The tavern, saloon, public house, or bar occupies a key position in the development of society, dating back to ancient Babylon at least. From ancient times to the present, these were places for travelers and workers to eat, drink, relax, and socialize. Bars have been crucial gathering places throughout history; it’s said that the American Revolution got its start in the bars of Boston — alcohol specifically fueling the flames of independence. This section of the site comprises reviews of bars around the world — including bars focused on wine, beer, and (particularly) cocktails. If the bar is part of a restaurant, we’ll often cover the food offerings there, too.

Top Bar Posts:

Tasting the Classic Cocktails of New Orleans
Where to Drink in Asheville, North Carolina
Tyge & Sessil, Stockholm
The 404 Nashville
The Chandelier Lounge at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
Dining with Sammy Hagar at El Paseo’s Wine Collectors’ Dinner

Tasting Beers and Stout Ice Cream at Peter B’s, Monterey, California, 2014

By Christopher Null | July 4, 2014 |

A recent trip to Monterey, California took us to Peter B’s Brewpub, back behind the Portola Hotel. A rowdy place full of pool tables and TVs blasting sports, it’s also home to Monterey’s biggest brewpub operation, with about a dozen beers on tap at any one time. This time we came in search of something…

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Bar Review: Trick Dog, San Francisco

By Christopher Null | May 5, 2014 |

A quick pre-dinner stop at San Francisco’s new Trick Dog became a fun diversion into oddball mixology. The cramped space is carved into the newly resurgent corridor surrounding the unfathomably popular restaurant Flour + Water, and many of the patrons (like me) seem to be folks who come here while they’re waiting for their table at F+W.…

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Bar Review: Hard Water, San Francisco

By Christopher Null | March 29, 2014 |

Hard Water, located on San Francisco’s waterfront just a block from the Ferry Building, is a tiny little place, a restaurant that serves Cajun cuisine and has no tables. Everyone sits either at the bar, a big horseshoe that juts out from the kitchen, or at a ledge around the walls. You’ll take your barstool…

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The Classic Cocktails of New Orleans

By Christopher Null | February 25, 2014 |

Ah, New Orleans… it’s not just the home of some of the best food in the world, it’s also the birthplace — a spiritual birthplace in some cases — of some of the most classic cocktails ever invented. I had the good fortune to travel through Louisiana, particularly New Orleans, on the eve of Mardi…

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Return to Press Club San Francisco

By Christopher Null | May 31, 2013 |

It’s been about a year since we last reported on Press Club in San Francisco, and at the time it was overhauling its menu and management with some excited changes. Well, how has everything turned out? Smashing. Wine Director Mauro Cirilli has been doing some amazing things, with a heavy focus on both beer and…

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Drinking and Dining at Press Club San Francisco

By Christopher Null | July 9, 2012 |

Press Club is a place I’ve passed by dozens of times without going in. Though it’s centrally located in San Francisco’s downtown district, the dark glass and mysterious design never really invited me indoors. Press Club used to be a tasting room. Six or so wineries each had their own bar space downstairs, and patrons…

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fernet float

Now That’s What I Call Dessert

By Christopher Null | February 27, 2012 |

Fernet Ginger Float at Park Tavern — Fernet Branca ice cream, shot of Fernet, Fever Tree Ginger Beer.

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Please, Tip Your Waitresses

By Christopher Null | December 1, 2011 |

Ever wonder how much you should tip your bartender? Here comes the science, courtesy of Sailor Jerry rum and in honor of Bartender Appreciation Day, which apparently exists. NEW YORK, December 1, 2011 – – December 9 is Bartender Appreciation Day ( and, to celebrate the hard work and graft of bartenders across the country,…

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Pisco 101 with Duggan McDonnell

By Christopher Null | February 8, 2011 |

I can safely say now that I know more about Pisco than I ever thought I would. More than I ever thought there was to know, actually. And yet, I’m still little more than a novice. Pisco is, put simply, unaged, grape-based brandy from Peru (or Chile, which we’ll discuss later). Peru puts strict controls…

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Where the Bar Meets Wall Street

By Christopher Null | April 3, 2010 |

Not content with the prices on the drinks menu? New York’s Exchange turns drink prices into a trader’s delight. After a brief conversational detour to boast about the size of his manhood, Sean explains how he and his friend from rival bank Citigroup come to have six drinks lined up in front of them. “We’ve…

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