Last call for the neighborhood bar?

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A shift in the competition for food and beverage dollars is claiming a clear casualty: the neighborhood bar.

The local tavern is disappearing at a “blinding” rate, with closures averaging 609 per month, says a new study from Nielsen. The attrition rate hit six establishments per day between 2004 and 2014, the report noted.

There is some renewal of the segment, with openings averaging more than 330 per month, according to Nielsen’s data. But the attrition rate still pints to an “unsettling trend” for places in the mold of Cheers.

Nielsen attributes the decline to the blurring of segment lines. Watering holes are losing customers to places that were once exclusively places to eat but are now adding drink options, such as fast-casual outlets and in-store retail restaurants. It also noted the rise of brewpubs and a redefinition of restaurants as places to drink as well as eat.


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