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Harry's Bar (the pub with no beer)

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Sydney, Australia
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235 posts
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Harry's Bar (the pub with no beer)

While there are many posts (mainly negative) on this famous watering hole - here's a new twist:-

We dropped into the famous Harry's Bar this very afternoon. When the waiter came to take our order we asked for a beer and a glass of white wine – he explained that they did not serve beer or wine – only cocktails and champagne (at a minimum of 18€ (+15% service) a drink; they did have equally over-priced coffee and soft drinks). To top it off – the bar was very ordinary looking; e.g. no pictures of famous patrons, etc. and the menu had a note on it stated that “it was against the law to take photos inside the bar” (huh ??). Well we left in a huff – what a rip-off – poor Ernst Hemingway must be turning in his grave; not sure about his mate Giuseppe Capriani. I tried to convince Mr LL to make one final entry into the bar with his camera poised and take a quick illegal photo – but he chickened out. After this minor fiasco we took the vapereto back to our hotel – making jokes about Harry's Bar and discussing how the story could be embellished into one of those great travel tales.

niagara falls.canada
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1. Re: Harry's Bar (the pub with no beer)

That is a bit strange. Cocktails only I mean. I am a wine drinker bit occasionally like a draft beer,never a bottle. I guess I'll cross Harry's Bar off my list. Besides I spent enough at Florians for a tea and hot chocolate but it was a onetime thing.

Ravenna, Italy
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2. Re: Harry's Bar (the pub with no beer)

Now lizard I do not believe you have your facts correct. Harry's Bar is by no stretch a Pub.

People who go to Harry's on a regular basis would be appalled at the very thought of having their photos hanging on the walls.

I was having lunch in Harry's recently. A group of people inquired if they could take a photo? The owner walked over to their table and sat down and the waiter took one photo.

Of course they discourage photos taking. People go to Harry's to enjoy the food and the company of their fellow dinner companions!. It is not a "been there, done that' sort of place.

Chorley, United...
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3. Re: Harry's Bar (the pub with no beer)

The world is divided into those who like Harry's Bar and those, like myself, who consider it well past its prime and nowadays greatly over-rated.

I am sure the Harry's Bar lovers will respond vigorously in its defence.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Harry's Bar (the pub with no beer)

Note that a "pub" in Oz is colloquially speaking any "bar" - and the reference to "pub with no beer" is a play on Slim Dusty's famous Australian folk ballad with the same name. Nevertheless I have never encountered even the most up-market bar that did not offer beer and wine on their drink list.

Silver Spring...
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5. Re: Harry's Bar (the pub with no beer)

Yes you have. Harry's Bar.

DFW, TEXAS
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6. Re: Harry's Bar (the pub with no beer)

At least you weren't told that you couldn't be served as my husband and the other guy who was with us had shorts on and their rule is women can wear shorts in the bar but the men had to have pants on. So we did not experience Harrys Bar and their famous Bellini. Walk in and walk out.

Ravenna, Italy
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7. Re: Harry's Bar (the pub with no beer)

Harry's has certain rules and regulations. They also have high prices. All for a reason.

Surrey
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8. Re: Harry's Bar (the pub with no beer)

How sad. You travel to the other side of the world and hope that a famous bar is just like somewhere back home! I thought the point of travelling was to see new things and have different experiences. You may not have liked Harry's Bar but at least you will always remember it as because it was so different from Australian bars.

"Poor Ernst Hemingway must be turning in his grave" - if he is it's because you've misspelt his name and made him sound German. He won't be turning in his grave because you couldn't get a beer. In "Across the River and into the Trees" his characters drink cocktails, not beer, in Harry's.

Coeur D'alene, Idaho
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9. Re: Harry's Bar (the pub with no beer)

It sounds like you're having a wonderful trip through Italy and I've enjoyed your posts. I also think you got a "bum rap" and were jumped on unfairly on a few.

This one, unfortunately, I would take issue with. It sounds to me like you probably embarrassed yourselves whether you realized it or not leaving "in a huff" because you couldn't get beer and wine. It makes you look a little like the archetypical "ugly American", even though I'm sure you aren't (ugly or American). I'm just glad you didn't make that one final entry for that "illegal photo" which would have made you look even sillier.

I have no doubt that Harry's Bar sells food, but I wouldn't leave "in a huff" if they didn't have nachos! And yes, the analogy is appropriate.

Regarding the "no photos" policy. First of all they don't need to rationalize it to anyone -- it's their policy and if you don't like it, don't frequent Harry's (and don't sneak "illegal photos"), but it also makes sense to me. They own it, they make the rules. If a patron doesn't like it, they can go to one of the many sidewalk spots and drink beer and wine all day while photographing themselves doing so.

I'm glad you guys think this is going to turn out to be a "great travel tale" about how stupid Harry's Bar is, but I really think you're out of line on this one.

Ravenna, Italy
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10. Re: Harry's Bar (the pub with no beer)

Hemingway is indeed turing over in his grave. You also didnt spell the owner of the bar's name correctly either.

It is Arrigo Cipriani not Giuseppe Capriani.

It is vaperatto by the way not vapereto.