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

Three Ways to Spend 10 Grand and Get Engaged

By Christopher Null | February 4, 2010 |

Valentine’s Day approaches, and that means bartenders and home mixologists galore will be breaking out the Chambord to create V-Day cocktails. Or perhaps you’d like to find a way to get drunk and get engaged at the same time. It will cost you, of course — at least $10,000. The funny thing is this is…

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Humphry Slocombe’s Ice Cream For Adults

By Christopher Null | November 16, 2009 |

It’s called a “Secret Breakfast,” but tens of thousands of people seem to know about it: Ice cream from San Francisco’s Humphry Slocombe, which operates a tiny Mission shop with about 10 daily concoctions ranging from Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee (better than actual Blue Bottle coffee, IMHO) to Peanut Butter Curry to Pumpkin 5-Spice. But…

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Thoughts on Clock Bar, San Francisco

By Christopher Null | September 12, 2009 |

Clock Bar is a hotel bar, yes. But you know what? I like hotel bars — good ones, anyway. They’re not as loud. Not as crowded. And the drinks that get made are often top notch. Plus you get to talk to random tourists, not just jaded locals. Good times. After passing by many times,…

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What Does a $20 Bloody Mary Look Like?

By Christopher Null | April 12, 2009 |

Like this. San Francisco’s Waterbar serves this $20 “Ultimate” Bloody Mary, which largely speaks for itself. The garnishes — bacon and two jumbo boiled shrimp — steal the show, but the Bloody itself is darn good, too. Belevedere Vodka — not my favorite on its own — works fine with this superb blend of tomato…

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Bar Review: The Four Seasons, Austin

By Christopher Null | January 4, 2009 |

Spent New Year’s Eve in Austin, Texas this year — specifically at one of the classiest joints in town, the lounge within the Four Seasons hotel, a fixture of downtown Austin and a bar which I’ve visited dozens of times. (I had martinis here before hanging out with Leaving Las Vegas director Mike Figgis, even.)…

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Give a Pal a Drink… 3000 Miles Away

By Christopher Null | December 23, 2008 |

Anyone ever try this service? I’d love to hear how well it works… Step 1 -Select – Choose a friend. Give a drink credit of $1 to $99, good towards a purchase at any Bar or Restaurant! Step 2 – Style -Style your gift by making a drink suggestion and adding a personal message. Step…

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Know Any December 5 Birthdays?

By Christopher Null | November 7, 2008 |

Many catches, but there’s up to $75 in it for ya… We’re offering a $75 bounty for a Bay Area resident turning 75 on Dec. 5, 2008, and a $25 bounty for a local turning 21 on the same day. You see, Dec. 5 is the 75th Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition. Yes, it…

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Microsoft Surface Table to Ensure Glasses Never Empty

By Christopher Null | October 23, 2008 |

You’ll start seeing these $5,000 computer-equipped tables at upscale bars (and, especially, Vegas) in the near future. Called Microsoft Surface tables, they’re nifty novelties with so-far questionable utility: Most applications I’ve seen for it focus on time-wasting games for bored people and trying to get you to buy music for the Zune MP3 player that…

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Drinkhacker Barkeeper’s Tip #1

By Christopher Null | September 10, 2008 |

…in a possibly ongoing, but erratic, series of tips… If your establishment is very loud, do not offer both Corona and Peroni brand beers. (To see what I mean, crank up the stereo and try saying their names aloud.)

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Bar Review: Alembic, San Francisco

By Christopher Null | July 26, 2008 |

If Bourbon & Branch is SF’s “east side” kingpin, Alembic represents the west side. Nestled in the heart of the Haight-Ashbury, it’s another Mecca for drinking junkies looking for innovative cocktails using unusual, and in some cases, home-made, ingredients. The Alembic Bar is a dainty small place, mostly just counter service with only a few…

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