With a mixed bag of histories from raucous, Prohibition-era speakeasies to exclusive establishments that brag of hosting presidents and celebrities, the oldest bars in the United States are as diverse as the country itself. Here is a look into the oldest bar from every state and the District Of Columbia.
Related: Oldest Restaurant in Every State
ALABAMA: T.P. CROCKMIER'S
Opened in 1875 by a plantation family scion, T.P. Crockmier's in Mobile is a polarizing establishment: While some may find the old-fashioned wooden décor charming and historical, others may find it to be a hallmark of the country's harrowing history in the South.
ALASKA: B&B BAR
The B&B Bar was moved piece by piece by horse and buggy to Kodiak. Open since 1906, it's has a low-key, welcoming reputation as a place regulars gather for beer specials and pool.
ARIZONA: THE PALACE
This 1877 saloon in Prescott has a major claim to historical fame: Doc Holliday and the Earps were customers. The original wooden bar of The Palace is still in use, despite threat of fire at the beginning of the 20th century.
ARKANSAS: THE OHIO
Al Capone and Babe Ruth were among the customers drinking and gambling at The Ohio Club when it opened in 1905 in Hot Springs.
CALIFORNIA: SMILEY'S SCHOONER SALOON AND HOTEL
It was Capt. Isaac Morgan who founded a saloon in Bolinas in 1851, when it was known as Jugville — but obviously plenty changed here. A couple of decades later, Morgan was known for giving temperance lectures. This bar changed too, with names and owners coming and going until it became Smiley's in 1955.
COLORADO: THE BUFFALO ROSE TAVERN
The original tavern opened in 1859, though the brand-new renovation of The Buffalo Rose Tavern in Golden includes five historical buildings and venues, retaining historical touches but adding a retractable glass roof.
CONNECTICUT: THE GRISWOLD INN TAP ROOM
In operation since 1776, the Griswold Inn in Essex is one of the oldest establishments in the country. While the Inn preserves a historical charm, the tap room has been modernized to accommodate contemporary visitors, including fine wines and entertainment.
DELAWARE: KELLY'S LOGAN HOUSE
The opening of Kelly's Logan House in Wilmington dates to 1864; it was bought in 1889 by an Irish family and has been with them ever since. Considered a national historic site, the guestbook reveals infamous guests such as Al Capone and Buffalo Bill. (Jessop's Tavern in New Castle may have a building dating back to 1724, but it wasn't a bar then.)
FLORIDA: THE PALACE SALOON
While the building holding the Palace Saloon in Fernandina Beach traces its history back to 1878, it has been a watering hole since 1903 and retains its lavish accents, including Italian marble and mahogany.
GEORGIA: THE PIRATE'S HOUSE
A favorite among pirates, as the name suggests, The Pirate's House in Savannah was the site of an experimental public garden before it was replaced in 1753 with other uses — including as a hub for seafaring travelers.
HAWAII: SMITH'S UNION BAR
Self-described as having a "colorful" group of patrons, Smith's Union Bar in Honolulu is a classic dive where people come for conviviality rather than artisanal drinks. Opened since 1935, it was at home in an old red light district popular with sailors.
IDAHO: WHITE HORSE SALOON
Not only is the White Horse Saloon in Spirit Lake the oldest bar in the state, it's the tallest (which, honestly, isn't saying much). With original wooden floors from its opening in 1907, it feels like stepping back into history despite the contemporary drinks and food and many motorcycles parked outside. Some visitors and employees even say the spirits of Spirit Lake's past still roam the building.
ILLINOIS: THE VILLAGE TAVERN
In operation since 1847, The Village Tavern in Long Grove is a family establishment known for rustic authenticity. Its piece de resistance is a 35-foot mahogany bar that survived a great fire to dominate a spacious interior.
INDIANA: KNICKERBOCKER SALOON
Home to the first liquor license in the state in 1835, the Knickerbocker Saloon in Lafayette has a rustic atmosphere and regular live music — which makes sense considering it gets its name from a player piano that was a centerpiece attraction.
IOWA: BREITBACH'S COUNTRY DINING
Family-owned for six generations, the 1852 restaurant and bar Breitbach's Country Dining in Balltown has buffet style food and ample room for large groups — nearly bigger than Balltown itself, which has a population of less than 100.
KANSAS: HAYS HOUSE
Started in 1857, Hays House in Council Grove housed theatrical performances until the late 1800s, when a fire destroyed the pitched roof. With many preserved elements, this bar and restaurant is something of a living museum as well.
KENTUCKY: TALBOTT TAVERN
An old stagecoach stop since 1779, Talbott Tavern hangs on to details reminiscent of earlier days — such as creaking floorboards, but also bullet holes owners say came from the outlaw Jesse James.
