From city to city, bar openings are covered with bated breath, as reviewers judge the authenticity of the latest speakeasy, the grub of a new Irish pub, or tunes playing from the jukebox of a dive. But some places have a history so rich and long, these new and shiny hot spots can only dream of fostering the kind of legendary moments they've played host to.
Christine Sismondo, author of America Walks into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops, spent five years on-and-off traveling the country to track down the most storied of American watering holes.
With her help, we've gathered the ultimate list of the country's greatest influential bars. These still-standing establishments have shaped the course of history and served as the site of some of America's biggest moments—from a tavern where George Washington deliberated on independence from Britain, to the stage of Bob Dylan’s first big break, to the riotous site of the modern gay pride revolution.