A tavern is a place of business where people gather together to consume alcoholic drinks as well as be served food. A tavern is different from a bar, in that a tavern typically serves actual meals, instead of a bar which typically serves just snacks. Taverns also very commonly offer lodgings to travellers, and taverns that are licensed to do so will host any guests as lodgers. The word derives from the Latin word “taberna”, which originally meant a shed, workshop, or pub.
Taverns have been present in some form in every alcohol consuming country in the world, but some of the best known come from either Europe or America. Famously, the first shots ever fired of the American Revolution happened at the Buckman Tavern in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Taverns have also been important social gathering points throughout history, with a number of professionals making contacts through taverns, notably working-class jobs.
Taverns have also been a part of maritime culture for centuries, with the first thing that many sailors do after reaching land being to visit a tavern. Although there have been criticisms of taverns over the years, they remain popular today.