LOUISIANA: LAFITTE'S BLACKSMITH SHOP BAR
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar in New Orleans might be mistaken for just another bar on Bourbon Street — but it went up in 1722 building and quickly became a popular stop and safe house for smugglers.
MAINE: JAMESON TAVERN
Built in 1779 and steeped in Maine tradition, Jameson Tavern in Freeport first operated as a tavern in 1801 and is purported to have been a meeting spot for organizers for independence from Massachusetts. (They succeeded.) It spent decades as a private home, but has been serving the public again since 1981, serving local brews, lobster dinners, and other seafood specialties.
MARYLAND: REYNOLDS TAVERN
Reynolds Tavern in Annapolis was a modest pub in 1747, a place travelers could come for hot food, liquor, a place to rest, and even a good hat. These days, it is a teahouse, has rooms for rent, and still offers drinks in the Pub in the Cellar.
MASSACHUSETTS: WARREN TAVERN
This 1780 tavern is named after Dr. Joseph Warren, who sent Paul Revere and William Dawes on their midnight ride. The Warren Tavern in Charlestown was also the location of George Washington's funeral speech. Think on that while you throw back a couple of cold ones.
MICHIGAN: OLD TAVERN INN
This 1835 outpost was one of the first businesses in the state, if not the first. In many ways the Old Tavern Inn in Niles remains largely unchanged as a humble place for locals and travelers to rest, eat, and drink. Though back when it was made of logs, the owners made their own whisky.
North Saint Paul
This 1887 saloon started with the help of Hamm's beer, a neighboring brewery. During Prohibition there were two floors at Neumann's in North St. Paul, one with low-alcohol "near beers" that were legal at the time, and a speakeasy with the real stuff. In constant operation for more than 100 years, it is still going strong.
MISSISSIPPI: KING'S TAVERN
Not only the oldest bar, but also the oldest building in the area, King's Tavern in Natchez says it opened circa 1789 and is supposedly haunted. In the 1930s three dead bodies were found buried within the walls of the old tavern. Creepy.
MISSOURI: O'MALLEY'S 1842 PUB
The main action in this Irish pub with food, music, and of course, beer takes place in a series of cellars built originally to store brewery goods, including a "secret" one that probably came in handy when O'Malleys 1842 Pub in Weston served as a speakeasy during Prohibition. The acoustics are pretty good 55 feet below ground.
MONTANA: BALE OF HAY SALOON
The Bale Of Hay Saloon in Virginia City is open seasonally from May through September. It is a well known place for live music, rowdy dancing, and fun events to honor a history dating back to 1863, including being an Old West house of ill repute.
NEBRASKA: GLUR'S TAVERN
Opened in 1876, Glur's Tavern in Columbus was another one of Buffalo Bill's favorite drinking spots. The nationally registered historic building is an unassuming white house with a porch that would be easy to miss if you are not looking out for it.
NEVADA: GENOA BAR
Hollywood has showed its love repeatedly for this former "gentleman's saloon" built in 1853. The Genoa Bar (in Genoa) is so authentic it still uses electric lamps from around 1900 and has a lone wood stove to keep warm. "Since it's the only source of heat, the locals often bring in firewood when I'm getting low," the owner says.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: THE HANCOCK INN
While one of seven inns in cozy Hancock, The Hancock Inn was the first in the area to offer accommodations, food, and drink and only enhanced its reputation when it was bought by a politician and became a hangout for U.S. senator and soon to be president Franklin. It began serving in 1789.
NEW JERSEY: BARNSBORO INN
This house has been a tavern since 1776, which is one old license for serving booze. Part of the structure dates back to 1720, which basically ensures the presence of ghosts, but these days the Barnsboro Inn in Sewell is a pub serving contemporary fare such as cajun calamari and filet mignon.
NEW MEXICO: EL FAROL
El Farol in Santa Fe has been in business since 1835, starting as La Cantina del Canon when the town was just a "raw dirt trail," and still serves food: Spanish, north and south American fusion food and drinks. (Some people say El Patio Cantina is older by five years, but that age refers to the building; drinks there seemed to started flowing in 1934.)
NEW YORK: THE OLD '76 HOUSE
Located on the border of New York and New Jersey, this tavern building goes back to 1668 and is intertwined with the Revolutionary War — at one time British spy John Andre was held here before being executed. Today The Old '76 House in Tappan is a contemporary restaurant and bar with live music in old fashioned digs.
NORTH CAROLINA: TAVERN IN OLD SALEM
Tavern In Old Salem serves food inspired by the Moravians living in Salem in the 19th century, with servers in traditional dress to match. It opened in 1784.
NORTH DAKOTA: PEACOCK ALLEY
Established just after Prohibition in 1933, Peacock Alley in Bismarck was a stylish hotel bar. But during Prohibition, the hotel had a reputation for already secretly serving alcohol, which makes a trip even more fun for alcohol history buffs.
