What exactly was a 'fern bar?'

"Fern bars were gathering places for well-dressed "upscale" young men and women, initially during the sexual revolution of the 1970s... Fern bars were frequently talked of disparagingly as singles bars where individuals would go to hit on men or women for sexual hookups..."


The 1970s released a pent-up frustration with how the previous decades deleted the human element. A return to 'earthy' or 'natural' architecture and design ushered in a whole new aesthetic not seen since the Great Depression. Suddenly every fashionable establishment from 1973-ish on had to join the trend of rough hewn wood paneling the walls, complemented by hanging plants.


Here's the thing about new styles. They wear out. The ultra-modern look of the space age era shows nicks and dings with only slight use. Who wants a formica counter top if there's a cigarette burn on the corner? Enter the back-to-nature beige and brown 1970s.

Plants were friggin' everywhere in the 1970s. So much so that the slightly demeaning term 'fern bar' implied a place that tried to feel friendly and open to those who drink. Why someone would want to drink with a plant hanging over their heads is a mystery. Some fern bars pushed the style to such an extreme that it was often hard to navigate your way across the room to the toilet.


10454 Lomita Ave #B, Felton
United States