This week marked the 80th anniversary of the repeal of American Prohibition. While the speakeasies of New York City were in the spotlight, the shores of Long Island were the real heart of the Prohibition Era, with miles of uninhabited shorelines perfect for importing illegal hooch.
Many Prohibition hot spots are long gone, you can still celebrate our place in American history at one of these places this weekend:
One of Long Beach's most infamous haunts, Shine's was part of a booze bust toward the tail end of Prohibition. According to their Facebook page, Eugene Shine's home was raided in 1930 by Long Beach Police, who found $20,000 worth of illegal alcohol. When Prohibition was repealed, Shine attached a garage and created the large bar that exists today.
Twenty-somethings who stroll into this Rockville Centre hot spot may not realize they're drinking in a bar as old as Prohibition itself. First known as The Olde Blackthorn Inn, the Irish bar opened in 1926 in the middle of Prohibition. The bar itself was part of the long-gone Saratoga Hotel, according to their website, and has kept its old fashioned ale house feel with fireplaces and dark wood decor.
Charlie Johnson's Hotel
Meadow Island, south of Merrick near Point Lookout, was once home to Charlie Johnson's Hotel. With its easy access to the Atlantic and relatively remote location, the hotel was a hotspot for Prohibition-era parties and was a frequent stop for rum runners. The hotel no longer exists, but continue on the Loop Parkway down to Point Lookout or Long Beach for a swig of rum.
Oak Beach Inn
While this legendary Jones Beach bar was torn down, it lives on in highball glasses across the country. OBI was said to be the site of the invention of the Long Island Iced Tea in the 1970s by bartender Robert "Rosebud" Butt. Toast to the Long Island legend at nearby bars in Point Lookout, like J.A. Heneghan's Tavern or the Bouy Bar.
If you're up for a trip across county lines, The Canoe Place Inn in Hampton Bays was "known as the summer headquarters of Tammany Hall" and overflowed with corrupt politicians and illegal hooch, according to Hamptons.com. The hotel is in danger of demolition, but you can head to a tavern along Montauk Highway for a drink and a bit of history.