Uncovering the Fascinating Histories of Iconic Pubs and Bars Throughout the Ages
Welcome, dear reader, to an exciting journey, where we’ll explore some of the most iconic pubs and bars in history. Whether you’re a beer and pub enthusiast, casual socializer, or simply a curious traveler itching to learn more about the unique stories behind these legendary establishments, you’re in for a treat!
Join us while we delve into the captivating tales of these historic watering holes and discover what makes them stand out from the rest. From Prohibition-era speakeasies to ancient pubs with spine-chilling ghost stories, we have it all covered in this fascinating 3,000-word exploration.
So grab a pint, kick back, and raise a toast to these time-honored drinking establishments!
Table of Contents
- ### The Oldest Pubs and Bars in the World: Witnessing Centuries of Mirth
- ### America’s Rich History of Iconic Speakeasies and Prohibition-Era Bars
- ### Ghostly Haunts and Murderous Deeds: Tales of the Most Sinister Pubs and Bars
- ### The Famous Writers and Literary Pubs Connection: Where Great Minds Got Inspired
- ### Pubs and Bars on The Silver Screen: The Most Iconic Drinking Establishments in Film
The Oldest Pubs and Bars in the World: Witnessing Centuries of Mirth
As a pub enthusiast, you might find yourself wondering about the historical significance of these delightful establishments. You’re not alone! Throughout the ages, pubs and bars have served as an essential element of society, providing refuge, solace, and camaraderie. Let’s take a look at the oldest of them all.
Sean’s Bar – Athlone, Ireland
Believed to be the oldest pub in Europe and possibly the world, Sean’s Bar dates back to 900 AD. The pub’s origins were discovered during a renovation in the 1970s when layers of ancient wattle and daub (a traditional Irish construction material) were found in the walls. This fascinating relic of a bygone era has managed to maintain its original charm and continues to serve patrons to this day.
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem – Nottingham, England
Founded around 1189, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is one of the oldest and most distinguished inns in England. Nestled beneath the imposing Nottingham Castle, this unique pub was originally a pitstop for crusaders embarking on their journey to the Holy Land. With its intriguing history and impressive collection of memorabilia, a visit to this ancient alehouse is certainly well-worth a trip.
Zur letzten Instanz – Berlin, Germany
Established in 1621, Zur letzten Instanz is the oldest pub in Berlin. With its rustic, old-world charm and impressive list of historical patrons, including Napoleon Bonaparte and famous German poet Heinrich Heine, this is a must-visit for those who appreciate the enchanting ambiance of historic pubs. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, Zur letzten Instanz is the perfect spot to experience the best of Berlin’s beer culture and history.
America’s Rich History of Iconic Speakeasies and Prohibition-Era Bars
For beer lovers and history buffs alike, uncovering the Prohibition era in the United States is a thrilling and mysterious voyage. From secret underground clubs to elusive speakeasy entrances, let’s dive into the world of Prohibition-era American drinking establishments.
The Green Mill – Chicago, Illinois
From its birth in 1907, The Green Mill in Chicago has been a hotspot for entertainment and libations. However, it’s most famous for its time as a speakeasy during Prohibition under the ownership of Jack McGurn, an associate of infamous gangster Al Capone. These days, the Green Mill is a lively jazz club, preserving its rich history with an ambiance like no other.
21 Club – New York, New York
The 21 Club has been a New York City institution since it opened during Prohibition in 1922. Despite police raids and multiple relocations, this elusive speakeasy managed to survive by using an intricate system of hidden doors, secret passageways, and even a state-of-the-art wine cellar built into the building’s foundation. Today, the 21 Club remains an American culinary and cultural icon, frequented by politicians, celebrities, and bon vivants.
Vesuvio Café – San Francisco, California
In operation since 1948, Vesuvio Café in San Francisco may not have been around during the Prohibition, but it still boasts a fascinating, counter-cultural history. Known as a hub for Beat Generation writers, artists, and thinkers, Vesuvio Café has become a symbol of resistance and creativity, making it the perfect spot for a thought-provoking, historical pint.
Ghostly Haunts and Murderous Deeds: Tales of the Most Sinister Pubs and Bars
Looking for a spine-tingling story or two? Then it’s time to share some ghastly tales from the darkest corners of historic pubs and bars — where history, mystery, and murder intertwine.
