Whether or not New York City is the best drinking scene in the world is up for debate. What’s not up for debate is that New York City thinks it lays claim to the best drinking town in the world, and—for better or worse—as often as it acts like it is, it’s also often received outside of its borders like it is as well. But as much our fair metropolis and its boozing scene is a trendsetter, New York City’s drinking scene is also an outlier: There isn’t just competition for business, but competition for real estate, and access to resources and crowds that cities all over America (let alone the world) don’t have. Most importantly, it’s always—always—changing, never the same month-to-month, let alone year-to-year. And so many of these changes are eventually reflected in the rest of the country’s drinking as well.
As evidence, we present: 15 Ways The New York City Bar Scene Was Different 15 Years Ago.