On Spike TV's Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer examines the country's watering holes and shows the owners just how much better their business can be. But when it comes to some of our favorite TV and movie pubs and taverns, we wouldn’t change a thing. Click ahead to see our favorite bars — and why Taffer believes they make the grade.
2 of 20 Paramount TV/Everett Collection
"Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name." So goes the theme song to Cheers, a raucous, boozy ensemble comedy set in a subterranean Boston bar populated with colorful characters. The straight-faced lyrics also reveal the squishy emotional heart of the bar itself — part frat house, part support group. The gang at Cheers was a family: They yelled at each other, played pranks and drank an awful lot. But ultimately they also had each other's backs. Do you get the same feelings from the fellow barflies at your local pub?
The Expert Says: "Of course, one of my favorites. They only sold about two beverages each episode, but never went broke."
3 of 20 Ron P. Jaffe/Fox
MacLaren's Pub, How I Met Your Mother
Inspired by creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas' former New York City hangout, McGee's, MacLaren's is conveniently located below Ted's apartment. It’s where the gang goes to knock back a couple and Barney goes to pick up chicks. The casual joint offers 11 deep-fried appetizers and employs some of the hottest (ahem, Karina) and friendliest bartenders around. How else do you explain Carl leaving the keys to Ted and Barney in the middle of the night? Granted, they do know the first thing about running a bar: serve the hotties first.
4 of 20 ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images
The Regal Beagle, Three's Company
It started as a fictional bar where singles Jack, Janet, Chrissy and Larry mingled in the Santa Monica, Calif., of Three's Company. Later it became an actual restaurant chain, with Regal Beagles popping up all over the country, from Boston to San Diego. Because sometimes you want to go where the kisses are hers and hers and his.
The Expert Says: "Supposedly, the chicks loved the Regal Beagle. It was a great pick-up bar. After all, if Larry could land a girl there, then any guy had a chance in his local bar!"
5 of 20 Fox
Moe's Tavern, The Simpsons
Where nobody knows your name. Moe's appeal might lie in its dingy, no-frills approach. If you're in the mood for something other than Duff beer, you might be out of luck (unless you have a taste for a Flaming Moe!), but there's always a barstool open for you. Plus: We hear the bartender is an easy mark for prank phone calls.
6 of 20 NBC
The Snakehole Lounge, Parks and Recreation
Leave it to Tom Haverford to launch this self-described "world's sickest nightclub" in the middle of Indiana. Quality of Pawnee nightlife aside, this place has much to offer, including signature drinks like "Medusa's Revenge" and "SnakeJuice." (Warning: The latter provides a hangover with a nasty bite.) Where else can you hope to maybe see former NBA star Detlef Schrempf? And don't forget to follow the dress code: "Google 'Tara Reid 1999.' Remember to turn 'Safe Search' off."
7 of 20 Lucasfilms
Mos Eisley Cantina, Star Wars
Also called Chalmun's Cantina, this bar on the planet Tatooine brought in a rough, tough (and let's face it, ugly) crowd. It's such a scary dive that when violence breaks out, customers barely flinch. Sure, that live band's fantastic, but enter at your own risk. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) first meet Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca here.
The Expert Says: "The best bar concept of all time. But don't all bars and customers look like that after 2 a.m.?"
8 of 20 HBO
Bada Bing, The Sopranos
These are the guys who actually do leave their enemies headless in topless bars, so they need one to call their own. Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and his crew seemed to never notice the live nude girls dancing in the background; in the back-room office, though, they really got down to business.
9 of 20 Everett Collection
Of all the gin joints in all the world, yes, she had to walk into his. Rick (Humphrey Bogart) ran an establishment where its international clientele ranged from Nazi officers to Resistance leaders (Paul Henreid) — although it broke his heart to see Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman).
