When you go out drinking, it’s pretty normal to want to hang out with or try to meet people with your same interests. For people who would much rather go to a comic convention than a sports game, it can be hard to find a drinking hole that makes them feel welcome. But these great geek bars are perfect for anyone who has ever debated Star Wars vs. Star Trek or Marvel vs. DC. And with Comic-Con coming up this week, it feels like the right time to tell you about some of the best places to nerd out in if you can’t make it to San Diego.
It’s worth noting that, yes, some of these establishments are more on the restaurant side, but they all pride themselves on having specialty cocktails and brews and we aren’t about to fault them for giving patrons a little something to absorb all that alcohol.
10. The Hobbit Bar in New Zealand
Ever wish you could share a brew with Frodo and the other residents of the Shire? Well they may not be able to join you, but you can at least grab a drink at The Green Dragon, which recreates the exact look and feel of the pub seen in the Lord of the Rings movie series.
Best of all, this geektastic bar isn’t just stuck in a random strip mall, it’s actually located in Hobbiton, a tourist village built from the actual hobbit holes used in the Lord of the Rings films. The village was built in 1998 and turned into a tourist attraction in 2002, but it wasn’t until 2012 that the pub was added to give guests an even more Shire-like experience.
9. The Seinfeld Bar in Australia
If seeing a mural of George Costanza posed ruggedly in his underwear makes you want to enter a building instead of making you want to turn the other way, then George’s Bar is just the place for you. Inside you can find pretzels sure to make you thirsty and cocktails to help wash them down as you celebrate the summer of George. The Hand Model and Marisa Tomei are both popular drinks and if you’re looking for something to eat, try the Art Vandelay.
As for interior design, it seems just about everywhere you look there’s a portrait of George staring down at you, but you can also catch some great show memorabilia like a real New York “Assman” license plate. If that’s not enough, don’t forget to check out some of the fun weekly events like Seinfeld trivia and comedy nights.
8. The Oscar Wilde Bar in New York City
A new addition to the geek bar scene, Oscar Wilde NYC just opened in June. Even before it opened, the place made a big splash with its stunning Victorian decor that includes two antique fireplaces, classic marble statues, vintage photographs, and a 118.5 feet long bar – the longest one in New York City.
Naturally, there are also multiple statues bearing the likeness of Wilde himself. Cocktails focus on classic offerings that were popular during the 1800s-1920s, many based around champagne to reflect the opulence the famed writer was known for.
7. The Twin Peaks Bar in Vancouver
With decor themed after the Pacific Northwest and a bathroom that looks right out of the Red Room, it’s hard not to immediately recognize the influence of Twin Peaks on the appropriately named Black Lodge. Cocktails include the Dr. Jacoby, the One-Eyed Jack, and Ghostwood Forest.
Outside of the bar specials, the location is also a restaurant, specializing in vegetarian and vegan food. For those wondering, yes, they do serve cherry pie and coffee, though whether either qualifies as “damn fine” is up to the individual enjoying them.
6. The Lovecraft Bar in Oregon
Believe it or not, there are actually two Lovecraft bars in the US, but the one in Portland has consistently higher reviews and is often ranked as even having some of the best dance nights in the city. The Portland bar is also the original, opening in 2011, whereas the other opened three years later.
The competition aside, what makes a bar a Lovecraft bar? Well, the interior features coffins, bones, and local art based on Lovecraft creatures as well as classic horror films. ’80s, ’90s, industrial, goth, punk and other dance nights are regular occurrences and fit in well with the horror-themed decor. Aside from dance nights, the club also offers concerts, performance art, burlesque, book readings by local authors, and more.
Portland’s Lovecraft Bar is even doing so well it went through a renovation last year, nearly doubling its size and adding an eight foot tall Cthulhu statue to the decor.
