Rob Young from United Kingdom, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Drink in TV and Movies' Most Famous Bars


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While binge-watching the characters on your favorite Netflix shows and movies, throwing down drinks at their favorite watering holes may be a great way to spend an evening or lazy Saturday, eventually, you need to get off the couch and go out yourself. Wouldn't it be great if you could visit those very same haunts? Maybe you can.

Sadly, Covid claimed many real-life bars featured in movies and TV (you can no longer plan your ruthless acquisitions at the 21 Club, featured in the film Wall Street, or dance on the East Village bar that inspired the movie Coyote Ugly.) Aside from these unfortunate casualties, there are still many bars from the big and small screens you can visit today. Here are some of the best ones.

Cheers Bar - "Cheers"

Cheers Bar in Boston

Ryaninprogress, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Few TV bars are as iconic as Boston's Cheers bar, made famous by the hit television show of the same name that ran from 1982 to 1993 and featured lady's man Sam Malone and two of primetime TV's most famous barflies, Cliff Clavin and Norm Peterson. While the "Cheers" replica bar that opened in 2000 closed permanently, another casualty of the pandemic, you can still visit the actual bar used for the show's outside shots-the Cheers Beacon Hill bar.

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Moe's Tavern - "The Simpsons"

You might be surprised to learn that Moe's Tavern, the oldest running TV bar ("The Simpsons" is, after all, the longest-running TV sitcom of all time), is one you can actually visit, given the fact that the show is animated. Moe's Tavern is located inside Universal Studios Florida. You can sidle up to the bar next to another famous barfly, Barney. Three types of Duff beer, including a lager, pilsner, and stout, are on tap. You can also order a Flaming Moe's, though it's a non-alcoholic drink and doesn't involve any real flames.

Lighthouse Cafe, Seb's Club - "La La Land"

Espandero, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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The Lighthouse Cafe, where Ryan Gosling's aspiring jazz musician plays sets in 2017's "La La Land," is, in fact, a real jazz club that opened its doors in the 1950s. The bar, located in Hermosa Beach in Los Angeles, opened its doors to the movie production for four days of filming in 2015. The Lighthouse Cafe isn't the only real bar featured in the movie. The bar used to depict Seb's Club is a real-life Lond Beach, California-bar called The Blind Donkey.

MacLaren's - "How I Met Your Mother"

A considerable chunk of scenes from the long-running "How I Met Your Mother" occur in MacLaren's Pub. The location is based on McGee's Pub, a favorite haunt of the show's creators, who loved it so much they decided to make it the model for MacLaren's. Visit McGee's, which sits a few blocks north of Time Square on West 55th Street, at the start of the week for its "How I Met Your Mother" Mondays, featuring show-inspired menu items. For fans of the show, it honestly is legen...wait for it...dary.

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Woody's L Street Tavern - "Good Will Hunting"

In the 1990s, before Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were the Hollywood stars they are today, they starred in the breakout hit "Good Will Hunting." Woody's L Street Tavern is the haunt Will Hunting, and his rough Southie friends hang out in. The corner bar is located on east 8th street in South Boston. Aside from a few renovations to its exterior, it looks very similar to how it appeared in the movie. It even has the original table where the actors sat, complete with paraphernalia from the film. Now how 'bout them apples?

The Prince - "The New Girl," "Mad Men," etc.

Few bars can claim to have made it onto the small screen or silver screen. Serving as a set for TV and film is an old hat for LA's The Prince. This Koreatown institution's dark red decor and eclectic collection of old-world portrait paintings have made it an ideal setting for a variety of films and TV shows, including "Madmen," "Criminal Minds," "Chinatown," and a host of others. Most recently, it was where Nick tended bar and hung out with Jess and his friends on "The New Girl."

The Bluebird Cafe - "Nashville"

Uppsalaelle, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bluebird Cafe in Music City had already gained a name long before it appeared on the screen. Many of the biggest names in country music (and at least one pop star) started at the Bluebird, including Vince Gill, Lady A (formerly Lady Antebellum), Keith Urban, and Taylor Swift. The great Garth Brooks notably auditioned to play there in 1987. That's likely why the Bluebird became one of the featured locations on "Nashville," ABC's long-running drama about country music singers.

Kansas City Barbecue - "Top Gun"

Suppose you're counting the days until the long-awaited "Top Gun" sequel hits theaters in May. In that case, you might be interested in knowing that the beer and barbecue bar in the original movie is alive and well (unlike Maverick's co-pilot, Goose). San Diego's Kansas City Barbecue is the location where Anthony Edward's ill-fated Goose and Tom Cruise's Maverick sing a boisterous version of "Great Balls of Fire" to Meg Ryan. And, yes, the piano is still there. If you're in southern California, check it out, you big stuuuuud!

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7B Horseshoe Bar - "The Godfather: Part II"

Anyone who'd like to get a feel for what it's like to be in the Corleone crime family should take a seat at 7B Horseshoe Bar, AKA Vazacs, named so for the shape of its bar, in New York City. The bar is where the Rosato brothers attempt to take out Frank Pentangeli in the classic mob movie "The Godfather: Part II" and where a shootout ensues in the streets in front of the bar. You'll find this popular neighborhood bar in Alphabet City. If you stop by for a beer, don't forget to tell the bartender that "Michael says hello."

Bubby's - "The Devil Wears Prada"

While "The Devil Wears Prada" is mainly remembered for Meryl Streep's character, the movie actually centers around Anne Hathaway's Andy, who serves as Miranda Priestley's much-maligned assistant. She frequents the real-life New York City bar Bubby's, where her boyfriend also works as a chef. If you want to trace Andy's steps, then don't miss this Tribeca haunt, which is identifiable by the life-sized cow statue.

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