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Good Guy Bar
"Time for a round of 'My crew sucks more.' Who's first?"

You can drink your fancy ales,
You can drink 'em by the flagon.
But the only brew for the brave and true,
Comes from the Green Dragon!
Merry and Pippin, Return of the King

The heroic alternative of the Bad-Guy Bar, the Good Guy Bar is a place where heroes and do-gooders go to unwind after hours. Since the heroes might normally be on different squads or teams, the Good Guy Bar allows heroes who don't normally meet to do so, whether to talk shop or simply commiserate with like-minded peers.

Unlike the Bad-Guy Bar, a Good Guy Bar can come in a wide variety of forms, whether a stereotypical seedy dive (complete with pool hall), a posh nightclub or a five-star restaurant. The more elegant locations will be used when the author wants to emphasize (or subvert) the virtuous nature of the heroes. If the Good Guy Bar spans time and space, it may double as an Inn Between the Worlds.

Many Good Guy Bars have an implicit agreement to allow villains to patronize, so long as they don't start trouble — after all, tolerance is traditionally a heroic virtue. Such places will have a strictly enforced neutrality agreement to keep everyone from fighting each other. The lowest form might be Bad Guy Bars whose powerful proprietors enforce no-violence Truce Zones.

See You All Meet in an Inn for when this sort of establishment serves as the jumping-off point for an adventure. Subtrope to Local Hangout.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Cat features sweeper bars where they can trade information on targets.
  • In Nanatsu No Taizai, the Boar Hat serves as the base of operations for Meliodas and the Seven Deadly Sins. It's actually a mobile home carried on the back of Hawk's mom, a giant green pig, essentially making it a literal Boar Hat. Incidentally since the Sins are criminals in the setting, it can be seen as a Bad-Guy Bar from a different perspective.

    Comic Books 
  • Astro City has two such locations:
    • Bruiser's Bar & Grill is a rowdy place run by a retired superhero that serves beer, popcorn and a spirited atmosphere for superbeings who want to hang out and indulge in some good-natured roughhousing.
    • Butlers is a super-secretive club whose clientele and employees are tightly screened. Regular dinner parties are held where heroes arrive in formalwear for tranquil evenings together.
      • Subverted in the story "Dinner at Eight"; when Samaritan and Winged Victory go out for dinner, they deliberately avoid established Good Guy Bars to get away from "shop talk". They use their civilian identities and go to a burger joint instead.
  • Clark's in the Wildstorm Universe; the Expy owner won't serve anyone until they show secret ID.
    • In the Wildstorm Universe, there's also the Wolfshead's Pub in London, where England's supernatural community like to meet. Superheroes are also welcome.
  • Common Grounds is a limited series named after a chain of coffee shops, where superheroes and supervillains meet in a neutral, non-confrontational manner.
  • The Marvel UK Transformers Generation 1 comic book series introduced Maccadam's Old Oil House, a place where Transformers of all allegiances could indulge in black-market lubricants, gambling and gossip in (relative) peace. It has since appeared in every Transformers continuity in one form or another, culminating in an appearance in the Transformers Animated cartoon.
    • It has a private room for dead Optimuses and Megatrons to hang out in during their dead time. They take turns using it, of course.
  • When Guy Gardner from DC Comics had his Vuldarian powers, he ran a superhero bar in New York called Warriors. After becoming a Green Lantern again, he relocated it to Oa as The Big W.
  • Kadie's from Sin City. Not so much of a Good Guy Bar as it is an Anti-Hero Bar since the main protagonists, Marv and Dwight, frequent the establishment. Not to mention that this is where a few major side characters work as well.
    • Additionally, it's known as a well-behaved bar, a rarity for Sin City, and likely the safest place in the city, period. This is because Marv really doesn't like it when someone bothers the girls.
  • Time In A Bottle, the British supers' pub in Paul Cornell's Knight & Squire. Merlin's truce magic makes it a haven for heroes and villains. In the first issue an Anti-Hero disrupts the magic, leading to a Bar Brawl.
    • In the final issue the heroes and villains work together to trick The Joker into entering. The Truce Magic doesn't prevent you stripping someone of weapons. And then they turn it off...
  • The Oblivion Bar caters to magic users and is featured prominently in Shadowpact as the team's headquarters since the owner of the bar is one of its members. While the Bar allows anyone from angels to demons entry, neutrality is strongly encouraged. It helps that the bartender can telekinetically choke anyone who causes trouble.
  • In the prologue to Batman:The Dark Knight Returns, many of the now-retired superheroes gather at an underground bar to reminisce about old adventures (Martian Manhunter is the bartender).
  • The Fourth Relaunch of the IDW Transformers Series uses this quite often. Bars are a positive place which seem to represent a social gathering free from all the millennium long conflict. Swerve opens one in Transformers: More than Meets the Eye, wherein all the bots come together on the Lost Light to drink and get together. He even has the whole place armed after Whirl had a tantrum. Burr opens up a bar on Cybertron in Transformers: Robots In Disguise and in spite of the heated tensions between the Autobots Neutrals and Decepticons, they can all come here to chat and throw back some engex. When the anarchy sets in a few Bots, Cons and Neutrals all hole up to wait out the conflict. In Transformers Dark Cybertron: When there's a lull in the action, all the active Duty Decepticons and Autobots come together get drunk and start singing old war songs, when earlier they were shooting at each other. Blurr's bar carries over to Transformers Windblade wherein all people from all factions still frequent it.

