A tavern is an establishment which sells drink, tea, coffee, drugs, and cooked food, mostly for consumption on the premises. Entertainment is sometimes provided, but more often free-lance entertainers perform for tips from the clientele, especially in the cheaper places. Taverns are meeting-places, where people go to drink, smoke, talk, and to play go, dominoes, and backgammon. Equipment for these games is often available, as are water-pipes.

In the Archaic Period, a tavern is the closest thing to a restaurant which you can find. In the Classical Period and the Decadent Period the hetairon, a development of the tavern, provides the classier meals, while the tavern provides basic food for those eating out of routine necessity. Some taverns also offer the services of inns, and indeed in the Archaic Period taverns doing this on an irregular basis are more common than inns proper.

In rural areas, as opposed to inside walled settlements, the main room of a tavern is actually the front verandah, where the patrons can enjoy the open air.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.