• Just the name.
  • A saloon is a place where you go to get your hair done. A tavern is a place where you go to get drunk.
  • I'd say geography. I have only heard of saloons in the "wild west". A tavern is something you'd find in Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.
  • In my mind a saloon has those two small doors that look like window shutters.... it's sort of a "wild west" thing. A tavern would have a normal door.
  • Saloons are pretty rare. The name just does not 'go' any more. If I owned one, I would certainly have the double swinging doors. A tavern is a bar that tends to serve only beer and wine, like a pub.
  • Both a saloon and a tavern are places where drinks are served. Saloon was the term commonly used in the American west to describe a bar. Tavern comes from Germany, where there was a place to sleep over night, associated with the bar.
  • Like the man said, a saloon is usually a western bar with the classic dual doors, whereas a tavern is usually the local bar in Ireland or Scotland or somewhere where they sing "Danny boy"! :)
  • Mostly semantics, but the old English or New England tavern was a place for travelers to get not only a drink, but a meal and a room. It was also a meeting place for friends and a place you could even take your wife or SO. 'Saloon' was a western corruption of the word 'salon', and it was more of a "men only" thing, with ladies of the evening available and more two-fisted drinking and gambling. I think Miss Kitty's Longbranch Saloon in 'Gunsmoke' was a pretty watered down version of the real Longbranch in old Dodge City.
  • from Source: WordNet (r) 1.7 saloon n 1: a room or establishment where alcoholic drinks are served over a counter [syn: barroom, bar, ginmill, taproom] 2: (British) tavern consisting of a building with a bar and public rooms; often provides light meals [syn: public house, pub, pothouse, gin mill, taphouse] from Source: WordNet (r) 1.7 tavern n : a building with a bar that is licensed to sell alcoholic drinks [syn: tap house] Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) Tavern Tav"ern, n. [OE. taverne, F. taverne, from L. taberna a hut, booth, tavern. Cf. Table, Tabernacle.] A public house where travelers and other transient guests are accomodated with rooms and meals; an inn; a hotel; especially, in modern times, a public house licensed to sell liquor in small quantities. So, according to the above (WordNet), a SALOON is a ROOM, and a TAVERN is a building. It also appears to have to do with location... A Saloon is for travelers to drink and maybe eat a bit and sleep, where a Tavern is an inn or house, where travelers can sleep, eat a little, and drink. (One's specifically designed pretty much the opposite of the other.) Nowa-days, though, they're pretty much interchangeable, though I'd venture to say a Tavern is a more high-class Saloon.
  • In Colorado, "Saloons existed before 1916 and were strictly for consuming alcohol beverages; current law requires licensed drinking establishments to offer food or meals." (Source: Colorado "Blue Book" concerning November 2008 ballot issues.) Saloons are currently prohibited by the Colorado Constitution. Referendum N on the November 2008 ballot would remove this constitutional prohibition, allowing the state legislature to determine whether to permit the establishment of saloons in the future.

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