Today the terms bar, tavern, saloon, and inn are often used interchangeably. While each may have started with different amenities, they have evolved over the years to cater to many of the same needs of travelers.
Through the centuries, businesses that offer lodgings and serve alcoholic beverages have gone by a number of names.
What’s In a Name?
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what the name of each establishment means. As a traveler in North America during colonial times, what could you expect from these different types of public houses? As you moved farther west, the names may have changed, but many of the offerings stayed the same.