Writers are often grouped into that stereotype where they spend their days dealing with writer’s block in the coffee shop, and their nights trying to find some inspiration in the local pub. That may not be true for every writer, but there’s no denying that some of the most famous scribes have been fans of their local watering holes. So where have some of the greatest literary minds fueled their imaginations with booze? We thought you’d never ask.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn, The United Kingdom
This pub is pretty much the Holy Grail when it comes down to its past literary patrons. The current building has been standing since it was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London in 1666, and it’s been a revolving door for some amazing minds: Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Oliver Goldsmith, Alfred Tennyson, and Samuel Johnson…to name a few. The pub itself has played a part in some famous works as well, including Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities (though it’s called the Fleet Street Pub in the book).
El Floridita, Havana, Cuba
When Ernest Hemingway was living in Havana through most of the 1930s, he was a huge regular at El Floridita. He’d show up at about 10 o’clock every morning, sit in the same seat at the corner of the bar and ask his driver to buy the newspaper at the Plaza Hotel. Hemingway loved this bar so much that when he had famous friends in town, he’d bring them there as well – those pals included Spencer Tracy, Ava Gardner, the Duke of Windsor and Tennessee Williams. Today there is a drink named after him and they have planted a life-size statue of Hemingway at his corner seat so that no one else can ever sit there again.
The Algonquin Hotel, New York, NY
This was the site of the famous Algonquin Round Table, a ten-year daily meeting held by writers and artist types. It was started after World War I by Vanity Fair writers Dorothy Park, Robert Benchley, and Robert E. Sherwood. The daily exchange of ideas and opinions became so popular that it attracted great minds like George S. Kaufman, Heywood Broun, and Edna Ferber, which strongly influenced writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. It was at this table that they founded The New Yorker magazine.