You can be a mere bystander for your favorite television heroes’ antics, or you can get in the action by paying a visit to the establishments that inspired or served as the location for bars on these six shows.
Location: Boston, MA
As seen in: Cheers
Perhaps the most famous on-screen bar, Cheers—which was founded as the Bull & Finch Pub and renamed in 2002—served as the exterior of the beloved fictional Boston brew house. But even though it looks familiar on the outside, we cannot promise that everyone (or anyone) will know your name inside.
KAVANAGH’S BAR (A.K.A. SIDEBAR TAVERN)
Location: Baltimore, MD
As seen in: The Wire
If you wanted to watch Jimmy McNulty drink himself into a stupor, Kavanagh’s Bar would be the watering hole for you. In real life, the bar shot for The Wire is called Sidebar Tavern, a place where you’re more likely to catch a live band or a stand-up show than any of Baltimore’s finest—or the Barksdale crew, for that matter.
BADA BING! (A.K.A. SATIN DOLLS CLUB)
Location: Lodi, NJ
As seen in: The Sopranos
Bada Bing! was the strip club that also hosted many mobster meetings of the mind on The Sopranos. As far as we know, nobody’s been beaten to a bloody pulp, shot, or otherwise brutalized in or near New Jersey’s Satin Dolls Club. However, you will see dancers showing an amount of skin that could only be shown on premium cable.
MacLAREN’S PUB (a.k.a. McGEE’S)
Location: New York, NY
As seen in: How I Met Your Mother
When How I Met Your Mother show creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays wrote for David Letterman, they found a home away from home at McGee’s Pub, a Hell’s Kitchen bar. This spot later inspired HIMYM’s MacLaren’s, the legendary unofficial HQ for Ted, Barney, Marshall, Lily, and Robin.
Location: New York, NY
As seen in: Mad Men
Founded in 1884, this decades-old hotspot has hosted real-life famous faces, ranging from Jackie Kennedy to Buddy Holly, and it was also where Peggy Olson and her fellow ad men celebrated a successful pitch in a season one episode. Though we realize Sterling Cooper’s employees usually opted for a liquid lunch, the cheeseburgers here are killer.
PADDY’S PUB (A.K.A. MAC’S TAVERN)
Location: Philadelphia, PA
As seen in: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (kinda…)
Okay, we’re fudging this one a bit. Sadly, the grimy, ill-managed Paddy’s Pub from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia does not exist in real life. But, you can throw back a pint (or six) at Mac’s Tavern, the Philly bar owned by Rob and Kaitlin McElhenney, who play Mac and Dee on the show.