On Monday night How I Met Your Mother returned for its final season after 8 years on the air. The crew is going to be mostly on Long Island this season, which will span the 56 hours before Barney and Robin’s wedding. Which is sort of a shame, because even though the show doesn't actually film in New York, they've always done the city right. More right than many other shows that actually do film here. The creators really get New York and New Yorkers—and this is apparent in even the simple details. For instance, the characters on the show actually take the subway, and they even frequent a bar (you very rarely saw the Friends or Seinfeld cast in a bar). But does their local watering hole exist in real life NYC? Sort of. In a 2008 interview, CBS's Watch magazine talked to creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and found out the origins of McLaren's bar:
"McLaren's doesn't actually exist in Manhattan—the TV watering hole and its bartender are named for Carl, a Mother associate producer—but is instead a composite of four real favorite hangouts of the Bays, Thomas and friends from the Letterman staff. McGee's, a tavern around the corner from Letterman's Ed Sullivan Theater, features the model for Maclaren's WPA-era mural on its brick wall. The recently closed McHale's on Eight Avenue, where Bays and Thomas first started writing jokes during their MTV summer, lent its dark atmosphere.
A Greenwich Village speakeasy named Chumley's, where Thomas typed away on the pilot script, inspired some of Maclaren's more rustic touches. And at Fez, a recently shuttered Moroccan-style bar on the Upper West Side. Bays and Thomas befriended the DJ, Josh Mosby, who later gave Ted his surname. Fez gave the writers the idea to put a few round booths at the back of their TV bar."
But where's that Canadian bar?