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Your Guide To 6 Iconic, Legendary Bars Of Yore Across The World

bars of yore

Beyond serving liquor and cocktails, bars are also an experience. Over centuries, speakeasies, taverns and bars have held iconic reputations through the guests who lounged in them and the conversations they held. Bars of yore, then, have stories to tell, histories to share and experiences to revel in which seep into their walls.

These historic drinking spots not only inspire mixology enthusiasts to craft cocktails but are also reminiscent of epochal moments which may have shaped the course of history. Populated by locals and tourists alike, many of these taverns have survived through annals of time to celebrate legacies. 

Read on below to know more about some bars across the world which have become rather famous for their high culture and refined patrons: 

King Cole Bar New York

The King Cole Bar, St. Regis, New York

Iconic to the extreme, this New York bar spells all things merry, refined and classy. It is the birthplace of the beloved Bloody Mary, known to have been prepared by barman Fernand Petiot. The bartender mixes tomato juice, vodka, hot sauce and Worcestershire among other ingredients to make what is a particularly favoured cocktail today.

Harry’s Bar, Venice

From Alfred Hitchcock to Peggy Guggenheim to F Scott Fizgerald, everybody who’s anybody has graced Harry’s Bar. This spot, which opened in 1931, can well be the fountainhead of the Bellini and beef Carpaccio, both heavy with historical influences, named as they are after two remarkable Venetian artists—Giovanni Bellini and Vittore Carpaccio. If you find yourself in Venice and are looking for a cosy little spot, walk to Harry’s Bar for a delightfully artsy experience.

Singapore bars

The Long Bar, Raffles Hotel, Singapore

This bar has a rather touristy vibe, yet go beyond the Bermuda shorts and flip flops and you will be transported to Singapore’s 19th century colonial past. The Long Bar is where the Singapore Sling, a highly decadent and syrupy sweet concoction, was invented. This place is known for letting you litter, so you can toss peanut shells on the floor! Well, try avoiding that, and stroll into the Writer’s Bar, once a treasured spot for the likes of Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward and Rudyard Kipling among others.

The Green Dragon Inn, Hobbiton Movie Set, New Zealand

This might not strictly be a bar of yore, but according to the Shire calendar, it is indeed ancient. The Green Dragon in the country’s Hobbiton Movie Set was created during the filming of the iconic Lord of the Rings movies. It is a spot Sam, Merry and Pip visited often and was found completely destroyed when they returned to the Shire following the war. Now, this bar in New Zealand is a tourist attraction and pays tribute to LoTR’s notorious hobbits.

famous bar in Havana

La Bodeguita del Medio, Havana

If you are a fan of Ernest Hemingway, you would know of this bar frequented by the author while in Havana. Today, it continues to have great live music and maintains its reputation as the birthplace of the famed Mojito. Another spot the author frequented was El Floridita, which has preserved Hemingway’s legacy by creating a life-size statue on the stool he perched upon to relish his daiquiris.

The American Bar, The Savoy, London

One can credit this spot for becoming a European home to the 19th century American export, the cocktail. Located in the posh Covent Garden in London, The American Bar is elegant, sophisticated and has deep roots in mixology history. In fact, this bar in The Savoy has been home to bartenders like Ada Coleman who is famously credited with inventing the Hanky Panky cocktail. Mixologists swear by the The Savoy Cocktail Book, written by Harry Craddock who also tended bar at this iconic location.