The always interesting data-blog I Quant New York (IQNY) has created a great infographic of the oldest liquor licenses in NYC based on the available data. While this doesn’t necessarily mean a list of the oldest bars in the city, it’s actually more enlightening, since it reveals some places that aren’t usually known for being historical landmarks.
Using New York State’s open data website, IQNY was able to roundup “the last time the license was renewed,” as well as “the start date of the license, giving us the age of the liquor license.” According to some data-crunching:
The oldest recorded NYC license in the dataset belongs to the Harmonie Club on E 60th St in the Upper East Side, though you have to be a member to enjoy a drink there. It dates to 1933. The oldest beer license is for Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island, which dates back to 1934. And the oldest liquor store license is from 1941, and it belongs to North End Wine and Liquor in the Bronx. Each of these lie in a different borough.
Due to bars changing owners and various factors that go into who holds the liquor license, this data is only based on the beginning dates of the current licenses. That also yields curious data on the lifespan of NYC bars and restaurants. There is a common myth that 90% of new restaurants fail in their first year, but it seems that “about half of all bars/restaurants in the city are older than five years old, and half are newer.”
You can read all of IQNY’s conclusions here or just look around the map below and form your own. If nothing else, it provides a helpful bar crawl guide where the patrons probably won’t be just hunting the hot new place to ruin.
(Photo: Google Street View)