March 9, 2015

The Big Tap: Historic Bars Tournament Tip-Off!

Big Tap blog banner

From Cinderella stories to buzzer beaters, the NCAA basketball tournament ensures March is a month where history is made. But this year, history and the Big Dance mix to form an even more intoxicating brew: "The Big Tap" Historic Bars Tournament.

Starting in June 2014, the PreservationNation blog poured through dive bars, sports bars, tiki bars, taverns, cocktail lounges, and a slew of other establishments to crack open the stories of some of the nation’s most historic watering holes. But stirring as it was, our virtual bar crawl was merely the regular season. Now it’s time to shake things up with a little post-season drinking game.

The Historic Bars Tournament has tapped 32 joints from our menu of historic drinkeries to compete against one another in a NCAA Tournament-style, single elimination format. Each week we’ll serve another round of pairings where readers will vote for their favorite inns and alehouses. When the matchups run dry on April 3, only one bar will claim the top shelf.

Below, you’ll find the full tournament bracket with first round matchups. Here's how to vote:

  • To learn more about the contestants, click on any matchup in the bracket for links to our original blog post about each bar.
  • To make your selections during each round, scroll down to the text portion of the blog and click on a bar’s name to highlight it.
  • To submit your vote, enter your email address and zip code, then click “submit.”
  • You can vote for as many or as few bars as you like during each visit, and as many times as you like during each round -- just don’t over-serve yourself.

Voting for each round will last one week and close every Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. ET. Once each round is complete, the bracket will be updated with vote counts and winners. We’ll also publish a new blog post recapping that week’s action, followed by the next round of matchups.

Now that you know the house rules, it’s finally time for tip-off. (Or is that tap-off?) Help yourself to the open bar of matchups below!

UPDATED: Voting has now closed for Round 1.

David Weible was the content specialist at the National Trust, previously with Preservation and Outside magazines. His interest in historic preservation was inspired by the ‘20s-era architecture, streetcar neighborhoods, and bars of his hometown of Cleveland.

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