A marketing consultant/writer walked into a bar…
Not sure what the punchline for that joke should be. (All suggestions welcome!)
I’m not actually walking into a bar, but I will be walking into (and teaching at) the Nightclub & Bar Show tomorrow. Today is the second day of musing about the industry. (Click here for yesterday’s facts and wisdom.)
The history of the bar in America is an interesting one. (See below.) Bars have long been gathering places (centuries before Facebook) for sharing news, connecting with community, and enjoying entertainment.
- Women were among the early tavern owners (40%) in Colonial America and the average adult male consumed approximately 3.7 gallons of distilled spirits every year. (That actually went up to 5.2 gallons in 1830 or approximately 1.8 one-ounce shots a day.)
- Saloons always fascinated me. A big fan of Wild West history, I love the fact that saloons were sort of the early co-working spaces. Although they didn’t have foosball tables, trappers and miners made deals there, gambling occurred, and music was a big part of the culture.
- The speakeasy (or blind pig) was the secret gathering place during prohibition n the 1920s. And, although booze is no longer illegal, people seem to still like the feeling of sneaking in somewhere to drink, as evidenced by this list of New York speakeasies.
- Then, of course, we have the nightclub. From honky tonks to the Copacabana to discos to super-glitzy Vegas nightclubs (like the ones below) or Privilege Ibiza, which holds 10k people — people love to dress-up, drink, dance, drink some more, and then dance some more.
So, here’s the chaser…
Long before the Internet, people found ways to gather, party, laugh, and schmooze. We’ve come a long way from the simple pub. Whether you like to have a happy hour, meet friends to watch a game, crave live music, or simply want to tell your problems to the bartender, you’ll find a place to hang out and imbibe. In fact, about 70k locations exist in the U.S.
What’s YOUR favorite type of establishment these days and why? (Facebook doesn’t count!)
- “A XXX walks into a bar…” (Here are lots of jokes that start that way.)
- The history of the American bar (from the Smithsonian)
- Tavern lore.
- Highest grossing nightclubs in the U.S.