On preview, False_God has beaten me to it, but I’ll post my reply anyway.
Fern bar. It’s been years since I heard that term.
The way I remember it, a fern bar was ultimately a bar–that is, you could buy drinks there. The difference between it and, say, Cheers, or a place Archie Bunker might hang out in was the fact that it was usually a little brighter, better-decorated, and had lots of green plants; among which were ferns, giving the place its name.
The clientele were usually young, educated, professional and well-off men and women–indeed, you would sometimes hear the phrase “yuppie fern bar.” Some were singles bars, but not necessarily; a business person might take a client there to discuss business, or an established couple might meet there for drinks after work or before a show.
Drinks were usually not what you’d find at Cheers or Archie Bunker’s Place either. Fine wines (usually white) were available by the glass, and the most popular beers sold in fern bars were often imported–it could be difficult to find a domestically mass-produced commercial beer in these places, but they’d have plenty of Heineken, Beck’s, and Stella Artois, for example.
But that was pretty much it. It wasn’t a pub or sports bar or cigar lounge–it was a little brighter, somewhat more expensive, definitely more upscale than an average bar, and it had lots of ferns. A fern bar.