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late 13c., "wine shop," later "public house" (mid-15c.), from Old French taverne (mid-13c.) "shed made of boards, booth, stall," also "tavern, inn," from Latin taberna "shop, inn, tavern," originally "hut, shed," possibly by dissimilation from *traberna, from trabs (genitive trabis) "beam, timber."
an establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises. Tavern keeping has paralleled the growth of trade, travel, and industry throughout history and virtually worldwide. The Code of Hammurabi of ancient Babylonia (c. 1750 BC) provided that the death penalty could be imposed upon a proprietor for diluting beer. In ancient Greece the lesche, which was primarily a local club, served meals to strangers as well as to its local members. By the 5th century BC there were sumptuous Greek establishments called phatnai that served a local and transient clientele of traders, envoys, and government officials.