Bars don’t get much attention from historians.
So identifying the oldest bars in a city with a rich tradition of drinking is no easy task –it’s not as if there’s a directory of antiquated taverns to inspect.
And even if a bar’s lineage goes back to the 1800s, there’s still Prohibition to consider. Those years of speakeasies and bootleggers upended the business of many taverns, some of which converted to cafes or ice cream parlors for years. There’s often no telling which ones kept selling alcohol on the sly.
Despite all that, we’ve tried to do our best like drunken detectives on a bar crawl. So, sit back, have a drink with a grain of salt and enjoy this tour of some of the oldest bars in the city.