5. The Comics-Themed Bar in New York City
You may not ever start hanging out on rooftops and performing vigilante justice like a superhero, but thanks to the Gotham City Lounge in Brooklyn, you can at least enjoy a pretty cool secret lair where you can relax after a hard day of preserving truth, justice, and the American way throughout your daily routine. And don’t worry, Marvel fans – the proprietors and guests here support all superheroes, no matter their affiliation.
Decor includes action figures, comic movie posters, framed comic books, and a Captain America shield, while drinks are named after legendary heroes and villains like Harley Quinn, Daredevil, Mr. Freeze, and Storm. There are also plenty of theme nights that cover all types of geek interests including Star Wars, trivia nights, and video games.
4. The Big Lebowski Bar in Iceland
Iceland might not be the first place you think of when you think of The Big Lebowski, but as long as there are White Russians, a chill atmosphere, and a rug that really ties the room together, we’re pretty sure The Dude would abide. While the bar may not actually have the space for a bowling alley, they do offer all kinds of bowling-themed decor including a bowling lane and pins hung on the side of the wall.
As far as drinks go, the Lebowski Bar doesn’t disappoint, with a good selection of beer and over 16 varieties of White Russians (one even has Coco Puffs in it) – though you can always order a more classic cocktail if that’s more your style.
3. The Aliens Bars in Switzerland
There are actually two bars in Switzerland designed by the artist responsible for the aliens and biomechanical designs from the Alien franchise; one is in Gruyeres and one is in Chur. Both bars were created to be works of art in themselves and offer guests decor unlike any other place they have visited.
The tables, chairs, ceiling, floors, bar, and all other aspects of the interior of both are all designed by H.R. Giger himself. The Gruyeres location is the official bar for the Giger Museum and is done mostly in beige and brown, giving the skeletal chairs and ceiling a particularly haunting look and feel. The Chur location is done largely in black and chrome and looks like a sleeker, more upscale destination though it still features Giger’s signature biomechanical style and creepy details like faces emerging from crevices in the bar. Whichever destination you visit and whatever you drink (they do, of course, have an Alien cocktail), you’re sure to get a good feel of that classic H.R. Giger style and a chill down your spine.
2. The Doctor Who Bar in New York City
Where else in the world can you go up to a bar, order a sonic screwdriver, and be asked “which one?” As fans of The Doctor already understand, each reincarnation of the classic character had his own screwdriver, so it is only fitting the bar make different versions befitting each Doctor’s personality. A #10 will get you “New Amsterdam Citron, Orange Juice and Blue Curacao” while a #12 features “Dewar’s, Amaretto, Bitters and Ginger Ale.”
Of course, a few specialty drinks are far from the only thing that makes The Way Station the ultimate drinking destination for Whovians. The bar also features a full-size TARDIS, which appears to be larger on the inside since it’s the entrance to the bathroom. Inside the bathroom is a handwritten note by Doctor #11, Matt Smith, who wrote, “Bow Ties Are Cool! Stay Cool! Pee Happily! love, Matt Smith/The Doctor.”
Unsurprisingly, the bar shows every new episode of Doctor Who as it airs, and reruns of older episodes every Sunday.
1. The Alice in Wonderland Bar in Los Angeles
The weirdness that is The Rabbit Hole Bar is immediately apparent even when visiting its website, where you are asked to select either the red pill or the blue pill just like in The Matrix. Choose the red pill and you see the rest of their website; choose the blue and you’re sent to watch the classic Peanut Butter Jelly Time meme. Once you choose the red pill (or just enter the bar through a run-of-the-mill strip mall), it’s all Alice and Wonderland from that point.
The outrageous bar features a small hedge maze entrance, off-balance wall decorations, a checkered floor, and furniture that is anything but square. Looking around, it seems like a great place to drink, but a terrible place to be drunk. Specialty drinks poured by the all-female bartenders include The Jabberwocky, The Walrus, The White Rabbit and The Who Are You? – most of which feature LED-lit ice cubes so your drink can mesmerize and add to the decor as well.