Santorini Beer and Sunset

The Bell Bar – The World’s Best Bar

Food and Drink

Jeff Bell drinking a beer in Santorini

There are few things in this world better than drinking a beer or glass of wine at sunset, especially while on vacation. Known as a “sundowner,” people from cultures all around the world take part in this little ritual each day.

But lets face it, a drink in a touristy bar with a great sunset view can be expensive. You pay for the beer with a hefty “atmosphere tax.” I have one great money-saving tip for you: go to the Bell Bar.

In many places in the world, public drinking is not only legal but de rigueur. In places like this, we buy our beer from a corner store then drink it in a beautiful setting, often right out in front of a restaurant or pub. We call this the Bell Bar.

We are classy, I know.

But we are also cheap asses frugal and smart. We save a lot of money by having a beer on the street versus a licenced establishment.

The Bell Bar is not only the cheapest bar in town, but also the most scenic. Take a look at some of these franchises. It can be found in stunning locations world wide.

Bell Bar Worldwide Locations

The Bell Bar Santorini

Bell Bar with view of Sunset

The Bell Bar has stunning views.

The Bell Bar Zambia

Bell bar in South Luangwa, Zambia

The Bell Bar Namibia

Jeff Drinking Beer in front of Elephant.

Some Bell Bars have views of wild elephants.

The Bell Bar Symi

The Bell Bar in Symi actually has two locations. One of top of the mountain and one on the harbor.

Beer an on a mountain in Symi

Bell Bar Symi Mountain.

Bell bar Symi Harbor location.

The Symi Harbor location.

The Bell Bar can be classy. For example, The Bell Bar in Hania, Greece, is a more formal branch. Dresses are allowed, but not required.

Waterfront bar in Hania

Kristi at the upscale Bell Bar Hania in Crete.

Classy waterfront bar in Hania

So classy.

But it also serves canned beer.

Can of beer in Symi

The Original Bell Bar

We founded the Bell Bar in Key West, Florida. Everyone in Key West starts drinking in the street at 9am, give or take an hour. We were paying $5 for a Corona Light on the street and we realized we could get the beers for about a $1.50 each from a convenience store. We loaded up a cooler in our car and the Bell Bar was born.

Bell Bar on Honda Accord

The original Bell Bar

The original Bell Bar in Key West.

Bell Bar in Mallory Square

The Bell Bar is portable. This branch moved from Downtown to Mallory Sq.

Of course, some places in the world do not tolerate public drinking. In such places you may need a Bell Bar accessory.

brown bag over wine.

Like I said, the Bell Bar is classy.


If you are interested in opening your own branch, the franchise fee is only $250. You also pay me 10% of your alcohol sales and 25% of the merchandise sales. Email me if you are interested and I’ll send you a contract.


Do you drink in public? Are you a hobo? 

Do you have any money saving tips for the fellow readers? 


Posted by

Currently living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I travel, write, take photos, and stalk street cats. ~

21 thoughts on “The Bell Bar – The World’s Best Bar”

  1. Jeff great idea for a post! Yes on our travels we have been known to end the day with a beverage from some blissful location. We may have been at the same location in Santorini for evening refreshments by the look of it. Great shots!

    • That spot in Santorini was great. The night before we fought the crowd at the main sunset spot but then found this little spot (which was more photogenic) and had it almost to ourselves, save a few likeminded people.

  2. Jeff, we are HUGE believers in the Bell Bar. Since we cut our public-drinking teeth in New Orleans as new college grads, we have continued the tradition around the world. And to add to the “frugal theme,” we love to picnic – anywhere and everywhere. From the banks of the Nile in Khartoum to a park bench in Paris along the Seine in a snow storm – we love it. Great post Jeff! I think we’ll rename our ritual The Bell Bar. 🙂 ~Terri

    • It is good to find fellow public drinkers! We have been known to picnic as well – a great way to save money – although we’ve never done it in a snow storm. On our most recent trip we carried around a bag with olive oil, vinegar and honey that we were using in picnics.

  3. We too have a similar bar that travels with us. Sometimes it serves wine, beer, bourbon and even beer margaritas. Occasionally, it even has real glassware. It’s most often used in the streets of New Orleans, but we’ve taken it all over the country. I think the hotel clerks are most impressed when they witness us transporting it to and from the car. But now after reading your post, I hope we haven’t infringed on any patents or copyrights related to the Bell Bar.

    • Your bar is WAY fancier than our bar if there is real glassware and since there is no New Orleans branch, I do not believe that you have infringed on any copyrights. But to be safe, you probably need to send me the $250 franchise fee and start paying royalties as of now.

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  6. And don’t think the Bell Bar has to stop when kids come along! The trick is to take your wine bottle and glasswear in a picnic basket with some food and juice for the kids. Spread out a rug under a tree and pop the cork. Voilà! Now you are cultured parents instead of regular hobos 😉

    • I love it! I feel like if I did this under a tree near my house I’d be a hobo. In Rome, I’d be very cultured. Thanks for the comments.

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