1. The Bronze – Buffy
So many flash-in-the-pan ’90s bands made stops at Sunnydale’s The Bronze, and not just Seth Green’s A Dingo Ate My Baby. The Bronze started out as a hybrid coffee shop/dance club/performance space/bar where underage kids could also hang out. Then, later it became a more college student-friendly environment. A lot of key moments happen at The Bronze — that weird alternate universe where Willow and Xander are vamps, Faith and Buffy going wild, Angel’s numerous mysterious appearances. Why couldn’t I have had a cool place to hang out from ages 14 to 22? We just had like, the mall or the park. The Bronze, which grew up as the Buffy kids did, always seemed super cool and hip.
2. Cheers – Cheers
Cheers was the greatest fictional bar ever created. It was where everybody knew your name. You loved those kooky characters. I lived in Boston for four years and went to some great bars, but none lived up to what I thought I’d get from watching Cheers. There is a real Cheers in Boston but it’s a tourist trap. So I’d only want Cheers the bar to be real, if the people in Cheers were also real.
3. Kavanaugh’s – The Wire
The set where they film scenes at Kavanaugh’s is real, but unfortunately the bar it’s based on is no longer around. Who wouldn’t want to entertain a cop wake at a good old Irish pub? Body and all.
4. MacLaren’s – How I Met Your Mother
Who wouldn’t want to live beneath a bar? The convenience, the proximity, the alcoholism, the noise…hm, okay maybe not so great. Anyone who lives in NYC knows how easy it is to fall in love with your neighborhood haunts and MacLaren’s seems kind of perfect. Almost too perfect to be a real New York City dive.
5. Hogsmeade – Harry Potter
Hogsmeade Village is so awesome that only third year students with a permission slip are allowed to take weekend trips there. It’s a treat just to go. It’s the only all-wizarding village and is described as looking as perfect as Christmas card. I mean, the Joke Shop? Honeydukes? The Shrieking Shack? Eat candy! Drink butterbeer! Have the best time ever!
6. Paddy’s – It’s Always Sunny
Paddy’s has so much personality, it’s almost the fifth lead character on It’s Always Sunny. An Irish dive in Philadelphia, Paddy’s looks pretty grungy from the outside. Inside, however, it’s actually a pretty nice bar, despite its incompetent, zany, amoral bartenders. Who wouldn’t want to attend Paddy’s Halloween party? Or sip on the cheapest beers in Philly?
7. Central Perk – Friends
My only problem with frequenting a real life Central Perk is that those primo couch seats would always be taken by one group of whiny friends. I mean, seriously, let someone else use those comfy chairs!
8. Bob’s Burgers – Bob’s Burgers
I kind of wish all the restaurants in Bob’s Burgers were real, but Bob’s Burgers especially. Okay so they don’t have the best service and sometimes a child is doing the cooking, but the funny menu board and the cast of characters would be worth all that. In the show, no one ever comes to the restaurant and Bob is constantly struggling with publicity and getting new customers. In real life, I’d be there in a heartbeat. Imagine eating a burger while Tina tells you about her latest fanfiction endeavors. Super.
9. Merlotte’s and Fangtasia – True Blood
While Merlotte’s is for the humans of Bon Temps, Fangtasia is a strictly vampire hangout. Think of Fangtasia as the bloodsucker equivalent of a gay bar — you’re allowed in, but you’re not expressly welcome. Fangtasia is kind of a dangerous place if you’re not looking to get bit, but like any “fetish” bar, it can be exciting. Plus, it’s where sexy Eric resides. Mmmm.
10. One Eyed Jacks and The Double R Diner – Twin Peaks
Okay so One Eyed Jacks is a brothel. I don’t actually wish it was real. Mostly I just wish the town of Twin Peaks was real, or maybe just the character of Audrey Horne so she and I could uh, tie cherry stems with our tongues together. In fact, give me the Double R Diner with its pretty waitresses, fresh black coffee and sweet slices of pie. Damn fine.