    Fan Fiction 

    Films 

    Literature 
  • The Star Trek Novel Verse "Captain's Table" novels use one as a framing device; the Captain's Table is an Inn Between the Worlds that only captains (of any type of vessel) are able to enter. Drinks are "paid" by having the captain tell a story to the other patrons.
  • Sten has The Western Eating Parlor II, which is a Shout-Out to the clandestine savvy.
  • Not a bar, per se, but Honor Harrington loves to take her crew to dine at Dempsy's. Though she usually foots the bill, as it is possibly the most expensive restaurant in the universe.
  • The Ace of Trumps from Wild Cards.
    • And, up to the Ti Malice arc, the Aces High restaurant.
  • The Bucket, the unofficial pub of the City Watch in Discworld. Being coppers, the Watch prefers to avoid shop talk there, giving Mr. Cheese the quietest patrons on the Disc. Indeed, robbing the Bucket (especially when Angua is present) is legally classified as attempted suicide.
  • McAnally's Pub in The Dresden Files, which caters to both sides equally. The 'peaceful' side of things is enforced by it being a truce zone under Fae law. While The Dresden Files does have twinkly-wee Tinkerbell-type faerie, Fae law is written and enforced by the Queens. As in, Mab and Titania. Yes, them. Annoying them is NOT a good idea.
    • In fact, the only reason this example can apply for this trope at all is that Harry Dresden has killed most of the bad guys who might go to McAnally's. Nearly every time he goes there, Harry notes that there are a lot of ways to mess with someone that don't break said truce, and that he almost often sits with his back to the wall.
  • Callahan's Place, the focus of multiple novels, allows bad guys in as long as they behave themselves. Lady Callahan's place, which includes a bar and a lot more, has the same policy but it doesn't work out that way at all.
  • The vampire bar "The Raven" in the Toronto of Forever Knight. It's a neutral zone and a goth haven.
  • Talisman in The Delta Drifters. Lucia's friends and co-workers are seen playing poker there in the first chapter.
  • Milliways, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. It's also implied that the Big Bang Burger Bar at the other "end" of the universe is one as well.
  • The Draco Tavern, which appears in several Larry Niven short stories.
    • whether the Draco Tavern counts as a Good Guy Bar is questionable at best. Most of the alien races are there for their own purposes.
  • The Hole In The Wall tavern in Septimus Heap, where several meetings of the characters occur.
  • The Inn in Longfellow's Tales of a Wayside Inn poetry collection where the characters gather to tell tales.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The British sitcom No Heroics takes place in The Fortress, a superhero bar with three rules: "No Masks, No Powers and No Heroics". The show also mentions The Stronghold, a Bad Guy Bar equivalent.
  • The Road House in Supernatural is a place where the good guys meet; given the ambiguous morals of the protagonists, it might be closer to a Bad Guy Bar instead.
  • The Wire has Kavanagh's, the bar where McNulty and Bunk regularly go to drink, and where the Irish wakes are held. Based on a real Baltimore pub.
  • Caritas on Angel caters to good, evil and neutral folks alike, be they human or non-human. Popular for the drinks and the psychic karaoke. It had magical protection to enforce neutrality; no demon (non-human, including vampires) could perform an act of violence without the sanctuary spell knocking them on their ass first. Unfortunately, a demon-hunting gang of humans realized it didn't work on humans. After that loophole was closed, Holtz realized that it didn't prevent you from kicking an explosive barrel down the stairs into the bar..
  • The Waterfront Bar in Homicide: Life on the Street, which was also the staff hangout.
  • The King Kamehameha Club in Magnum, P.I..
  • The Railway Arms, for Life On Mars and Luigi's, for Ashes to Ashes.
    • In the finale of Ashes to Ashes, the Railway Arms is a really good guy bar - it's the gateway to Heaven.
  • Another example is the bar Sam Beckett finds himself in during the last episode of Quantum Leap.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Quark's bar, though it was more of a neutral location.
