Over the past couple years, Americans have been captivated by themed pop-up bars covering everything from Christmas to Game of Thrones. Themes resonate with people, through nostalgia, pop culture and a variety of other emotionally enticing things that can inspire of-age drinkers to leave their homes, buy a drink and Instagram their surroundings. The only aspect most of those bars have in common is that the pop-up eventually closes and the theme dies. But in cities across the country, some themes never die.
Nearly every state has an arcade themed bar these days (or barcade, if you prefer). Speakeasy themes with classic cocktails started in New York and are now everywhere, as are quality tiki bars. Even more obscure sources of inspiration like vikings, live mermaids and trailer parks have multiple iterations. Regardless of what the theme is, every state has at least one bar that is devoted to a single subject. Admittedly, some of these bars are less inspired, and the classification as a theme bar also encompasses places that don’t state an out and out theme.