May Is National Tavern Month

Join ABL in Recognizing Bar & Tavern Owners by Celebrating the 64th Annual Tavern Month

April 28, 2017 – Bethesda, MD – Since 1953, Tavern Month has served as an opportunity to support local hospitality businesses, promote the responsible service and enjoyment of beverage alcohol, and educate the public about the economic engine formed by the hundreds of thousands of on-premise beverage licensees throughout the United States. Which is why this May, ABL and America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers encourage everyone to recognize their local bars and taverns by celebrating Tavern Month.

Long known as the “Friendliest Place in Town,” the American bar and tavern represent the epitome of community spirit and social culture – both of which are at the core of this nation’s civic fabric. Be it the corner pub, a trendy lounge, a wine bar, or a family-owned and operated tavern, they all have the same essential function: serving as a place where people come together for meetings, celebrations, and remembrances. Simply put, they are places where people come to share.

Bars and taverns have played an integral role in the development and formation of this nation for nearly 250 years: in 1773, the Sons of Liberty planned the Boston Tea Party at the Green Dragon Tavern in Boston; in 1787, 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention celebrated at Philadelphia’s City Tavern two days prior to the signing of the Constitution; and in 1833, Abraham Lincoln and associate William Berry opened three stores that doubled as bars, selling brandies, gin, wine, rum and whiskey.

“The important role played by bars and taverns in the history of this nation should not be overlooked,” noted ABL Executive Director John Bodnovich. “Whether it’s serving as a location for like-minded individuals to meet and discuss the pressing issues of the day, the sponsoring of local youth athletics programs, or working with local civic organizations to promote and support community initiatives, on-premise beverage retailers are there – and often times, they are leading the way.”

According to the 2016 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers, direct retail alcohol sales for on-premise, licensed establishments account for as many as 1.41 million jobs; $35.9 billion in wages and benefits; and more than $76 billion in economic impact annually.  When including all sales by on-premise, full-service restaurants and drinking places, those numbers climb to 5.66 million jobs; $136.7 billion in wages and benefits; and over $275 billion in economic impact.

As the retail tier within the Three-Tier System, bar and tavern owners also work with elected officials and state regulators on an on-going and continual basis to support sensible beverage alcohol policy. These owners also place a strong emphasis on providing the public with responsible service, as evidenced through various employee training programs and the implementation of programs and initiatives designed to both discourage and prevent drunk driving and underage access to alcohol.

This May, join ABL and its state and local bar and tavern association affiliates 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 good jobs they provide to those in their communities. Celebrate Tavern Month this May by raising a glass to the American tavern – the friendliest place in town. To learn more about Tavern Month, click here!


View PDF Version


About American Beverage Licensees: ABL is the preeminent national trade association for beverage alcohol retailers. Direct retail beverage alcohol sales in the United States generate as many as 1.94 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 $25.3 billion in federal taxes and $18.36 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more about ABL, visit