    • Near the end of the series, the Holosuite ran Vic Fontaine's Las Vegas Lounge 26 hours a day
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation has Ten Forward
  • In Star Trek: Voyager:
    • The Mess Hall was the equivalent of TNG's Ten Forward, though Tom Paris would go on to create many recurring holographic bars over the years.
    • Chez Sandrine was a recurring holodeck recreation of a bar in Marseille which was the first of many holographic Good Guy Bars
    • Early on in the series, a Polynesian resort was used as the Good Guy Bar in several episodes
    • Later into the series, the holodeck representation of Sullivan's pub in the Irish town of Fair Haven ran 24/7
  • Power Rangers had the Angel Grove Juice Bar for the first few seasons, and many of the later seasons had a similar equivalent. This trope is also sometimes used in Super Sentai, such as the "Dinosaur Curry Bar" in Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger. It's become a minor Running Gag for team-up movies to mention the curry house, suggesting there's at least one Ranger / ally on every show who's visited it.
  • McRory's pub used to be Nate's father's office. Now it's where Leverage Consulting and Associates meet their clients.
  • Danny's from Quincy.
  • Rookie Blue has The Black Penny, where all the cops hide out after each episode.
  • The German Space Patrol series has the Starlight Casino, where fleet and GSD personell of all ranks congregate to chat, flirt, talk shop and dance in some very odd "futuristic" dances. The Orion crew can usually be found here off-duty and has a fleet-wide reputation for its alcohol intake. The Starlight has a glass roof through which you can see the tropical fish in the sea above.
  • Tales of the Gold Monkey has the titular Gold Monkey Bar, which also served at various times as the Local Hangout, Bad-Guy Bar, and/or Wretched Hive.
  • Several establishments on Babylon 5, most notably Earhart's (reserved for EarthForce personnel and their guests), the Eclipse Cafe (part of The Zoccalo, the station's marketplace), and the Fresh Air Cafe (a fancy restaurant).
  • P3 in Charmed, a nightclub owned by the protagonists. Often episodes will end with a scene of the sisters unwinding from their latest demon-hunting exploits.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Brubecks in Traveller.
    • In the volume Sword Worlds it describes soldier's clubs in which Sword Worlder humans and Aslan in Darrian service meet and tell yarns. The two groups come from states that tend to end up on opposing sides but when there is no war on, they often meet and mingle.
  • "Chez Régis" in In Nomine Satanis/Magna Veritas, where angels and demons can drink without fighting each other.
  • The World Serpent Inn mentioned in several Forgotten Realms sourcebooks was built in its own demiplane by an archmage from Toril, Arcane and Illithid as a neutral ground when Sigil turned out to be too violent and inconvenient for quiet business and rest. Not only is it connected to many worlds, but (unlike Sigil) is accessible to powers, and some gods visit it to relax and chat with creatures they deem interesting. It's a Good Guy Bar since no one wants to annoy peacefully grazing deities, and some clients in a common room can turn out to be gods on a tea-break. And even if there aren't any, The Bartender is an avatar himself — if some god just likes to meet new people and thinks it's funny, why not?
    • In the Forgotten Realms setting, the Old Skull Inn in Shadowdale is one of the most famous pubs in Toril; it's known for the honesty of its staff, and many groups of legendary heroes got their start here. Elminster himself, Shadowdale's most famous resident, has been seen here occasionally.
  • The Champions setting traditionally has Sanctuary, an entire fancy club for superheroes turned full-blown independent island resort after an edition change and the destruction of the original facilities. Supervillains can be members as long as they behave themselves on the club grounds and even find a measure of refuge there (as can heroes in trouble with the law, which is how the policy originally came about); Sanctuary itself doesn't condone super-crime, but is genre savvy enough to acknowledge that things may always be more complicated than they appear at first glance.

