.
Glur’s Tavern (Est. 1876) | Columbus
This whitewashed tavern is the oldest bar west of the Missouri River operating continuously in the same building. Legend says that Buffalo Bill Cody visited here while traveling through to attend the funeral of Major Frank North. The tavern is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Genoa Bar (Est. 1853) | Genoa
A number of movies have been filmed here including The Shootist with John Wayne; Charley Varrick with Walter Matthau; Honkytonk Man with Clint Eastwood; Misery with James Caan, Kathy Bates, Rob Reiner, and Richard Farnsworth; and most recently, A Place Called Home starring Ann-Margret. When Raquel Welch visited, she was asked to leave her bra and agreed but insisted that all the other bras be taken down. The black leopard-print bra hanging on the deer antlers behind the bar is hers.
The Diamond Dust Mirror on the back of the bar came from Glasgow, Scotland, in the late 1840s. It was shipped around South America to San Francisco, and then brought by covered wagon (over two hundred miles!). Some musicians who have visited include Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Slim Pickens, and John Denver.
The Fox Tavern in the Hancock Inn (Est. 1789) | Hancock
There is no true record of the Inn’s original name, but it became known as the Fox Tavern when it passed into the hands of proprietor Noah Wheeler’s son-in-law Jedediah Fox. It was known for its balls and dances, which were frequented by the aristocracy of the region. In winter, sleighing parties from neighboring towns would end their journey at the tavern with dinner and dancing. The tavern was on a stagecoach route, and later the railroad came through town. Officials on the first “official” train stop came to the Hancock House for dinner.
Wall murals in one of the bedrooms that had been painted by the famous itinerant artist, inventor, and journalist Rufus Porter were found in the 1900s. Stenciling by Hancock’s well-known stencil artist, Moses Eaton Jr., was discovered under layers of wallpaper in the chambermaid’s closet. As the two men were known to have worked together, it’s likely that these were painted during the same time period, in 1825.
Since we’re talking rural New England here, it should come as no surprise that the oldest tavern in the state is in what now operates as primarily a bed and breakfast. This colonial landmark is the oldest inn in New Hampshire, and was a regular hangout for the only guy from the state to ever be president, Franklin Pierce. It’s still got a tavern and restaurant, so you can stop in without having to spend a romantic weekend watching the leaves change or some other equivalent unpleasantness.
Barnsboro Inn (Est. 1720) | Sewell
The inn provided lodging, food, and drink from its beginning and has also been known as the Spread Eagle, Crooked Billet Inn, and Barnsboro Hotel. As times changed it turned into just a restaurant and bar. It was built with twelve-by-sixteen-inch square cedar logs and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in Gloucester County in 1973. Today, it features happy hours, comfort food, and an outdoor patio.
White Horse Tavern (Est. 1800) | New York City
The White Horse Tavern is the second oldest continuously run tavern in New York City. Originally, the bar served men working the piers lining the Hudson River. In the 1950s it became popular with writers and artists, with the most renowned being Dylan Thomas, who found the tavern reminiscent of his favorite haunts in his home country of Wales. Some of the most influential people in jazz and the newly burgeoning folk and rock music scene flocked to the White Horse.
The Old ’76 House (Est. 1755) | Tappan
Supposed to be New York’s oldest tavern. The video says 1686. The house was the site used to sign the Orangetown resolutions on July 4, 1774. It was also used as a prison for Major Andre and hosted General Washington and his first officers.
McSorley’s Old Ale House (Est. 1854) | New York City
This is the city’s oldest continuously operated saloon and the only one I have been to on this list. Everyone from Abe Lincoln to John Lennon has passed through its swinging doors. Woody Guthrie inspired the union movement from a table in the front with guitar in hand, while civil rights attorneys Faith Seidenberg and Karen DeCrow had to take their case to the Supreme Court to gain access. Women were finally allowed access to McSorley’s in 1970, but the first women’s restroom was not installed until 1986. As far as female barkeeps, the first one was hired in 1994. If you order beer, then there are two kinds, light or dark, and they give you two of them.
