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8 Things We Know About Australia's George Costanza-Themed Bar

In the few short days since George's Bar—a George Costanza-themed watering holeopened in Melbourne on New Year’s Eve, the Seinfeld-loving establishment has made global headlines, proving that everyone’s favorite balding, neurotic TV character doesn’t just belong to New York City—he belongs to the world. While the bar is brand-new, here are eight things we know so far about the quirky hangout. 

1. THE BAR'S NAME PRECEDED ITS CONCEPT. 

George's Bar/Facebook

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, co-owner Dave Barrett said that he and his partners came up with the bar’s name first, and let that shape the establishment’s overall aesthetic. "We came up with the name George's and worked backwards, concept-theming it," shared Barrett. "George Costanza suits a bar in a lot of ways. The humor around George works."

2. ITS OWNERS (UNSURPRISINGLY) LOVE GEORGE COSTANZA. 

In an age of ironic hipster bars, one might think that a George Costanza-themed bar is a gimmicky attempt at cleverness. However, Barrett said that he decided to open George’s Bar for one simple reason: "We really like Seinfeld." Barrett also owns Laundry Bar, a Melbourne-based dance club that’s known for its DJs and drink specials. 

3. YOU CAN DRINK IN THE SUMMER OF GEORGE.

The bar's drink menu boasts a variety of Seinfeld-inspired libations, from "The Summer of George" to "The Hand Model," plus a range of beers and ciders on tap. If you're hungry, you can order a “toastie” (that’s Aussie for toasted sandwich) named after a Seinfeld catchphrase; we think The Quitter and The Art Vandelay sound delicious.

4. IT'S DECORATED WITH GEORGE COSTANZA PICTURES AND QUOTES.

At George’s Bar, you won’t be enjoying happy hour specials with just one George Costanza—you’ll be tossing back cocktails with many of him. The room is decorated with images of the bar’s titular character, and Barrett plans to add a litany of autographed photos to the mix. According to the bar’s Facebook page, Frogger will be arriving later this week. Another fun feature? When you walk into the bar, you’re welcomed by two of George's most hilarious quotes, which are emblazoned across the two front doors: “It’s not a lie if you believe it” and “Everyone must like me, I must be liked.”

5. JASON ALEXANDER KNOWS ABOUT IT.

As an actor, what’s better than receiving a coveted television award? Finding out that two bar owners were so inspired by your character that they created a cocktail establishment in your honor. Jason Alexander, who played George Costanza for all nine seasons of Seinfeld, recently gave a Twitter shout-out to George’s Bar. 

6. THE BAR IS LOCATED IN MELBOURNE'S FITZROY NEIGHBORHOOD. 

Fitzroy is an eclectic neighborhood in Melbourne that’s filled with vintage stores, artists, and vegetarian restaurants. It’s often compared to the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn—a far cry from George Costanza’s native Queens.

7. IT'S AN ARTSY ESTABLISHMENT. 

George's Bar/Facebook

Barrett hopes that local artists will display George Costanza-inspired works in his bar. Right now, he’s interested in hosting a show with a Melbourne-based painter who’s currently at work on eight different George paintings. 

8. ITS DOORS ARE (ALMOST) ALWAYS OPEN.

Since New York City never sleeps, George’s Bar never (or rarely) closes. According to its website, it’s open seven nights per week, from 6 p.m. until “late.” The bar doesn’t accept reservations, so if you’re in Melbourne and want to pour one out for your favorite '90s sitcom, make sure you don’t wait until too late to swing by.

[h/t The Sydney Morning Herald]

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Today's Wine Glasses Are Almost Seven Times Larger Than They Were in 1700
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Holiday party season (a.k.a. hangover season) is in full swing. While you likely have no one to blame but yourself for drinking that second (or third) pour at the office soiree, your glassware isn't doing you any favors—especially if you live in the UK. Vino vessels in England are nearly seven times larger today than they were in 1700, according to a new study spotted by Live Science. These findings were recently published in the English medical journal The BMJ.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge measured more than 400 wineglasses from the past three centuries to gauge whether glass size affects how much we drink. They dug deep into the history of parties past, perusing both the collections of the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford and the Royal Household's assemblage of glassware (a new set is commissioned for each monarch). They also scoured a vintage catalog, a modern department store, and eBay for examples.

