Top ten Bars to visit before you die
The Townhouse Venice and Del Monte Speakeasy, Venice Beach, Calif. This bar has stood on Venice Beach since its founding. During prohibition, the owner, Cesar Menotti, created a speakeasy downstairs and smuggled booze in under the Abbot Kinney Pier. It was a run-down dive when the latest owner, Louie Ryan, bought and restored it to its early 20th-century glory.
Scholz Garten, Austin, Texas. This beer garden has been serving thirsty Austin residents since it opened its doors in 1866. When founded it was immediately popular with the large German immigrant population, and has become the place to watch UT football games, and as the unofficial meeting house for the state legislature.
Rosa’s Cantina, El Paso, Texas. Yes, this is the place that inspired the famous song “El Paso” by Marty Robbins in 1959. From the doorstep of this roadside saloon you can clearly view the “badlands” of New Mexico and understand how Robbins could have imagined the tale of his song. People travel to Rosa’s from around the world to listen to this famous ballad and enjoy some cold beer.
Pioneer Saloon, Goodsprings, Nev. Out in the desert a stone’s throw from Las Vegas sits this 1913 throwback to days when the West was still wild. It became especially known as the spot where Clark Gable spent his time in mourning — drinking, crying and smoking cigars — as officials recovered the body of his beloved wife, Carol Lombard, after her plane crashed into the mountains behind the bar.
The Old ’76 House, Tappan, N.Y. The oldest bar in America sits in Tappan, N.Y., and has been serving drinks since 1668 when the Dutch settled the area. During the Revolutionary War, the tavern served as a prison for British spy John Andre, and as a meeting place for George Washington and his many generals.
McSorley’s, New York City. The oldest continuous running bar in New York City was established in 1854 in the heart of the infamous Bowery. This place is practically a museum, with its walls cluttered with old newspapers, photos and memorabilia that tell the story of the city, its immigrants and, most importantly, its bars.
Heinold’s First and Last Chance, Oakland, Calif. Built from an old whaling ship in 1883, this waterfront saloon saw sailors and pirates drinking at the (now very slanted) bar and playing cards at the original tables where you can still sit today. It also became a home to one of America’s most celebrated authors, Jack London.
Green Mill, Chicago Originally founded to be Chicago’s answer to Paris’ Moulin Rouge, this jazz club became a notorious speakeasy run by one of the most terrible gangsters of the day, “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn. While it was a favorite of Al Capone in the day, it now hosts Grammy-award winning jazz musicians and serves great drinks.
El Chapultepec, Denver, Colo. At one time this small, divey-looking place in Lower Downtown Denver was called the “Best Bar in the World.” That’s when Ella Fitzgerald would park her car in the alley behind the bar, roll down the windows and just listen to the jazz being played and celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington and even President Bill Clinton played here.
City Tavern, Philadelphia Originally built in 1773 and then rebuilt in 1976 by the Department of Interior, the City Tavern was one of the most important places to the Founding Fathers. This is where George Washington and John Adams first met. It is also where one of the biggest parties in history took place after the signing of the Constitution.