Taverns, saloons, watering holes, bars: whatever you call them, such establishments offered people enjoyment and inebriation for centuries, and early 20th century bars were no different. Though these photos depict times long gone, bars at the turn of the century possess their own old-school charm, showing how businesses evolve over time. The speakeasies or cocktail bars with bartenders sporting waxed mustaches and wearing bow ties, vests, and sleeve garters bring the past into the present. Instead of DJs spinning the Chainsmokers, the soundtrack consisted of men firing their guns at your feet while demanding you "Dance, dance!"
Bars in the early 20th century came in all shapes and sizes, from glamorous institutions still standing today to wild west outposts that rose and fell with the boomtowns they arrived with. Sit back, pour a glass of your beverage of choice, and check out these photos of early 20th century bars. Along with drinks, history often gets made in bars, so think about that the next time you sip on a martini.
Old Absinthe House, New Orleans, 1903
Saloon, Bastrop, Texas, 1910
Bar, London, England, 1893
J.W. Swart's Saloon, Charleston, Arizona, 1885