Is the Bar from ‘Cheers’ Real?

One of the classic TV sitcoms of the ’80s and early ’90s was Cheers. One of the staples of the sitcom was the setting of the nostalgic pub, a Boston bar “where everybody knows your name.” Airing from September 30, 1982, until May 20, 1993, Cheers attracted a vast audience during its 11-year stint on NBC.

Carla, Coach, and Sam in a scene from 'Cheers' filmed in the bar
(L-R) Rhea Perlman as Carla Tortelli, Nicholas Colasanto as Ernie ‘Coach’ Pantusso, Ted Danson as Sam Malone | Paul Drinkwater/Getty Images

Longtime fans of Cheers will be happy to learn that parts of the long-running sitcom still exist and certain memorabilia, including the bar, can still be viewed today. Read on to learn more about this beloved ’80s sitcom and the iconic bar the series was shot from.

What is the story behind the iconic bar from ‘Cheers’? 

Along with the lovable cast of characters, the bar on Cheers was significant to the show. According to Forbes, the exterior shots of Cheers were all filmed at a real-life bar in Boston. The real-life Boston bar that inspired the TV series was originally named the Bull and Finch Pub. The Bull and Finch Pub was originally founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1969. 

After the popularity of the television sitcom, the pub changed its name to Cheers Beacon Hill. While the outside of the Cheers Beacon Hill bar was used in Cheers, the inside of the bar does not resemble anything longtime fans of Cheers would recognize. However, in August 2001, a replica of the interior of the famous Cheers bar was opened in Boston.   

Fans can visit the pub that inspired ‘Cheers’ today 

Sadly, according to USA Today, the replica Cheers bar was forced to close down after 19 years due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Cheers replica bar officially closed down in August 2020. With the closing of the bar, a number of keepsakes and memorabilia from the bar were auctioned off to the highest bidders. The CT Post reports that not a single Cheers memorabilia item was left unsold. 

While Cheers fans can no longer visit the replica bar in Boston at Faneuil Hall, the Bull and Finch Pub or Cheers Beacon Hill bar is still open to the public. While you may not get the entire Cheers experience from the Bull and Finch Pub, seeing just the exterior of the famous Cheers bar would be a real treat for longtime fans of the sitcom. If you’re ever in Boston, stopping in at the Cheers Beacon Hill bar is a must. 

‘Cheers’ was a classic ’80s sitcom 

The beloved sitcom, Cheers, was set in Boston, Massachusetts. The show followed a group of locals who frequently met up to drink, relax, and socialize. The owner of the bar was the character Sam Malone, played by Ted Danson.

Sam was a former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and was known as a bit of a womanizer. In the first few seasons of Cheers, Diane Chambers, played by Shelley Long, served as Sam’s love interest. Later on in the series, Rebecca Howe, played by Kirstie Alley, became Sam’s main love interest. 

Along with Sam, regular patrons of the bar were Norm Peterson, Cliff Clavin, and Frasier Crane. Norm, played by George Wendt, appeared in all 275 episodes of the series. Throughout the series, he is hands down the bar’s best customer. Cliff, played by John Ratzenberger, was a postal worker and was the bar’s know-it-all.

His character even appeared on Jeopardy! Frasier, played by Kelsey Grammer, is part of a love triangle storyline with Diane and Sam in the early seasons. However, he eventually meets and marries Lilith Sternin, played by Bebe Neuwirth.

The couple even had a child, Frederick, during the series. When Cheers ended in 1993, Kelsey Grammer continued his role as his Cheer’s character in the spinoff Frasier

Related: ‘Cheers’: 30 Years Later, the Cast Members Are Still Worth Millions