The King Cole Bar at the St. Regis (Est. 1904) | New York City
There are a couple of stories of where the Bloody Mary was invented, and this bar is the focus of one of them. Besides that, the five-star St. Regis Hotel has hosted too many celebrities to mention. Stars who lived at the hotel include Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono.
Tavern in Old Salem (Est. 1771) | Salem
The Tavern burned down in 1784, then was quickly rebuilt with brick. In 1832, a wooden connecting building was constructed. Their claim to fame is that President George Washington visited for two nights. Today, they serve locally farmed food, craft cocktails, and beers in an upscale casual environment.
Peacock Alley Lobby Bar in the Patterson Hotel (Est. 1911) | Bismarck
Peacock Alley has hosted famous patrons such as President John F. Kennedy, Joe Louis, President Teddy Roosevelt, and President Lyndon Johnson. During Prohibition, the bar set up an elaborate alarm system to keep out unwanted guests. The hotel hosted illegal gambling and prostitution, and it’s rumored that an underground tunnel once connected the hotel with the nearby train depot. The Patterson ceased hotel operations in the late 1970s, and the rooms were converted into senior housing.
Ye Olde Trail Tavern (Est. 1848) | Yellow Springs
This is the oldest bar in Ohio and is connected to the second restaurant in Ohio. The restaurant has hundreds of signed dollar bills displayed with many signed by celebrities. Other original items hanging on the walls include flasks, steins, and jugs.
Eischen’s Bar (Est. 1896) | Okarche
This is the oldest bar in Oklahoma. The bar closed during Prohibition and was turned into a restaurant, but the alcohol came back after. Today, the massive backbar was hand-carved in Spain in the 1700s. It was brought from California in the 1950s. Eischen’s burned down in 1993, then was rebuilt the same year, and the bar stills stands.
Huber’s (Est. 1879) | Portland
Huber’s is known for their flaming signature drink, Spanish Coffee, and turkey sandwiches. During Prohibition, it turned into just a restaurant with a speakeasy in the back.
Broad Axe Tavern (Est. 1681) | Ambler
It was first located on an old Indian path that was frequented by farmers and Indians. As the population increased, drinks were added, and it became a place for locals to gather and exchange news. In 1763, Derrick Van Pelt took over the Broad Axe and began horse races along Skippack Road, which became very popular. American Revolutionary soldiers were known to march by led by General Washington. Many soldiers were buried around this area, and it’s said later—after the cemeteries had been abandoned—that the fireplace hearth was made from the tombstones of those graves. Today, the tavern is a family-friendly restaurant and bar.
White Horse Tavern (Est. 1673) | Newport
This is the oldest bar in America. It got its name from a white horse symbol mounted on the building. Not everyone could read in those days, so public establishments identified themselves with symbols. The White Horse was a regular haunt for colonists, British soldiers, Hessian mercenaries, pirates, sailors, Founding Fathers, and all manner of early American folk. In 1957, through the generosity of the Van Beuren family, the property was acquired by the Preservation Society of Newport County and meticulously restored.
McCrady’s (Est. 1778) | Charleston
Edward McCrady built this four-story Georgian house on East Bay Street and opened McCrady’s Tavern. It served as a retreat for low country luminaries who congregated at the tavern to imbibe, socialize, and discuss the country’s ever-evolving political climate during the American Revolution. It is said that George Washington once was served a thirty-course dinner here. Today, it offers craft cocktails and fine dining.
Buffalo Bodega Bar (Est. 1877) | Deadwood
This is now known as the Buffalo Bodega Gaming Complex, but back then it was the city’s eighteenth saloon named after Buffalo Bill Cody, a close friend of original owner Mike Russell.
Springwater Supper Club (Est. 1879) | Nashville
Today, this bar is a high-volume rock music venue. It claims to be the oldest bar in Tennessee that has served alcohol continuously (even during Prohibition). It has had a few name changes such as Norma’s, and Pirate’s Den, before changing it to Springwater Supper Club in 1978. It was opened during the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition in 1897.
