People have always needed a place to get together. A place to share stories and catch up. Well, characters on TV are no different. They need a place where they can hangout, but also help advance the storyline. Most television shows will feature a bar, café or even a strip club, where the characters regularly meet. This helps expand the universe within the series. Sometimes, these fictional locations become so popular that they equal the success of the series. In some cases, the location that is used for the set of the fictional hangout will become an interesting tourist attraction. Here is a look at 10 of the most famous fictional Televison hangouts.
10) Maclaren’s Pub – How I Met Your Mother September 19, 2005 – March 31, 2014
How I Met Your Mother was a popular sitcom that aired on CBS. The series revolved around Ted Mosby, telling his children the story of how he met their mother. The story features his four best friends, Barney, Marshall, Lilly and the love of Ted’s life, but not his wife, Robin. The series was based on the lives of creators, Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, while they were writers on Late Show With David Letterman. The Irish pub was located conveniently beneath the building that Ted, Marshall and Lily lived in. The bar was actually based on four bars that were popular hangouts for the writers on Late Show. The bar was named after Carter Bay’s assistant, Carl Maclaren.
9) The Bada Bing Strip Club – The Sopranos January 10, 1999 – June 10, 2007
Some friends like to get together and have a cup of coffee. They like to sit in a nice little café and discuss life. Tony Soprano preferred to get drunk and look at naked women. HBO’s The Sopranos revolved around New Jersey mob boss, Tony Soprano, who tries to find balance in his family life and criminal life. The series was known for its incredible writing, phenomenal cast and the series’ tendency to push the envelope. The show would feature graphic violence, profanity and nudity, a lot of nudity. The Bada Bing was a strip club owned by Tony’s consiglere, right hand man, Silvio Dante. Tony has an office in the back room and the club also serves as a meeting place for Tony and the other mobsters.
8) Emerald City Bar/ Joe’s Bar – Grey’s Anatomy March 27, 2005 – Present
Grey’s Anatomy is a series about surgical residents and interns who struggle with their relationships and personal lives. The main protagonist in the series is Dr. Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo. The show airs on ABC and has been very well received by critics. After a long day of saving lives, the doctors in the series are known to go across the street to the Emerald City Bar, also known as Joe’s Bar. Joe has owned the bar for 15 years and at times, has been many of the doctors only friend.
7) The Hub/Eric’s Basement – That 70’s Show August 23, 1998 – May 18, 2006
That 70’s Show followed the life of teenager Eric Forman, his friends and family, as they dealt with life in the 70’s. The Series was very successful and aired on Fox. Eric and his gang of friends, Hyde, Kelso, Fez, Jackie and the love of his life Donna, would often hangout at two main locations. The first was Eric’s Basement, also known as Eric’s Batcave. The gang usually hung out here, where they would watch TV, listen to music and talk. Also, they would sit in a circle and smoke pot. Their other favourite hangout was The Hub. The Hub served food and was a popular hangout for teenagers. The Hub had only one rule, “Buy something or get out.”
6) Paddy’s Pub – It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia August 4, 2005 – Present
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is about five self-centered, egotistical and selfish friends that run a unsuccessful pub in Philadelphia, Paddy’s Pub. The series originally aired on FX but has since moved over to FXX. The main characters are Dennis and Deandra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds, Ronald “Mac” McDonald, Charlie Kelly and Frank Reynolds. The series has been dubbed “It’s like Seinfeld on Crack”. The show is a cult hit and remains very popular amongst its fans. Paddy’s Pub is a central location to the series as it’s run by the main characters. Paddy’s Pub is usually very unsuccessful, but there have been a few occasions where it did well. In one episode, they changed the theme of the bar to an underage club where they served alcohol to minors. That did not last long.
5) Moe’s Tavern – The Simpsons December 17, 1989 – Present
The Simpsons is considered to be one of the most influential shows of all time. The animated series revolves around the lives of The Simpsons family, and the town of Springfield. Homer Simpson needs a place where he can escape from his family and his sometimes hectic life. The answer and cause of Homer’s problems is Moe’s Tavern. Moe’s is run by Moe Szyslak and is Homer’s favourite place in the world. Homer can be seen there just about every night hanging out with his best friends Carl, Lenny and Barney.
4) Arnold’s Drive – In/Diner – Happy Days January 15, 1974 – September 24, 1984
Happy Days was a tremendously successful sitcom about life in the 50’s and 60’s that aired on ABC. The series initially revolved around Richie Cunningham and his family. Later seasons would focus on breakout out character, Arthur “Fonzie/The Fonz” Fonzarelli. The series had two primary locations, The Cunningham home and Arnold’s Diner/Drive-in. The diner was a popular hangout with the characters and they could been seen there frequently. The first owner in the series was Mitsumo “Arnold” Takahashi, who went by Arnold because that’s what everyone assumed his name was when he took over Arnolds. Later, he married and left the series. The character of Al Delvecchio was introduced and took over Arnold’s.
3) Monk’s Café – Seinfeld July 5, 1989 – May 14, 1998
Seinfeld is considered by many critics to be a groundbreaking show that changed sitcom formats. The series is famous for being about nothing. The show followed the lives of four friends, Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer, living in New York. The premise of the series was loosely based on Jerry Seinfeld’s stand up comedy material. The series features one of the most famous hangout locations, Monk’s Café. The café, along with Jerry’s apartment, was one of the main settings. The exterior shot of Monk’s was actually a restaurant in New York, Tom’s Restaurant.
2) Central Perk – Friends September 22, 1994 – May 6, 2004
NBC’s Friends is considered to be one of the most popular and influential sitcoms of all time. The series revolved around the lives of six best friends living in New York City. The show was a massive success and was both critically and commercially acclaimed. The main characters where Ross and Monica Geller, Rachel Green, Joey Tribbani, Chandler Bing and Phoebe Buffay. The main locations in the show were each characters’ apartments. The main hangout place was the iconic Central Perk coffee house. The coffee house was vital to the series, as it was their regular hangout spot. In the first few seasons, Rachel worked at Central Perk and in later seasons, so would Joey. Initially, the series was going to be called Insomnia Café. Also, the executives at NBC actually didn’t like the idea of a coffee house and tried to get it changed to a diner.
1) Cheers Bar – Cheers September 30, 1982 – May 20, 1993
“Sometimes you want to go…where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.” Cheers was a critically and commercially successful series that aired on NBC. The series revolved around the bar, Cheers, owned by former Boston Red Sox pitcher, Sam Malone. The plot followed the employees and patrons of the bar. The bar was the main location for the series. The bar was based on a real bar called The Bull and Finch, in Boston. In fact, the exterior shots of Cheers where actually the Bull and Finch. The bar itself, now renamed Cheers Beacon Hill, has had a great amount of success due to the series.