What's a person gotta do to get a drink in this town? Not a whole lot, it seems.
According to a report from real estate Web site Trulia.com, Toledo's taverns are especially plentiful. With 7.2 drinking establishments per 10,000 households, metro Toledo has the fifth highest bar density among the United States' 100 largest metropolitan areas.
Topping Trulia's list was Mardi Gras mecca New Orleans. After the Big Easy were Milwaukee, Omaha, and Pittsburgh.
In the same report, Trulia ranked metros by restaurant density. By that measure, Toledo came in 35th, with 19.8 restaurants per 10,000 households.
San Francisco, the only city to make both lists, easily took the top restaurant spot, with 39.3 restaurants per 10,000 households.
Although it's primarily a fun look, Jed Kolko, Trulia's chief economist, said the information also shows an area's entertainment and relaxation options.
"Some places have strong reputations for having lots of restaurants, bars, and other places where people hang out," Mr. Kolko said in an e-mail interview. "In choosing a place to live, local culture is important -- people who want a great neighborhood bar should look to live in places that have lots of bars to choose from, and the same with people who want lots of choices for eating out."
Metro areas among the 100 largest in the U.S. with the most bars per 10,000 households:
1. New Orleans — 8.6
2. Milwaukee — 8.5
3. Omaha — 8.3
4. Pittsburgh — 7.9
5. Toledo — 7.2
6. Syracuse, N.Y. — 7.0
7. Buffalo — 6.8
8. San Francisco — 6.0
9. Las Vegas — 6.0
10. Honolulu — 5.9
Metropolitan areas among the 100 largest in the U.S. with the most restaurants per 10,000 households:
1. San Francisco — 39.3
2. Fairfield County, Connecticut — 27.6
3. Long Island, N.Y. — 26.5
4. New York City — 25.3
5. Seattle — 24.9
6. San Jose, Calif. — 24.8
7. Orange County, California — 24.8
8. Providence, R.I. — 4.3
9. Boston — 24.2
10. Portland, Ore. — 24.0
35. Toledo — 9.8
Trulia's "eating towns" tended to be coastal and in wealthier areas, while the "drinking towns" were more inland and affordable.
Mr. Kolko said the top 10 drinking towns fall into three general categories. New Orleans, San Francisco, and Honolulu are frequented by tourists who bring business to local watering holes. Milwaukee and San Francisco are also known respectively for their breweries and vineyards. The rest -- Toledo, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, N.Y., and Buffalo -- are historically manufacturing towns.
John Schafer, owner of the well-established Village Idiot in Maumee, thinks it's a logical connection.
"It's kind of a blue-collar thing," he said. "I'd still consider Toledo that. It's been our niche. Hopefully it stays that way."
Still, Mr. Schafer said he was somewhat surprised by the ranking, even though Maumee has a fair share of watering holes for a town its size.
"I think the whole idea of a neighborhood bar is coming back into vogue a little bit," he said. "People know the people they're going to see every day, and there's more of a fraternity that evolves."
The study didn't try to rank the quality of each area's bar scene. Trulia said what makes a good bar or restaurant is too subjective to rank.
"A place might have lots of bars or restaurants but not to your individual taste," Mr. Kolko said. "But having a large quantity of bars or restaurants at least gives you more to choose from."
More bars means more competition, which makes it even more important for individual places to stand out.
"I can hold up a bottle of Bud Light or Miller Lite -- there's thousands of places in Toledo where you can buy this. Why would they want to buy it here?" said Jim Mettler, owner of Ye Olde Cock n' Bull Tavern downtown.
"It has to be because we offer an atmosphere and other amenities and service that are better than other places. I think that's the rule of anybody who's got a successful bar or restaurant."
But Mr. Mettler also thinks neighborhood bars are becoming more popular, partially because of the collective view on drinking and driving being much more serious now than it once was.
So is it an honor to be a top drinking town?
"Bars stay in business only if there's enough local demand to support them," Mr. Kolko said. "What matters is whether you live in a town that has the kinds of businesses you care about."
Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6134.