Scholz Garten (Est. 1866) | Austin
August Scholz (1825–1891), a German immigrant and Confederate veteran, built his public bar and café over an old boarding house the year following the end of the Civil War (1866). In 1908, a bowling alley was built inside that is still in operation. During Prohibition, they sold a nonalcoholic brew and served food. In 1995, the building was restored.
Shooting Star Saloon (Est. 1879) | Huntsville
This saloon is the oldest in Utah. It had a couple of names before this: Holin’s Bar and Clarence’s Bar. It is said that its current name came from a patron named Whiskey Joe who was cut off and kicked out of the bar. Whiskey Joe started shooting at the star on the outside of the building, and the name was born. Today, it is decorated with a stuffed St. Bernard dog head, photos of the original owner, business cards, boots, kitchen utensils, magazine articles, funny signs, and more.
Ye Olde Tavern (Est. 1790) | Manchester
This was built by master builder Aaron Sheldon and was distinguished by the sprung floor on its third-floor ballroom and the high square columns of its porch. It was first named the Stagecoach Inn and later renamed to Lockwood’s Hotel, then Thayer’s Hotel, and Fairview Hotel. In 2002, it was renamed to Ye Olde Tavern. Today, their bar serves vintage classic cocktails and American fare, and provides banquet space.
The Tavern (Est. 1779) | Abingdon
The Tavern has hosted such guests as King of France Louis Philippe, President Andrew Jackson, and Pierre Charles L’Enfant. The building has been used for other purposes including a bank, bakery, general store, cabinet shop, barbershop, private residence, post office, antique shop, restaurant, and hospital for wounded Confederate and Union soldiers during the Civil War. In 1984, local attorney Emmitt F. Yeary restored it to a tavern again.
The Brick Saloon (Est. 1889) | Roslyn
This is the oldest continuously operated bar in Washington and was the backdrop for the TV show Northern Exposure. The bar still has the original twenty-three-foot running water spittoon and basement jail cell. Today, it has live entertainment, bar grub, and of course, they are still pouring booze.
Miner’s and Stockmen’s Steakhouse (Est. 1862) | Hartville
This is Wyoming’s oldest bar and one of the last trading posts and copper mine structures still in existence. It once served as a hideout for bank robbers and outlaws. The bar was hand-carved in Germany in 1862, shipped to New York, transported by train to Cheyenne, and then delivered by horse and buggy. If you plan to visit, then drive slowly so you don’t miss it, because the population of Hartville is sixty-five.
around the world
Auberge Saint-Gabriel (Est. 1754) | Montreal
This was the first auberge (inn) in North America to receive a liquor license. Today, it is a spacious fine-dining restaurant and bar with event spaces available.
Mansion Tavern (Est. 1828) | St. Catharines, Ontario
This is Canada’s longest-running licensed bar and St. Catharines’s oldest bar. Today, the tavern puts on live bands multiple nights a week with local and touring bands sharing the stage.
Floridita (Est. 1817) | Havana
This bar first opened under the name La Piña de Plata (Silver Pineapple) and one hundred years later, it changed to Bar la Florida (Floridita). In 1914, Constantino Ribalaigua Vert started tending bar here, then bought the bar four years later. It became famous for the Frozen Daiquiri. Ernest Hemingway lived in Cuba for twenty years, and this was his favorite bar. He mentioned the bar in his books, and if you visit today, you will see a Hemingway statue, a Hemingway barstool, and a Hemingway bust.
American Bar at the Savoy (Est. 1889) | London
The Savoy was not only the first luxury hotel in London—it was the first in the United Kingdom. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, America made the best cocktails and set the industry standard. The rest of the world was fascinated with American-style cocktails and soon “American Bars” began popping up. The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel is one of the most prestigious bars to work. Many famous bartenders have worked here including Ada Coleman, Harry Craddock, Peter Dorelli, and Joe Gilmore. In 2012, the current multiple award-winning head bartender, Erik Lorincz, was asked to create a drink in a grand form for the celebration for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee (sixty years being queen). Lorincz created the Diamond Jubilee Punch and poured 360 liters into the hotel fountain outside at the main entrance of the hotel.