After measuring these cups, researchers concluded that the average wineglass in 1700 held just 2.2 fluid ounces. For comparison's sake, that's the size of a double shot at a bar. Glasses today hold an average of 15.2 fluid ounces, even though a standard single serving size of wine is just 5 ounces.

BMJ infographic detailing increases in wine glass size from 1700 to 2017
BMJ Publishing group Ltd.

Advances in technology and manufacturing are partly to blame for this increase, as is the wine industry. Marketing campaigns promoted the beverage as it increasingly became more affordable and available for purchase, which in turn prompted aficionados to opt for larger pours. Perhaps not surprisingly, this bigger-is-better mindset was also compounded by American drinking habits: Extra-large wineglasses became popular in the U.S. in the 1990s, prompting overseas manufacturers to follow suit.

Wine consumption in both England and America has risen dramatically since the 1960s [PDF]. Cambridge researchers noted that their study doesn't necessarily prove that the rise of super-sized glassware has led to this increase. But their findings do fit a larger trend: previous studies have found that larger plate size can increase food consumption. This might be because they skew our sense of perception, making us think we're consuming less than we actually are. And in the case of wine, in particular, oversized glasses could also heighten our sensory enjoyment, as they might release more of the drink's aroma.

“We cannot infer that the increase in glass size and the rise in wine consumption in England are causally linked,” the study's authors wrote. “Nor can we infer that reducing glass size would cut drinking. Our observation of increasing size does, however, draw attention to wine glass size as an area to investigate further in the context of population health.”

[h/t Live Science]

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84 Years Ago Today: Goodbye Prohibition!
A huge queue outside the Board of Health offices in Centre Street, New York, for licenses to sell alcohol shortly after the repeal of prohibition. The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.
A huge queue outside the Board of Health offices in Centre Street, New York, for licenses to sell alcohol shortly after the repeal of prohibition. The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.
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It was 84 years ago today that the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, repealing the earlier Amendment that declared the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcohol illegal in the United States. Prohibition was over! Booze that had been illegal for 13 years was suddenly legal again, and our long national nightmare was finally over.


A giant barrel of beer, part of a demonstration against prohibition in America.
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Prohibition of alcohol was not a popular doctrine. It turned formerly law-abiding citizens into criminals. It overwhelmed police with enforcement duties and gave rise to organized crime. In cities like Milwaukee and St. Louis, the dismantling of breweries left thousands of people unemployed.


Photograph courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Homemade alcohol was often dangerous and some people died from drinking it. Some turned to Sterno or industrial alcohol, which was dangerous and sometimes poisoned by the government to discourage drinking. State and federal governments were spending a lot of money on enforcement, while missing out on taxes from alcohol.


New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach (right) watches agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of Prohibition.

The midterm elections of 1930 saw the majority in Congress switch from Republican to Democratic, signaling a shift in public opinion about Prohibition as well as concerns about the depressed economy. Franklin Roosevelt, who urged repeal, was elected president in 1932. The Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution was proposed by Congress in February of 1933, the sole purpose of which was to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment establishing Prohibition.


American men guarding their private beer brewing hide-out, during Prohibition.
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With passage of the Constitutional Amendment to repeal Prohibition a foregone conclusion, a huge number of businessmen lined up at the Board of Health offices in New York in April of 1933 to apply for liquor licenses to be issued as soon as the repeal was ratified.

The Amendment was ratified by the states by the mechanism of special state ratifying conventions instead of state legislatures. Many states ratified the repeal as soon as conventions could be organized. The ratifications by the required two-thirds of the states was achieved on December 5, 1933, when conventions in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah agreed to repeal Prohibition through the Amendment.


Workmen unloading crates of beer stacked at a New York brewery shortly after the repeal of Prohibition.
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A brewery warehouse in New York stacked crates past the ceiling to satisfy a thirsty nation after the repeal of Prohibition.


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Liquor wouldn't officially be legal until December 15th, but Americans celebrated openly anyway, and in most places, law enforcement officials let them.

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