There have been many different names for public drinking spaces throughout history. In the colonial era of the United States taverns were an important meeting place, as most other institutions were weak. During the 19th century saloons were very important to the leisure time of the working class. Today, even when an establishment uses a different name, such as "tavern," the area of the establishment where the bartender pours or mixes alcoholic beverages is normally called "the bar."
The sale and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages was prohibited in the first half of the 20th century in several countries, including Finland, Iceland, Norway, and the United States. In the United States, illegal bars during Prohibition were called speakeasies or blind pigs.
Laws in many jurisdictions prohibit minors from entering a bar.
If those under legal drinking age are allowed to enter, they are not allowed to drink.
Cities and towns usually have legal restrictions on where bars may be located and on the types of alcohol they may serve to their customers.
Some Muslim countries, prohibit bars for religious reasons, while others, including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, do allow bars in some specific areas but only permit non-Muslims to drink in them.
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