OHIO: YE OLDE TRAIL TAVERN
This 1827 establishment keeps vintage artifacts and historical relics on display, which adds to the vibe of Ye Olde Trail Tavern in Yellow Springs, better known today among locals for its casual comfort food.
OKLAHOMA: EISCHEN'S BAR
Eischen's in Okarche displays proudly on its banner that it's the "oldest in Oklahoma," having opened its doors to the public in 1896. Its massive bar was hand carved in Spain in the early 1800s and was shipped to California during the Gold Rush before coming to Okarche in 1950.
One of the hallmarks of Huber's in Portland after it was established in 1879 was the free turkey sandwich and coleslaw patrons would get with a drink. The place is still known for its turkey, as well as for drinks.
PENNSYLVANIA: THE BROAD AXE TAVERN
The history of The Broad Axe Tavern in Ambler stretches back to 1681, when the area had little more than farms and few grain mills. The fun of 1760s horse races gave way to the battles of the Revolutionary War, and there are unmarked graves for U.S. and British soldiers alongside the roads — and supposedly a fair amount of supernatural activity for visitors to look out for.
RHODE ISLAND: WHITE HORSE TAVERN
The structure of the White Horse Tavern in Newport was built all the way back in 1652, which earns it some serious bragging rights. Converted to a tavern in 1673 — considered the oldest in the U.S. — it served as an important outpost for meetings and court proceedings, though the inheritor of the property in 1702 was a pirate who "caused much embarrassment to officials of the British Colony," owners say.
SOUTH CAROLINA: MCCRADY'S TAVERN
Established in 1778, this building is registered as a national landmark. Aside from being the oldest bar in South Carolina, McCrady's claim to fame in Charleston is the "grand dinner party" thrown there in 1791 for President George Washington.
SOUTH DAKOTA: BUFFALO BODEGA
This Deadwood bar opened its doors in 1877 and has been in the same spot since. Named after Buffalo Bill, a friend of the owner, Buffalo Bodega drew a reputation as a spot for gambling, drinking, and troublemaking. Guests can still drink and gamble.
TENNESSEE: SPRINGWATER SUPPER CLUB & LOUNGE
Established in 1896, this watering hole was a speakeasy during prohibition. These days the Springwater Supper Club & Lounge in Nashville is known for its regular live music and no-frills vibe.
TEXAS: SCHOLZ GARTEN
An unlikely match for Texas: Its oldest bar, Scholz Garten in Austin, is none other than a German beer hall dating back to 1866. The beer hall still serves traditional German food, and its attached Saengerrunde Bowling Club has been knocking down pins since 1904.
UTAH: SHOOTING STAR SALOON
Established in 1879, the Shooting Star Saloon in Huntsville is a small, local hang known for larger-than-life burgers that come with chips, not fries. ("NO Fries!!" is prominent on the saloon's website.) The only alcohol it carries is beer and other malted drinks, which makes it quite the watering hole in Utah.
VERMONT: YE OLDE TAVERN
Built in 1790, this colonial outpost has a name to match its history. Ye Olde Tavern in Manchester — originally the Stagecoach Inn, and the home to the first local telephone line — is so old it even predates Vermont's statehood, and is a relic from the time when Vermont was an independent republic. The cutesy name may not be authentic, but the rest is.
VIRGINIA: THE TAVERN
Built in 1779, The Tavern in Abingdon was a stagecoach stop and held one of the first post offices of the region. Soon after, it was hosting guests such as Louis Philippe, the king of France, and President Andrew Jackson.
WASHINGTON: THE BRICK SALOON
There is some controversy about who can claim the title of oldest bar in the state, but The Brick Saloon in Roslyn dates back to 1889 and features a 100-year-old bar, its own basement jail cell, and a 23-foot running water spittoon still operating from the Brick's first days in operation.
WASHINGTON, D.C.: OLD EBBITT GRILL
WEST VIRGINIA: THREE GABLES CLUB
Family owned and operated since 1935, the Three Gables Club in Hilltop is a local dive bar — no membership needed to enjoy its cheese fries, baked steak and gravy, or banana pudding, or a drink and a round of pool.
WISCONSIN: LANDMARK 1850 INN
The only reason the Landmark 1850 Inn in Milwaukee closed for a while was for renovations: It turns out that being open for more than 150 years can really wear a place down. Originally the New Coeln House — which is how it's identified on the National Register of Historic Places — the tavern was a stagecoach stop; now it's right by the city's airport.
WYOMING: MINERS & STOCKMAN'S
This steakhouse and spirits saloon is well recognized as the oldest watering hole in the state, since it opened in 1862. Whiskey is the drink of choice around here, though Miners & Stockmen's in tiny Hartville also offers a wine list to accompany its signature cuts of meat.