See Who's in the Sweet 16 of Historic Bars

03/13/2015 02:59 pm ET | Updated May 13, 2015


The Dresden has been a Los Angeles institution since 1954. Credit: Blaise Nutter

The Dresden in Los Angeles took home the prize in its matchup.

Just like any crowded bar room after midnight, the only guarantee in the first round of a national championship tournament is that there's going to be some drama.

The first round of The Big Tap: Historic Bars Tournament saw its fair share, with a number of buzzer beaters, blowouts, and bar-room brawls. Now, straight to the action...

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar 541 -- 832 The Dresden
Our first matchup was a real barn burner. Lafitte's Blacksmith's Shop of New Orleans and The Dresden from Los Angeles put up the round's highest point total with more than 1,300 votes cast. When it was all said and done, though, it was the Dresden that showed its mettle and pulled away with the win.

Tootsies Orchid Lounge 382 -- 370 Cheers
We knew going in that the pop culture matchup was going to be solid. Even though Cheers is the toast of Boston, the challenger from Nashville just tooted by to claim the win by only 12 votes.

Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden 260 -- 368 Salty Dawg Saloon
Though it surely had the backing of the hipster demographic, the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, was no match for the grit and guts of Alaska's Salty Dog Saloon.

The Safe House entrance is marked by a sign that reads

The Safe House entrance is marked by a sign that reads "International Exports, Ltd." and located down an alley off of Milwaukee's Front Street.

Mai Kai 320 -- 551 Safe House
Shake all you want, Mai Kai, but it's tough to beat the secret hideout for international men (and women) of mystery. Milwaukee's undercover drinking destination moves on.

Prost 295 -- 334 Hanover Tavern
It wasn't Prost with the most, but another 40 points for the Portland pub would've left this tavern with a head-pounding hangover. It's hard to argue with George Washington and nearly 300 years of history.

The Chicken Box 261 -- 287 Gangway Bar
Nantucket's Chicken Box strutted its stuff early on in this matchup, but ended up taking a dive to San Francisco's Gangway Bar. There's no shame in going down to one of the Tenderloin's tastiest, though, especially one with a history of stiff drinks and activism.

Holler House 650 -- 237 Warren Tavern
The Warren Tavern was doubled up and is now probably doubled over. Holler House screams to a win.

tycoons alehouse main bar

Tycoons' main bar

The Slippery Noodle Inn 314 -- 330 Tycoons Alehouse & Eatery
Sixteen votes were all that separated the two titans of this matchup. Tycoon's slides into the Sweet 16.

The Owl Bar, Hotel Belvedere 345 -- 573 The Corner Club
Baltimore's Owl Bar was caught napping as the Corner Club from Moscow, Idaho walled it off for a win.

The Monkey Bar 379 -- 228 Bali Hai Restaurant
It's all fun and games until somebody has to go home. At least the Bali Hai gets to drink off the loss in sunny SoCal. Stay classy, San Diego.

Backroom Bar 289 -- 267 The Dakota Inn Rathskeller
It's hard to pull one over on Detroit, but the Backroom Bar snuck one in against the Dakota Inn by just 22 votes. Tough times just keep getting tougher in The D.

Carousel Bar & Lounge 478 -- 177 La Mariana Sailing Club
New Orleans' Carousel Bar and Lounge swam circles around La Mariana Sailing Club in Honolulu. Something tells me the Hawaiians aren't sweating the loss too hard, though.

Stained glass windows, intricate wood carvings, and tufted pink bar stools give Silver Bar Cocktail Lounge a feel of old-world elegance.

Stained glass windows, intricate wood carvings, and tufted pink bar stools give Silver Bar Cocktail Lounge a feel of old-world elegance.

Silver Bar 320 -- 226 Veteran Boxers Association
The Silver Bar must have put on its gold gloves for the matchup with the Veteran Boxers Association. This one was a total knockout.

The Old Talbott Tavern 371 -- 270 Tonga Room
The haunted stagecoach tavern topples the Mai Tais of the Tonga Room.

The Mint Bar 307 -- 303 Alibi
There was no backup story for Alibi in our closest contest of the round. The Mint Bar slips past on its ride to the ever-so-Sweet 16.

Bourbon and Branch 323 -- 291 McGreevy's
Frisco's Bourbon and Branch reached out for the win over Boston's old Irish watering hole in a matchup of the last two World Series champion cities. (OK, so what if the baseball reference is straight out of left field?)

There's no doubt about it, the first round of the 2015 Historic Bars Tournament was a doozy. But whether or not your favorite advanced, there's no time to waste. Sixteen bars are still putting up shots to become the tournament champion. Keep casting your votes over at the PreservationNation blog and drinking in the excitement in the next round of the tournament !