This image flashed by my eye this afternoon. It's apparently a bar in New York the night before Prohibition comes into effect in 1919. A little less highbrow perhaps than this one. What I find really interesting is how there is so much going on that is really different from what bars are like now. When researching Ontario Beer one of the main aspects of the new liquor control system after the end of temperance years was that the tavern was not to be allowed. Hard liquor was fine. The male gathering place? Not so much. Wide agreement on that point. So what made them so bad? A larger version of the image is to the right. Click on that and let's see if we can find anything that might lean that way or anything else of interest:
• The beer is being served in a US pint goblet. It looks like dark beer but that is hard to tell in a photo without back light coming through the glass. Fourteen years later, these guys are clearly drinking goblets of dark beer.
• The bartender holding the glass appears to be pouring beers ahead of demand. There are four full glasses in front of him on the bar as well as a row of upturned goblets between the poured beers and the customer. And that customer leaning into the bar has his own drink.
• There is a "My Prediction" machine in the background.
• The near end of the bar is a hot dog grill. There appears to be a goblet full of mustard as well as maybe salt and pepper shakers. With the looping tubes, it appears to be a gas grill. Shut off value to the left of the grill. The nearest guy in a straw hat has a hot dog in his hand.
• Hats. Mainly straw boaters. One panama down the bar at bit. The cloth cap at the front by the hot dog grill. At least two fedoras in front of the "My Prediction" machine in the back.
The room is all mirror, glass and carved paneled wood. The bar is L-shaped and there are maybe 38 customers and maybe six bartenders. The mirrors make it look like a lot more. There are no tables or chairs. Someone is entering from the right by the post as another leaves. So the place may be not a place to wait around. Grab a beer, have a chat and go. Den of sin? Looks like a pretty well kept place actually.