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10 Oldest Bars in Boston

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Boston is one of the most historical cities in America and was the center of the American Revolutionary War. Many of the oldest bars on this list were frequented by America’s Founding Fathers not only so they could grab a few drinks, but also so they could plan the war.

Unfortunately, many of these 18th and 19th century bars have struggled over the years and a few have shut down in recent years (they were left off this list). As of the time of writing in November 2019, all of the bars on this list are still open.

10. Cask ‘n Flagon

Year Established: 1969
Location:  62 Brookline Ave
Operating Hours:  Sunday – Wednesday: 11AM – 1AM; Thursday – Saturday: 11AM – 2AM
Also Serves Food:  Yes

Cask n Flagonphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

The Cask ‘n Flagon is a popular restaurant and sports bar located just across the street from Fenway Park. It has been continuously operating since 1969 and according to a sign out front, its one of the most popular sports bars in America. The Cask ‘n Flagon is owned and operated by the same family that first opened the bar 50 years ago. In addition to the restaurant and bar, Cask ‘n Flagon has an event space and club area right next door.

Did You Know?

The old black and white photographs lining the Cask ‘n Flagon’s walls were taken by famed Boston Globe photographer Dennis Brearley, who captured American sports history.


9. The Tam

Year Established: c.1940s
Location:  222 Tremont St.
Operating Hours:  Monday – Thursday: 8AM – 1AM; Friday- Saturday: 8AM – 2AM; Sunday: 12PM – 1AM
Also Serves Food:  No

photo source: Flickr via billsoPHOTO

The Tam opened sometime in the 1940s and has become one of the city’s most popular dive bars. With the exception of a brief closure in late 2018, the Tam has been serving classic no frills drinks for nearly 80 years. The Tam was purchased by the Greatest Boston Bar Company LLC and made minor renovations before reopening the bar on New Year’s Eve 2018. All of the Tam’s former employees returned when the bar reopened.

Did You Know?

The Tam is located on Boston’s historic Tremont Street. The Tremont Street subway runs underneath Tremont Street and it is the oldest subway tunnel in North America.


8. Oak Long Bar + Kitchen (Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel)

Year Established: 1912
Location:  138 St James Ave
Operating Hours:  Monday – Sunday: 7AM – 1AM
Also Serves Food:  Yes

photo source: TripAdvisor

The Oak Long Bar + Kitchen is another hotel bar that isn’t necessarily as old as the hotel its located in. However, the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, opened in 1912, has always had a bar, so technically the bar is also 107 years old.

Oak Long Bar + Kitchen does capture the early 20th century feel of the Fairmont Copley and is one of Boston’s most popular bars. The restaurant features a farm to table men and the drinks and food are made with locally sourced ingredients.

Did You Know?

From about 1930 – 1945, the bar inside of the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel was a completely circular bar known as the “Plaza Merry-Go-Round.”


7. Amrheins

Year Established: 1890
Location:  80 W Broadway
Operating Hours:  Monday – Friday: 11:30AM – 2AM; Saturday – Sunday: 10AM – 2AM
Also Serves Food:  Yes

Amrheinsphoto source: Flickr via Paul Sableman

Unfortunately, like many of the 19th century bars/restaurants in Boston, Amrheins has been struggling in recent years. It briefly closed in 2016 before being reopened following an interior renovation. Most recently, Amrheins was put up for sale in 2018 and the site that restaurant and bar sits on was purchased in 2019. At this time, no one knows for sure if Amrheins will survive.

Did You Know?

In addition to having the oldest hand carved bar, Amrheins claims to have the very first draft beer pump in Boston.


6. Marliave

Year Established: 1885
Location:  10 Bosworth St.
Operating Hours:  Monday – Sunday: 11AM – 12 AM
Also Serves Food:  Yes (better known for its food)

Marliavephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

The Marliave is another old Boston restaurant that has been serving drinks for as long as its been open, which is why its being included on this list. The restaurant was opened by French immigrant, Henry Marliave, who brought his closely guarded family recipes with him to America.

The Marliave was closed for some time before it was reopened in 2008 by chef Scott Herriett. Although the Marliave struggled for a while after it opened back during the American recession of 2008, both the restaurant and bar have recovered and are frequently packed.

Did You Know?

The Marliave added an espresso bar in 2016 to go along with the restaurant and regular bar. Café Marliave serves coffee, tea, snacks, and pastries.