The Ten Bells – London, England
Situated in London’s East End, The Ten Bells is notoriously linked to one of England’s most gruesome crime sprees – the gruesome murders committed by Jack the Ripper. Victorian London’s deadliest predator is believed to have frequented the pub, with some of his victims known to have been regulars. Today, visitors can enjoy a pint in this historic pub, shrouded in blood-thirsty mystery.
The Lemp Mansion – St. Louis, Missouri
Once home to the Lemp family and their brewing empire, this St. Louis mansion is now one of America’s most haunted destinations. After multiple family tragedies and financial ruin, the mansion was transformed into a restaurant and inn, complete with a bar in the house’s old vault. If you’re brave enough, sip on a pint in this eerie haunt and see if you can catch a glimpse of the restless spirits that roam the halls.
The Sultan’s Palace – New Orleans, Louisiana
Built in the 19th century as a wealthy merchant’s residence, The Sultan’s Palace took on a darker, more sinister role when it became the scene of a ghastly mass murder. The building, now converted into a pub and restaurant, is said to be haunted by the spirits of the victims, who died under mysterious circumstances. An evening at this chilling New Orleans landmark is not for the faint of heart.
The Famous Writers and Literary Pubs Connection: Where Great Minds Got Inspired
The bond between writers and drinking establishments is a long and storied one, with countless authors using the bustling atmosphere of pubs and bars as their creative incubators. Let’s explore some of the iconic literary pubs and bars that have left their mark on history’s pages.
The Eagle and Child – Oxford, England
Also known as “The Bird and Baby,” The Eagle and Child in Oxford is famous for its most celebrated patrons: legendary authors J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. The two literary giants would frequent the pub with their fellow writers in a group known as the Inklings, discussing their latest work and debating the finer points of language and philosophy. A visit to this historic pub is a pilgrimage for any fan of fantastic literature.
White Horse Tavern – New York, New York
Opened in 1880, the White Horse Tavern in New York’s Greenwich Village has been the haunt of many influential writers throughout the decades. Literary greats such as Dylan Thomas, Jack Kerouac, and Norman Mailer were regular patrons, who flocked to the White Horse for its intellectual atmosphere, cold beer, and late-night conversations. Stepping into this hallowed tavern is an encounter with literary history.
La Closerie des Lilas – Paris, France
A haven for American expatriate writers of the 1920s, La Closerie des Lilas was a favorite Parisian spot for authors such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein. Surrounded by the charms of the Parisian café culture, these writers created some of their most celebrated works at this storied watering hole. Gaining inspiration from this atmospheric venue is effortless.
Pubs and Bars on The Silver Screen: The Most Iconic Drinking Establishments in Film
Finally, let’s take a journey through the most iconic pubs and bars in cinema history, where legendary scenes were filmed, and magical moments immortalized.
Tom Bergin’s Tavern – Los Angeles, California
A Hollywood landmark, Tom Bergin’s Tavern has served as a filming location for several classic movies and TV shows, including “Mad Men” and “Law & Order: LA.” With its vintage atmosphere and rich history, this Irish pub brings a touch of old Hollywood glamour to modern-day LA.
The Slaughtered Lamb – London, England
Although not a real pub, The Slaughtered Lamb in the 1981 cult classic horror film “An American Werewolf in London” became iconic in its own right. With its creepy rural ambiance, eccentric patrons, and cryptic warnings, this fictional pub set the perfect, eerie tone for the chilling tale that unfolded on screen.
Rick’s Café Américain – Casablanca, Morocco
Perhaps the most famous bar in cinema history, Rick’s Café Américain from the classic film “Casablanca” was an essential backdrop for Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman’s heart-wrenching love story. Although a set built specifically for the film, the bar’s intrigue and elegance have made it an enduring symbol of elegance and mystery — the essence of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
To our fellow pub enthusiasts, we trust you’ve enjoyed this exploration of the captivating histories of some of the world’s most iconic pubs and bars. We hope the stories, ghostly tales, and film references have whetted your appetite for further adventure, perhaps inspiring you to visit these historic establishments on your future travels. As always, please drink responsibly when embarking on these fascinating journeys. Until next time, cheers!