Sunday, September 21, 2008

America's Oldest Bars

Pleasantly surprised is how I would gauge my reaction to the list of America's oldest bars. I had no idea that at least one pre-1700 drinking establishments had somehow survived the ravages of wars, Prohibition and the ongoing pressures of capitalism. There are actually multiple such lists on the net, but this one seems to me to be the best researched and most comprehensive.

The list comes from the Brookston Beer Bulletin and its author known simply as J. I salute J for putting this together and can only imagine how much time it took to do the research and vetting. J's original posting can be seen here:

Any such list of American bars would need to account for the fact that none could legally serve during the Prohibition years, so for those pedantic types, I would view this list as being inclusive of establishments that were originated as taverns, bars or saloons and are still in existence today serving some type of alcoholic beverage, preferably beer!

The list follows and I would greatly welcome any updates or comments on these, or other establishments, that may qualify. I'd like to expand this list from forty one to fifty, to - if for no other reason - round things out:
  1. White Horse Tavern; Newport, RI (1673)
  2. Jessop’s Tavern; New Castle, DE (1724)
  3. Red Fox Inn; Middleburg, VA (1728)
  4. General Lafayette Inn & Brewery; Lafayette Hill, PA (1732)
  5. Fraunces Tavern, New York, NY (1762)
  6. Jean Lafittes Blacksmith Shop; New Orleans, LA (1775)
  7. Horse You Came In On; Baltimore, MD (1775)
  8. Griswold Inn; Essex, CT (1776)
  9. The Tavern; Abingdon, VA (1779)
  10. The Union Hotel (a.k.a. The Allentown Hotel, now DiMattias Restaurant & Lounge);
    Allentown, NJ (1779)
  11. The Warren Tavern; Charlestown, MA (1780)
  12. Gadsby’s Tavern; Alexandria, VA (1785)
  13. Wiggins Tavern; Northampton, MA (1786)
    [tavern moved from Hopkinton, New Hampshire]
  14. Bell In Hand; Boston, MA (1795)
  15. Old Absinthe House; New Orleans, LA (1815, possibly 1807)
  16. Broadway Hotel & Tavern; Madison, IN (1834)
  17. Knickerbocker Saloon; Lafayette, IN (1835)
  18. The Old Tavern; Niles, MI (1835)
  19. Spread Eagle Tavern & Inn; Hanoverton, OH (1837)
  20. Ye Olde Trail Tavern; Yellow Springs, OH (1848)
  21. The Slippery Noodle; Indianapolis, IN (1850) [Wikipedia]
  22. Deer Park Tavern; Newark, DE (1851)
    [occupying the same spot as St. Patrick’s Inn, founded in 1747, but burned down in 1848]
  23. Breitbach’s Country Dining; Balltown, IA (1852)
  24. Genoa Bar & Saloon; Genoa, NV (1853) [new]
  25. McSorley’s Old Ale House; New York, NY (1854)
  26. Anvil Restaurant & Saloon; Ste. Genevieve, MO (1855)
  27. Old Ebbitt Grill; Washington, DC (1856)
  28. Tujague’s; New Orleans, LA (1856)
  29. McGillin’s Olde Ale House; Philadelphia, PA (1860)
  30. Arnold’s Bar and Grill; Cincinnati, OH (1861)
  31. The Saloon; San Francisco, CA (1861)
  32. Waterfront Hotel; Baltimore, MD (1861; building built in 1771)
  33. The Little Shamrock; San Francisco, CA (1863)
  34. Pete’s Tavern; New York, NY (1864)
  35. Schloz Garten; Austin, TX (1866)
  36. The Original Oyster House; Pittsburgh, PA (1870)
    [Bear Tavern also opened on same site in 1827]
  37. Ulrich’s Tavern; Buffalo, NY (1870)
  38. Ear Inn; New York, NY (1874)
  39. Shooting Star Saloon; Hunstsville, UT (1879)
  40. White Horse Tavern; New York, NY (1880)
  41. P.J. Clarke’s; New York, NY (1884)

the Bier Kaiser

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