Bars, restaurants, or any other places to gather and drink and goof off little, are a tradition as old as human beings. We've got it pretty good now, with microbreweries, wineries, and all manner of places catering to whatever experience you want. But if you're curious what options people through other times in history had when they wanted to let go of stresses of the day, here are some photos of interesting vintage bars throughout the years!
Steve Brodie's Bar and Tavern was a downtown establishment way back in the 19th century, with a location on Hester and Grand Street in Manhattan.
If you thought you were trailblazing when you went to that cool outdoor beer garden, people have been assembling cool places to drink for a good long while now.
This pub looks like a great place to hang in the city of London, a few years before the turn of the 20th century. It wouldn't be terrible if bowler hats came back in fashion, either, especially paired with these huge mustaches.
While a saloon is just another name for a bar associated with the American West, it does have a certain feeling to it that would be hard to replicate nowadays.
Sometime around the turn of the 20th century, this photo in a French bar was supposedly taken. Clearly the bartender is experienced, since he is continuing to pour a drink while staring into the camera like it's nothing.
This is a rather buzzing wine bar located in London. It was apparently close to the Gaiety Theatre, which could explain why it's so crowded at the moment.
Here is another gorgeous interior of a saloon, this one being located in Chicago on Monroe Street.
This shot gives us a cool look at some old school Navy uniforms and other fashion around the 1900s in New York.
The name and location is lost for this shot but it apparently goes back to 1917. There's some interesting decor with ferns along the wall, and some hopefully happy customers in the seats. What more can you really ask for?
Sure this is a fictional story at the time, but it's still interesting to see how they would stage a bar in a play almost 100 years ago now.
In this photo from a 1928 New Year's Eve party in the Prussian province of Brandenburg, we see a woman socializing with the bartender in the final minutes before the New Year begins.
This bartender's also looking suave filling up a beer mug for someone. Apparently, the original caption written on the back of this photo's print was "Sins of the Father," so did a bitter son take this shot?
This lady was apparently crowned Miss Bronx sometime in the early 20th century, and also pictured here is a cocktail innovator from the Bronx, Joe Sormani. This party was at the bar of the Bronx Concourse Plaza Hotel.
This fascinating converted train car bar design sort of qualifies as vintage-within-vintage. This design was meant to call back to an even older style of English pub, exemplified by the wood used in the interior and signage you can see in the upper part of the photo.
The French really seemed to have it good back in the early 20th century. Even if not too many people in this shot in Biarritz, France are giving the camera a smile, they were probably having a great day out on the town.
While smoking a massive cigar inside is no longer a tradition in plenty of bars nowadays, there were kind and social bartenders back then and there definitely still are now.
Legendary jazz guitarist Lonnie Johnson (right) is performing a show at a crowded South Side Chicago bar. Johnson was also a violinist and has the distinction of being the first musician known to play an electrically amplified violin.
Bars can also be the sites of historically significant celebrations, like this photo that apparently shows American and British servicemen celebrating after Japan announced its surrender from WWII in September of 1945.
This Skagway, Alaska bar is a fascinating piece of history. It was once the base of operations for Jefferson "Soapy" Smith, a con-artist and gangster who died in a shootout in 1898. Many years later, though, his parlor lived on, and he can be seen in bizarre automaton form across from the bartender in this photo. The location is now open as the Jeff. Smith's Parlor Museum.
While this isn't a traditional bar, the awesome view makes up for the impromptu setup at a ski resort in Squaw Valley, California. The man to the right in yellow is Alexander Cochrane Cushing, who developed this resort.
Pictured at this shindig are the actresses Annabelle Buffet (left) and Mylene Demongeot (right). Annabelle's husband Bernard Buffet, a renowned sculptor and painter, is in the center.
A group of men are gathered outside the bar L'intramontabile, which roughly translates to "The Timeless," in Florence, Italy. The man on the right in front pictured is Gino Bartali, an Italian cyclist.
While this is another staged scene for some sort of advertisement, most likely the fan in the window, it's still interesting to see the cool colors and decoration here.
This Birmingham bar was trying to keep up with the trends and changed its name in celebration of the Apollo 11 mission which saw Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin walk on the Moon. It's a fun idea to fill seats and celebrate a historic occasion.
This awesome design is one of the many leisure facilities in the Royal Automobile Club's Pall Mall location. It was founded in 1897 and The Long Bar is still accessible for members in the clubhouse.
Now we're in the disco era, and this Los Angeles club Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco was clearly a great place to be. The musician and actor Michael Des Barres is pictured signing a record for a fan, likely before or after playing a show.
There were plenty of clubs to go to all over, but you could also sample some of the latest wines at places like this London spot El Vino Wine Bar.
This upscale pub was on the ground floor of the luxury department store Harrods, which was first founded in 1849 as a grocery store but now offers a huge range of products in the UK. There are now two bars in Harrods: Baccarat Bar and Moët and Chandon Champagne Bar.
It's not exactly a disco atmosphere in this shot, but former English Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister Edward Heath had a good drink or two at this press conference in the Plough Public House.
Keith Richards (in sunglasses) of The Rolling Stones gets his order in at Danceteria nightclub in NYC. This party is celebrating the release of the band's album Emotional Rescue.