Amazon Is Going To Start Shipping Alcohol. Will It Kill American Bars?


On Tuesday, Amazon announced they will be delivering alcohol to the Seattle area through their Prime Now app. For the geographically unfortunate who are unfamiliar with Prime Now, this means Amazon will be delivering beer, wine, liquor (and food, for people who are into that sort of thing) to Seattle residents within two hours for free. One hour delivery only costs $7.99.

And while alcoholic tech geeks, alcoholic agoraphobes, and Amazon stock holders of any sobriety level are celebrating the announcement, it is important to remember that progress, no matter how convenient or inherently awesome, always has a cost. Just as the automobile replaced the horse-drawn carriage and the Oreo killed the Hydrox Sandwich Cookie (or did it?), Amazon has destroyed…well, pretty much anyone selling books that isn’t Amazon.

This announcement has put another proud institution directly in the cross hairs of Amazon’s evolution: the bar. Bars have been around since there has been alcohol, buildings to consume alcohol in, and enough people to discuss whatever the equivalent of high school football was back in ancient times. And while bars have only gotten better over the years by adding video games and laser tag, Amazon’s announcement could prove to be a devastating (if not fatal) blow to the bar industry.

Follow the logic here: going to bars has always been a hassle — with the lines, the inadequately washed glasses, and the ever-present danger of getting punched in the face by some bro named Chad. And yet we still went. Because despite the pain, and the inconvenience, and the contagious diseases, bars had the liquor and the attractive people and the possibility (if ever so remote) that the combination of the two would result in awkward, though undeniably glorious, coitus. But with all the attractive (and occasionally awful) people now migrating to Tinder, and the wooing of said attractive people accomplished with the undeniably romantic “Netflix and chill” gambit, Amazon’s booze delivery has officially removed the last incentive to go out to a bar.

However, much like the death of Borders, the demise of American bars will likely be a prolonged, screech-filled slide into the abyss. In the meantime, pull up a bar stool, try (then fail, then try again) to chat up an attractive lad or lass, and raise your glass to the American bar industry.

May it rest in peace.

Note: Though this opinion seems anti-Amazon, the author plans to enthusiastically use Amazon’s booze delivery service, because he values convenience over integrity.