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Published on September 4th, 2009 | by Niall


Anyone fancy a pint?

Living away from Ireland I miss certain things, none more so than my local pub. Reminsicing over the good times that I’ve spent hanging with my friends I started to wonder what if I could drink in any pub/bar , where would that be? When my daydreaming led, as it inevitably always does, to fictional pubs I realised that most of the best pubs that I’ve ever paid witness to have been on TV.

So I decided to catalogue the Top 5 TV pubs. My first and only rule was that the establishment in question must serve alcohol, so goodbye Central Perk (Friends) Café Nervosa (Frasier), Java The Hut (Veronica Mars) and Café Diem (Eureka). After that all bets are off…

Number 5: Boar’s Nest (Dukes of Hazzard)

Boar's NestOkay the atmosphere is a little hokey and the giant confederate flag is off-putting but red-necks sure do love their beer. Entertainment is provided by way of regular bar brawls and Daisy Duke as waitress. The back office is great for running illegal deals and the General Lee is usually packed outside.

On top of all that the basement has an escape tunnel, which was used for moonshine running and eluding the authorities. Which is awesome!

Number 4: Bada Bing! (The Sopranos)

Bada Bing

It’s got alcohol, semi-naked women, terrorist dealings and the mob. What’s not to love? Okay it’s not exactly welcoming to a newcomer but it does offer a nice family atmosphere. Dodgy dealing again can be carried out by the back office.

Perhaps not the best location to bring a first date.

Number 3: MacLaren’s Bar (How I Met Your Mother)


Friendly barstaff, a regular stream of attractive single woman who never seem to return and a group of 20/30 somethings who never seem to leave. Sounds like my kind of place. Home to regular instances of Barney suiting up and conveniently located in central New York minutes from Papaya King.

And besides it’s the place where the infamous Slap Bet was made.

Number 2: Moe’s Tavern (The Simpsons)

Moe's Tavern

Come on tell me which one of you out there hasn’t wanted to drink at Moe’s? It’s undergone many renovations (family restaurant, yuppie bar, Alaskan themed, British pub) but always returns to it’s working class roots. Frequented by everyone’s favourite fat-assed American Homer, and home to the gruff but loveable bartender Moe Szyslak.

Whether for the affront to public safety, Flaming Moe or simply a Duff Moe’s Tavern is the place to relax without any pretension.

Saving the best till last?

Number 1: Cheers (Cheers)


I know it’s the obvious number one choice. It’s quite simply the most famous of all TV bars, and it’s in Boston where everyone is Irish (or at least claims to be). Besides the instant recognition Cheers offers a warm, family atmosphere where a former sportsstar listens to your problems and unloads even more of his own.

Just so you know, having a beer with George Wendt is on my list of top ten things to do before I die.

Honourable mentions: Gem Saloon (Deadwood), Issac’s Bar (The Love Boat), The Bronze (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Enterprise D’s Ten-Forward (Star Trek: The Next Generation), The Peach Pit After Dark (Beverly Hills, 90210) , Caritas (Angel), The Drunken Clam (Family Guy), The Regal Beagle (Three’s Company), Quark’s Bar, Grill, Gaming House and Holosuite Arcade (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Rosie’s Bar (M.A.S.H.), Paddy’s Irish Pub (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia), McGinty’s (Frasier), Martini Bar (Ally McBeal), Emerald City Bar (Grey’s Anatomy), The Bait Shop (The O.C.), The Rover’s Return (Coronation Street), The Woolpack (Emmerdale), The Queen Vic (Eastenders) and last but not least McCoy’s (Fair City).

Disagree with my choices or did I leave your favourite out?

Special bonus question: Anyone remember the name of the pub in Glenroe?

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About the Author

The proverbial man lost in La Mancha. Sports aficionado and all-round scoundrel. Über-geek to boot. I run the movie website Scannain.com and can usually be found twittering away as @niallxmurphy.

11 Responses to Anyone fancy a pint?

  1. Peter says:

    I think you left a big gap in your list:

    The Mos Eisley Cantina (Star Wars)

    A dark and nefarious bar. Filled with bizarre and dangerous aliens from across the galaxy seeking shade, refreshment and shady deals. The band is pretty cool (Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes are good to see of a Friday and Saturday evening) Yes its very rough and violence is frequently perpetrated and ignored in equal measure by both the clientele and the management.
    There are anumber of games to play including; spot the extra appendage; holo chess and spotting who shoots who first.
    A strict no droids policy at the door means valuable drinking space isn’t taken up.

  2. Darren Byrne says:

    I love the Gem Saloon. Even if I was beaten up by Swearengen’s goon Dan, at least I could say I was there.

    I’ll admit to liking that bar in Ally McBeal too.

  3. Efa says:

    I *think* the pub in Glenroe was the Molly Malone?!
    God i rem being allowed stay up on a sunday night to watch it when I was small but I had to change into my pyjamas during the ads in the middle!!

  4. Niall says:

    @Peter Since the Mos Eisley Cantina is more of a movie bar (having only appeared in the ill-fated Star Wars Christmas Special on TV) I did not feel that it warranted inclusion. I really do love your description of it though, I’m always partial to a wretched hole of scum and villainy.

    @Darren The Gem Saloon was my 6th. With The Drunken Clam, Issac’s Bar, Ten Forward and The Bronze rounding out the Top 10.

    @Efa A big bualadh bos for getting the name of Glenroe’s pub correct. I do not recall it ever actually being mentioned in the show.

  5. Peter says:

    @ Niall – I am using the Star Wars X-Mas Special as my get out clause for inclusion in the list! Its the only thing that travesty is good for!

  6. Tom says:

    Great list! I agree with most choices, and most rankings (I would probably have moved Ten Forward up a bit, myself). I’m wondering if there should be a “fictional bars that are terrible” list. I’d like to nominate the bar owned by Jordan’s dad on “Jordan’s Crossing” because you’d have to listen to the owner’s atrocious accent – and that could ruin any drink.

  7. Ronan says:

    The pub in Summer Bay always seems to have a lot of drama. Plus teen drinkin = bad messages everytime there’s a grad/prom/debs night (whatever they call it down under) when someone spikes the punch!

  8. Niamh says:

    Ha great post 🙂 I was going to complain that you’d left out The Woolpack and Rovers Return but they got honourable mentions so that’s ok.

    Incidentally, I’ve been to both the Rovers and to McCoys before. I even got a drink in McCoys 😉 It’s a lot smaller than it looks on the telly.

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