BARS

Bars, Clubs, Pubs, Taverns & Lounges

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Here we list our favorite watering holes, better known as bars, pubs, taverns, lounges, etc.  What is the difference?  We explain below. But for those who know, we cut to the chase and begin here, in alphabetical order:


Bars, Clubs, Pubs, Taverns & Lounges

While all individually they might mean different things, collectively they all mean the same thing, places to legally consume alcohol.  When is it illegal? When someone is selling it out of their home, car, garage, or even during prohibition.  Then, it is called a Speakeasy, not only because that is what they called it back in the 1930s, but it is something you “speak easy” about – you don’t mention it to people you don’t want to know who might be a risk to shutting it down.

Here is a little more clarification if you want to be more specific:

  • Dive: Basically, this is the simplest form of a place serving alcohol legally.  Nothing fancy, very unassuming.  You come here for just plain beer, draft or bottle, nothing “craft”.  Don’t bother to ask for a martini, just ask for a gin & tonic instead, and don’t expect it to be very good, it might be 50% gin and 50% tonic, wheras if you went to a “lounge” you would get a perfect proportion of gin, ice, tonic, and served with a fancy garnish and straw.  While sometimes it might attract an unsavory crowd, many times its just simply a place for locals who want a drink and not a lot of tourists or crowds who are expecting great music or food.  In fact, the best you can hope for here are sanitary conditions and free peanuts at the bar.
  • Bar: The word “bar”comes a counter or specially constructed structure to hold, store and serve alcohol. When you go to a bar, generally you are going only to drink.  Not to eat, not to listen to music, but only with the intention of having an alcoholic beverage. Sure, while you may be meeting an old friend just for an hour to catch up, you do not have to have an alcoholic beverage, but you know that alcohol is being served and it is assumed that anyone coming or going has had a beer, wine or cocktail.
  • Club & Lounge: Yes, drinking, but also dancing, music, meeting up with friends, and, of course, perhaps meeting members of the opposite (or same) sex for which you wish to encounter romance.  Often the classier “lounge” has replaced the term club, but like the name suggests, you should be dressed appropriately (trendy, classy or not so classy) and the crowd is selective.
  • Pub: Short for “Public House” is what the Brits called places where people of all classes could gather for a drink.
  • Inn: This has a bar, which probably serves food, and has lodging so you can stay the night if you had too much to drink or don’t feel like driving.
  • Tavern:  The Greek translation is “workshop” and is a casual place to get a meal and a drink.  It is not a fancy or furnished place, in fact you will often see the inside looking like a garage with posters, signs, often vintage antiques.  If you want to have a drink, but you have not eaten all day and don’t want to drink on an empty stomach (as you never ever should), this is the place to go.  You can most likely get a burger, pizza, fish & chips, a sandwich, or whatever to fill your stomach so the impact of alcohol in your system has time to process the alcohol.

Remember, these names are all interchangeable.  In college me and my crew did not go to a “bar” we went to a “club” which was not where people dressed fancy, but it was exclusive to people who enjoyed the “alternate” scene, which in 1989 meant Depeche Mode, The Cure, Erasure, and any other group that would be considered odd at the time.  I guess today they call it “Goth”.  This was a place you went for shots of Jaegermeister and beer, maybe a rum & coke, but not a fancy cocktail or well made martini.  For all intense purposes, it was a “dive” (low level drinking establishment), bare basic, just the music you love and where everyone knows everybody else.

As always in the 21st century you will have marketing “wizards” who will call something a Speakeasy to give the idea that you are entering back in time to sample what it was like 100 years ago but still charge you $9 for french fries which are separate from the $7 burger. And of course you will have a lounge playing electronic music with fancy vodka drinks at $11 and while its 75% juice, still call it a martini.

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