May Is National Tavern Month

Bar & Tavern Owners Urge Americans to Put Aside Differences & Raise a Glass in Celebration of Tavern Month

APRIL 30, 2019 – BETHESDA, MD – American Beverage Licensees (ABL) is proud to recognize May as National Tavern Month. Since 1953, Tavern Month has provided an opportunity to support local beverage retailers; promote the responsible service and enjoyment of beer, wine and spirits; and educate the public about the history, traditions and economic impact of the hundreds-of-thousands of on-premise beverage licensees throughout the United States.

The “American Spirit” of individualism and entrepreneurial courage is embodied in the traditions of neighborhood bars and taverns. Whether for celebrating or commiserating, get-togethers and spending time with friends are a hallmark of the bar and tavern business. While getting to know customers’ first names has become somewhat of a novelty in today’s fast-paced world, it remains an integral part of running a successful bar or tavern.

“The local tavern offers a much-needed place to put aside our differences in politics, sports and anything else that divides us – while connecting us with our friends and communities around a shared sense of conviviality and hospitality,” said ABL Executive Director John Bodnovich. “From the Revolutionary War to our modern Digital Age, local bar and tavern businesses have held fast as an indelible part of America’s cultural fabric.”

The American bar and tavern, commonly referred to as the “Friendliest Place in Town,” personify both community spirit and social culture: central tenets to the civic framework of our nation. Whether a multi-generational, family-owned tavern; a new wine bar; an upscale lounge; or the corner bar, these establishments provide their customers with the same central function: serving as the place where members of the community join together over a pint of beer, glass of wine or their favorite cocktail.

While much has stayed the same, the culture of bars and taverns continues to evolve. With a strong emphasis on responsible consumption, it is vital for bar and tavern owners to operate their establishments with an eye toward responsibility. In order to provide the safest and friendliest atmosphere for their patrons, these owners and operators strive to employ innovative and effective methods of age verification, crowd control, and server training.

According to the 2018 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers, direct retail alcohol sales for on-premise, licensed establishments account for nearly 1.5 million jobs; $38.8 billion in direct wages and benefits; and more than $80.5 billion in direct economic impact annually. When including all sales by on-premise, full-service restaurants and drinking places, those numbers climb to 6.9 million jobs; $175.9 billion in direct wages and benefits; and over $363.3 billion in direct economic impact.

This May, join ABL and its state bar and tavern association affiliates nationwide in embracing the historic and modern roles of the American bar and tavern, the hardworking individuals who strive to keep the doors of their businesses open, and the jobs and support they provide to those in their communities. Celebrate Tavern Month this May by raising a glass to the American bar and tavern – #TheFriendliestPlaceInTown.

To learn more about #TavernMonth or to find ways to show your support, please visit


American Beverage Licensees is the preeminent national trade association for beverage alcohol retailers. Direct retail beverage alcohol sales in the United States generate more than 2.03 million well-paying jobs. ABL’s thousands of on-premise and off-premise licensee members are independent and often family-owned establishments. The beverage retailing industry pays over $27.9 billion in federal taxes and $20.0 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more about ABL, visit