The Spaniards Inn (Est. Unknown) | London
No one knows exactly when this bar opened, but it is agreed that it was in the seventeenth century sometime. It’s claim to fame is that it was mentioned in Bram Stoker’s 1897 Dracula and in 1837’s The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. Today, the pub provides a haven for book lovers who love dogs by offering a dog-friendly beer garden and a doggie bath area.
The Eagle and Child (Est. Not certain) | Oxford
As far as we know, the first record found for this bar dates back to 1684, and the name has something to do with an aristocratic baby who was found in an eagle’s nest. Since it has always been an Oxford college bar, it was often referred to as “Bird and Baby.” Starting in 1933, the quartet literary enthusiast group—who called themselves “The Inklings”— met in the bar’s private lounge (Rabbit Room) on Monday and Tuesdays. The group included the nontraditional college-aged patrons (they were in their thirties and forties) J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Hugo Dyson, and Charles Williams. If those names do not ring a bell, then think Lord of the Rings or Narnia.
Harry’s New York Bar (Est. 1911) | Paris
Tod Sloan wanted to create an American bar in Paris, so he dismantled a New York City bar, shipped it to France, and named it New York Bar. Sloan hired Scottish bartender Harry MacElhone (1890–1958), who bought the bar in 1923 and changed the name to Harry’s New York Bar. The bar has attracted many celebrities and tourists. In 1953, the bar was mentioned in Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, when Bond said it was the best place in Paris to get a solid drink. MacElhone published two classic cocktail recipe books and is credited with inventing the Sidecar, Monkey Gland, French 75, and White Lady. Some believe that the Bloody Mary was invented at the bar as well.
Bar Hemingway at the Ritz (Est. 2016) | Paris
This is where bartender Frank Meier created the Mimosa in 1923. It was named after frequent visitor Ernest Hemingway. Coco Chanel lived at this hotel, Cole Porter spent hours composing music here, F. Scott Fitzgerald had his favorite seat in the bar, and the list goes on.
Kennedy’s (Est. 1850) | Dublin
In the beginning, this pub was a grocery store in the front and bar in the back. Its most famous employee was novelist Oscar Wilde. It was known as a hang for many literary greats. Today, it is a stone’s throw from Trinity College, so it is mostly visited by students and tourists of course.
Sean’s Bar (Est. 900) | Athlone
Sean’s Bar has been researched thoroughly by the Guinness Book of Records and holds the record for the oldest pub in Ireland. During renovations in 1970, they learned that the original walls were made of wattle and daub, and old coins were found. The walls and the coins are on display in the National Museum, and one section remains on display in the pub.
Harry’s Bar (Est. 1931) | Venice
Bartender and bar owner Giuseppe Cipriani (1900–1980), created the Bellini here in 1931. When it first opened, Cipriani put out a guest book, and some names that appear in the book include Charlie Chaplin, Truman Capote, and Orson Welles.
Albrindisi (Est. 1100) | Ferrara
This bar has been around since 1100. In the 1400s, Italian painter Tiziano Vecelli and goldsmith, sculptor, and musician Benvenuto Cellini drank here, and in the 1500s, mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus lived above the bar while studying at Ferrara University.
Rick’s Cafe (Est. 1974) | Negril
The first public bar and restaurant of its kind on the West End cliffs of Negril. It is a perfect place to watch the sunset and is known for its cliff divers.
Caribe Hilton (Est. 1949) | San Juan
This luxury hotel began as a design contest for five architectural firms. The San Juan firm Toro-Ferrer won. It is highly believed that Ramón “Monchito” Marrero Perez invented the Piña Colada we know today at the hotel’s Beachcomber Bar on August 16, 1954. That is what makes this bar famous.
Cerveceria Alemana (Est. 1904) | Madrid
This bar is famous because Ernest Hemingway not only hung out there, he also mentioned the bar in his novel "The Sun Also Rises."