10 of 20 John P. Johnson/HBO
Merlotte's, True Blood
With all the vampires, werewolves and now witches terrorizing Bon Temps, it's amazing this bar isn't always packed with people looking to take the edge off. Whether you're in the mood to ogle waitresses, kick back a few cold ones, or nurse a warm bottle of synthetic blood, Sam's bar has everything you need.
11 of 20 Columbia/The Kobal Collection
St. Elmo's Bar, St. Elmo's Fire
St. Elmo’s is the vortex of action for this quintessential Brat Pack film starring Emilio Estevez (who plays a waiter at the bar), Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Mare Winningham. It was based on The Tombs, a popular hangout for Georgetown University students.
12 of 20 Adam Taylor/ABC
The Emerald City Bar, Grey's Anatomy
Also known as Joe's Bar, this Seattle watering hole is favored by Grey's Anatomy's docs for its proximity to the hospital. Even though this bar has set the stage for many one-night stands and even hosted Dr. Burke's bachelor party, it also was a place of temptation for The Chief when he fell off the wagon. Fortunately, in good or bad times, Joe's friendly demeanor is a constant.
13 of 20 Cannon/The Kobal Collection
The Golden Horn, Barfly
"To all my friends …" The fictionalized version of stumblebum poet/author Charles Bukowski (played by Mickey Rourke) loves to make that toast — in between getting staggeringly drunk and fighting in the alley behind one of the diviest dives ever seen on film.
14 of 20 The Kobal Collection
The Peach Pit After Dark, Beverly Hills, 90210
As soon as the gang on Beverly Hills, 90210 became legal, it only made sense that the show expanded their afterschool hangout from a burger joint to trendy night club. Featuring the decade's hottest singers like Monica and The Flaming Lips — and 90210's own David Silver and Ray Pruit — the hotspot also employed or was owned by a number of the cast members.
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Phil's, Murphy Brown
Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen) and the dedicated journalists of TV's FYI love their before-, during- and after-work hangout — and the sage counsel of its namesake owner (played by veteran TV actor Pat Corley). They love it so much that when Phil unexpectedly dies, they buy the place from his widow.
The Expert Says: "The anti-Cheers, where no one gave you the satisfaction of knowing your name."
16 of 20 MGM/The Kobal Collection
The Double Deuce, Road House
If you got out of line in this small-town Missouri watering hole, the buff bouncer (Patrick Swayze) would straighten you out. But he didn't stop there: He wound up cleaning up the whole town by taking down a corrupt businessman.
17 of 20 Lucasfilm, Ltd.
The Raven, Raiders of the Lost Ark
A little off the beaten path, this Nepalese watering hole was run by Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), who liked to bet her customers she could drink them under the table — and usually won.
The Expert Says: A bar that only the locals could appreciate. And, by the way, don't leave your wife alone."
18 of 20 20th Century Fox Television/The Kobal Collection
The Bronze, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
As Cordelia Chase says in the show's pilot, The Bronze is the only club worth going to in Sunnydale. The gang could (sometimes) take their minds off vampires and groove to the tunes of Oz's band, Dingoes Ate My Baby. Although the show was about much more than teenage partying, the location was a surprising home base for the characters — club scenes were featured in just a little less than half of the series' 144 episodes.
19 of 20 CBS/Landov
Kelsey's Place, All in the Family
When Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor) wasn't ranting and raving at home, he would hang out with the guys at the neighborhood taproom (also spelled Kelcy's in the series). Later, Archie would buy the place and continue to run it in the spin-off Archie Bunker's Place.
The Expert Says: "A unique bar concept. The only reason to go to Kelsey's was if you were either angry or depressed."
20 of 20 CBS/Landov
Ten Forward, Star Trek: The Next Generation
Who wouldn't love to be served a drink by Whoopi Goldberg? In outer space, no less! Boasting spectacular views, 3-D chess boards and a variety of alcoholic (or syntheholic) drinks, including Romulan Ale, it's no wonder the crew chose to unwind here.