Saturday, January 25, 2014

What Men do in Bars

At one time women were not permitted in most bars unless they worked in one and even that was far and few. It wasn't against the law, but neither was women voting, but I digress. One reason women did not frequent bars is that they were unwelcoming. The men were not always acting as gentlemen and women in bars were often of a particular professional occupation, if you know what I mean. Another reason women stayed away is that the place may have had an unpleasant aroma coming form men peeing at the bar. Yes, at one time men would recycle beer at the bar.

Many bars in Pittsburgh built during the 1800's and early 1900's had built in troughs at the bar. Men would stand and drink at the bar but in lieu of a foot rail there was the conduit at his feet. In semi-privacy they would "give back" what they drank that evening. The conduit would lead to a nearby wall where it would run to the outside and to the gutter. Hopefully this was to a rear ally but people lived there as well so they had to endure this.

We complain when the government imposes regulations on us but I think we can agree that sometime we welcome some of them. I am glad that bars today do not have such amenities. This would have kept the college girls away as well as the pretty bartenders. And doesn't it make the bar so much nicer of a place to enjoy a brew? Three cheers for indoor plumbing.

During this time breweries sold directly to bars and some owned the bars in their area. Beer was always in casks. Breweries also made home deliveries as in the case of Nusser of the South Side. Nusser had a large brewery at the top of South 12th Street. The location was 12th and Manor Street, which now contains railroad tracks. The brewery sat adjacent to the now gone Knoxville Incline. Before that however he had a tavern on 12th Street at Bedford Square. Although the tavern is long gone is continues as a tavern known today as Club CafĂ©. Nussser started brewing in the tavern and would make home deliveries to the lady of the house. A proper housewife would never enter a bar to buy beer so he would satisfy the ladies while their husbands drank in his tavern. Well, something like that.  

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