Before the modern bars where you might also get a coffee, and a full meal too, there were true, down to earth bars. The most you could get was a bowl of peanuts, and you could probably even have a cigarette inside. They were the inspiration for many things, apparently some of the greatest classic written works. Today, we want to take a trip to when a bar was a bar, and share with you 5 watering holes that may have been the wellspring of some great classic novels, and may inspire you today.
The Carousel Bar – If there was ever a town that could spark intrigue, and mystery, it has to be New Orleans. Anne Rice made it a vampire haven, and John Grisham’s Pelican Brief used it as a stage for political coverups. The city hosts Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar that was the setting for stories from Tennessee Williams and Hemingway. It is also where the notorious Truman Capote called his birth home. Rice herself, as well as William Faulkner have bunked at the storied hotel, and dipped in for libations at Carousel Bar.
Eagle and Child – England has bared its share of brilliant authors. They have become masters at creating fantastic stories that take us out of the realm of reality. Two such authors are C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and the key to their successful works could have been pow-wowing with fellow authors. Eagle and Child in Oxford, England was a workshop of sorts in which Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and possibly C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia were scrutinized before being published. Eagle and Child even features The Rabbit Room that pays homage to the famous authors.
Antico Caffe Greco – For a deep slice of history, set your sights on Rome in Italy for inspiration. This is a beautiful city of rich antiquity from the churches, and renaissance art to the Antico Caffe Greco. This 18th Century cafe was a go to when poets, playwrights, and science fiction writers, needed a break. John Keats and Lord Byron wrote great English Romantic pieces, and Mary Shelley pondered Frankenstein’s future between sips of coffee. Aside from the rich connection to literary marvels, it is the oldest bar in Rome, and the second oldest in Italy.
White Horse Tavern – Ah New York. Bright lights, big city! Of course there are bars there that have inspired literary greatness. The White Horse Tavern is the place for music, and literary musings. Welsh poet Dylan Thomas subsequently died after his “final” drink at the White Horse. Some guests report that he lingers there. This Greenwich Village tavern also hosted African American novelist and social critic James Baldwin, and Jack Kerouac who wrote On The Road, that defined free thinking postwar culture in the 1950s. Many other authors and musicians have garnered inspiration from this New York City staple.
Sloppy Joes – Key West is the home of Ernest Hemingway. You have heard about his six-toed cat manor in Florida. Though not around anymore, he lives through entrancing literary works like, The Old Man and the Sea. You many fantasize him typing away overlooking a palm grove, but some of his best ideas may have come from a drink at Sloppy Joes. Hemingway influenced the name of this 1933 bar, for the always wet floors and a Cuban seafood house. This Key West Tradition is still alive today with great drinks and history you can drink to.
This concludes our list of 5 very cool bars to visit that may help spark your own literary genius. So when you take an exotic getaway, or just visit another state for fun, we will be here with 5 more things you could do to make your visit 5x more fun. Keep an eye out for more destinations, and more things you can do aside from lounge in your hotel.