Drinking habits of their own
in Women drinking out in Britain since the early twentieth century
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Soaring wine consumption (1960-75) preceded establishment of wine bars, underlining changing socializing patterns. Longer life expectancy and smaller families acted as key demographic catalysts to wine bars’ rapid expansion. So did globalization and legislation guaranteeing women equal pay and motherhood legal protection. Targeting a professional, upwardly mobile, female clientele, wine bars experienced explosive growth from the mid-1970s. Names of wine bars, bar staff, feminized environments, absence of beer, wide selection of quality wines, attractive food, live music, waitress service, high toilet hygiene, and a more select clientele all attracted women. Publicans, however, responded with little insight into how to lure women into pubs. What neither publicans nor brewers could grasp was how the culture of wine bars clashed sharply with traditional masculine boozers, literally driving women to drinking venues of their own.

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