    Video Games 
  • City of Heroes has Pocket D, an extradimensional club where heroes, villains, and regular people can all go and hang out — sort of a demilitarized zone, a la Casablanca. It's part tiki bar, part casino, part rave and part handy cross-town teleport station, among other things. It even features a miniature ski resort during the holiday season.
  • Telma's Bar in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Inside are a bunch of hapless soldiers that stand around all day doing nothing but also La Résistance meets up there and offers advice to Link.
  • World of Warcraft has a number of neutral locations.
    • Goldshire, on the Alliance side, is the place to be if you want to be retarded without smelling wet tauren.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has one of these in each of its main cities, doubling as the local Adventurers Guild. It's the first place you go after finishing the introductory cutscene.
  • Skies of Arcadia has a few; a hidden one in the bowels of Pirate Isle, the tavern on Sailors Island but the best one is when you can build your own on Crescent Isle and find your own crew just chilling out.
  • Spinda's Cafe from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Sky.
  • Starcraft II The cantina on the Hyperion, complete with an arcade machine and a jukebox hanging from the ceiling. Raynor is in another bar in the beginning on Mar Sara and it looks like said bar is actually his headquarters. Of course, since he has only a handful of troops on-world and his staff is literally a holographic head in a box, he doesn't need much.
  • Each of the Mass Effect games has at least one of these. Mass Effect 1 has the Embassy Bar and Flux (contrast with Chora's Den), Mass Effect 2 has Eternity on Illium and the Dark Star on the Citadel (contrast with Afterlife on Omega), and Mass Effect 3 has Purgatory (this time with no Bad-Guy Bar equivalent). True to the "letting villains in" part of the trope, Purgatory ends up being the new "home" of Aria T'Loak, now-former pirate queen of Omega. She finds it "too uptight" for her tastes.
  • Dragon Age II has Kirkwall's infamous tavern "The Hanged Man" as the local watering-hole of the main characters, but also caters to pirates, mercenaries, raiders... really depends whoever is in that night.
    • Really, the Hanged Man is not so much a Good Guy Bar or a Bad-Guy Bar as it is Accorded Neutral Territory; a place where anyone, regardless of legal or moral standing, can go to relax. Guardsmen and criminals alike drink there, and not many fights break out. Well, one or two, but they're started by either outsiders or idiots.
  • The unnamed bar in Sony's live-action "Michael" commercial, where both heroes and villains who have appeared on the Playstation 3 hang out and talk about how the player of their games (Michael) helped them in their adventures.

    Webcomics 
  • Bar'd takes place in such a bar. It's of the type that allows villainous people to patronize, so long as they don't start a fight...which unfortunately happens more often than the staff would like. It's a good thing they hired a centaurian nocturn for a bouncer.
  • Ridley's Bar from Planet Zebeth.
  • The Cross Time Cafe webcomic exists to let webcomic characters meet up outside their own continuity.
  • God and Satan are patrons in Mandatory Roller Coaster

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 
  • Disney's House of Mouse is a G-rated version. It also lets in villains, so long as they refrain from any villainy.
  • The Comet Club from the animated version of The Tick.
  • "Louie's" from TaleSpin. Gains extra awesome points for being a giant tree on a tiny island, accessible only by seaplane.
  • In Winx Club, the Winx and Specialists hang out in the Frutti Music Bar in season 4-5.
  • The Weenie Hut from Sponge Bob Square Pants
    • The Krusty Kraby tends to be a regular gathering place for everyone besides Plankton.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, there's Lime Ricky's, a speakeasy that was opened after the adults made soda illegal for kids under the age of 13, complete with a soda-addicted villain named Mr. Fizz acting as an evil version of Eliot Ness. Numbuh Two beat his ass good, but whether they put him out of buisness for good isn't clear; one thing for certain: Lime Ricky's was still in business in a later episode.

    Real Life 
  • In World War II Allied officers in North Africa would use Shepheard's Hotel for this purpose. The Royal Hawaiian did the same for American submariners in the Pacific; in fact the Comsubpac, Admiral Lockwood arranged to have it on reserve for the Navy as a way to be A Father to His Men.
  • London Coffeehouses in the eighteenth century were places like this. Though they primarily served coffee rather than strong drink and thus were not bars in the strictest sense.
  • Many large military installations will have bars nearby that are largely frequented by military personnel. Some places will have entire business districts set aside for doing business with them. Whether they are Good Guy Bars or Bad Guy Bars will depend largely on your opinion of the military personnel, and how well or poorly they behave when out partying it up.


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