With Prohibition going into effect mere weeks away, what were the bars of New York City to do? Replacement options were sprouting in an attempt to replicate the bars’ former atmospheres, only without alcohol.
The Salvation Army, for one, is getting ready to enter the field. It will run substitutes for saloons, which, it is hoped, will preserve the opportunities for sociability and innocent forms of recreation presented by the saloon, as we have always known it, without the aid of the cup that cheers and likewise inebriates…
So there is already one Salvation Army “bar,” with a genuine brass rail and everything in the way of drinks except alcoholic ones…
The Salvation Army has options on five places now run as regular saloons and may soon have twenty-five liquorless saloons in operation in New York ready for the drought after July 1.
These must have not have been super popular, considering that Prohibition was repealed 14 years later.
And good thing, too. Speaking as somebody who performs at a piano bar every Friday night, alcohol consumption among patrons is heavily correlated to the amounts that customers tip to hear their favorite songs.
Plans For Dry New York: Saloon-Substitutes for City’s Ten Thousand Drinking Places Doomed to be Liquorless On and After July 1 Broadway of Old
Published: Sunday, June 8, 1919