5. The Last Hurrah at Omni Parker House

Year Established: 1855
Location:  60 School St.
Operating Hours:  Monday – Saturday: 4PM – 12AM; Sunday: Closed
Also Serves Food:  Yes at Parker’s Restaurant

The Last Hurrahphoto source: National Trust for Historic Preservation

That Last Hurrah is the bar located on the ground floor of the Omni Parker House (originally Parker House Hotel), a hotel that has been open since 1855. The Parker House is the oldest continuously operating hotel in the U.S. and its bar is one of the oldest in Boston.

The Parker House as a whole has been the center of Boston and U.S. politics. Most famously, John F. Kennedy launched his political career at the hotel and proposed to Jacqueline Bouvier at Parker’s Restaurant.

Did You Know?

The Last Hurrah was named Edwin O’Connor’s 1956 novel of the same name, a thinly disguised chronicling of Boston Mayor James Michael Curley’s colorful life.


4. (ye olde) Union Oyster House

Year Established: 1826
Location:  41 Union St.
Operating Hours:  Sunday – Thursday: 11AM – 9:30AM; Friday – Saturday: 11AM – 10PM
Also Serves Food:  Yes (better known for its food)

Union Oyster Housephoto source: Flickr via David Ohmer

Unlike the other bars on this list, Union Oyster House is better known for being an oyster bar and restaurant, however it has most likely always served alcoholic drinks. In addition to being one of the oldest bars in Boston, Union Oyster House is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the United States.

While food and drinks weren’t served from the building until 1826, its believed that the Union Oyster House building dates all the way back to at least 1714 and possibly 1704. Before it was a restaurant, the building was dress goods business and Isaiah Thomas published his newspaper, The Massachusetts Spy, from the second floor.

Did You Know?

In 1796 Louis Philippe, king of France from 1830 to 1848, lived in exile on the second floor of what is now the Union Oyster House building.


3. Bell in Hand Tavern

Year Established: 1795
Location:  45 Union St.
Operating Hours:  Monday – Sunday: 11AM – 2AM
Also Serves Food:  Yes

Bell in Hand Tavernphoto source: Flickr via Brandon Turner


The Bell in Hand Tavern has been open since 1795 and is just around the corner from the historic Green Dragon Tavern. First owned, by Jimmy Wilson, Boston’s last Town Crier (hence the bar’s name), Bell in Hand Tavern was a gathering place for the town’s printers, politicians, sailors, and students. Some of  the Bell in Hand’s most famous patrons included Daniel Webster and Paul Revere, who apparently frequented many of the oldest bars on this list.The current Bell in Hand Tavern building only dates back to 1884, but its bar (the actual drink area) is from the original 1795 site.

Did You Know?

Original owner Jimmy Wilson did not believe in serving hard alcohol, so the Bell in Hand Tavern served nothing stronger than Smith’s Philadelphia Cream Ale until 1919.


2. Warren Tavern

Year Established: 1780
Location:  2 Pleasant St., Charlestown (Boston neighborhood)
Operating Hours:  Monday – Sunday: 11AM – 1AM
Also Serves Food:  Yes

Warren Tavernphoto source: Flickr via Brandon Turner

Unlike the Green Dragon Tavern, which has moved around, the Warren Tavern has operated out of the same building since 1780, making it the oldest bar in Boston in its original building and location. Additionally, Warren Tavern has pretty much been in continuous operation and has only been closed for short periods of time.

The Warren Tavern was frequented by many Revolutionary War heroes and was even named for Dr. Joseph Warren, one of the revolutionary leaders killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Today, Warren Tavern is still a popular watering hole as well as a tourist attraction.

Did You Know?

President George Washington frequently visited the Warren Tavern and his funeral speech was given at the bar.


1. The Green Dragon Tavern

Year Established: 1654; current building built in 1993
Location:  11 Marshall St.
Operating Hours:  Monday – Sunday: 11AM – 2AM
Also Serves Food:  Yes

The Green Dragon Tavernphoto source: Flickr via Brandon Turner

Unlike the Green Dragon Tavern, which has moved around, the Warren Tavern has operated out of the same building since 1780, making it the oldest bar in Boston in its original building and location. Additionally, Warren Tavern has pretty much been in continuous operation and has only been closed for short periods of time.

The Warren Tavern was frequented by many Revolutionary War heroes and was even named for Dr. Joseph Warren, one of the revolutionary leaders killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Today, Warren Tavern is still a popular watering hole as well as a tourist attraction.

Did You Know?

President George Washington frequently visited the Warren Tavern and his funeral speech was given at the bar.


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