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Bar (establishment)

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**Historical Evolution of Bars:**
– Taverns as important meeting places in colonial America.
– Saloons significant for the working class in the 19th century.
– Rise of illegal bars like speakeasies during Prohibition.
– Different laws on alcohol sales and consumption in various countries.
– Evolution of bar types over time.

**Legal Regulations and Restrictions:**
– Prohibitions on minors entering bars in the US.
– Restrictions on serving alcohol to intoxicated patrons.
– Regulations on bar locations and types of alcohol served.
– Legal liability of bar owners for patrons’ actions.
– Varied legal restrictions in different countries.

**Types and Specializations of Bars:**
– Diverse demographics attracted to bars.
– Different types of bars like cocktail lounges, wine bars, and beer bars.
– Bars focusing on specific entertainment like live music or comedy.
– Specialized bars catering to specific preferences.
– Non-alcoholic bars and bars within larger venues like hotels and casinos.

**Entertainment Offered in Bars:**
– Sports bars offering food and entertainment like arcade games.
– Various entertainment options in bars like live music.
– Different types of entertainment bars such as blues bars, comedy bars, and dance bars.
– Unique entertainment experiences in bars like karaoke and drag bars.
– Bars dedicated to specific music genres like salsa or piano bars.

**International Bar Culture:**
– Italian bars serving coffee, snacks, and alcoholic beverages.
– Polish bars known as pubs offering drinks and simple snacks.
– Spanish bars as important cultural meeting places.
– UK’s distinction between bars and pubs.
– Unique features of bars in the United States and former Yugoslavia.

A bar, also known as a saloon, a tavern or tippling house, or sometimes as a pub or club, is an establishment retail business that serves alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, liquor, cocktails, and other beverages such as mineral water and soft drinks. Bars often also sell snack foods, such as crisps or peanuts, for consumption on their premises. Some types of bars, such as pubs, may also serve food from a restaurant menu. The term "bar" refers to the countertop where drinks are prepared and served, and by extension to the overall premises.

A hotel bar in Switzerland
Outdoor bar in Paso Robles, California, United States of America

The term derives from the metal or wooden bar (barrier) that is often located along the length of the "bar". Over many years, heights of bars were lowered, and high stools added, and the brass bar remains today.

Bars provide stools or chairs that are placed at tables or counters for their patrons. Bars that offer entertainment or live music are often referred to as "music bars", "live venues", or "nightclubs". Types of bars range from inexpensive dive bars to elegant places of entertainment, often accompanying restaurants for dining.

Many bars operate a discount period, designated a "happy hour" or discount of the day to encourage off-peak-time patronage. Bars that fill to capacity sometimes implement a cover charge or a minimum drink-purchase requirement during their peak hours. Bars may have bouncers to ensure that patrons are of legal age, to eject drunk or belligerent patrons, and to collect cover charges. Such bars often feature entertainment, which may be a live band, vocalist, comedian, or disc jockey playing recorded music.

Patrons may sit or stand at the counter and be served by a bartender. Depending on the size of a bar and its approach, alcohol may be served at the bar by bartenders, at tables by servers, or by a combination of the two. The "back bar" is a set of shelves of glasses and bottles behind the counter. In some establishments, the back bar is elaborately decorated with woodwork, etched glass, mirrors, and lights.

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