The “Blind Tiger” is an American slang term for an illegal drinking establishment. The term is most commonly found in the South. It’s synonym, “Blind Pig,” is more common in California and the Northern Tier States.

The terms apparently arose from the fact that it was illegal in many areas to sell alcohol by the drink because the term was used to avoid licensing fees. Proprietors of drinking establishments would advertise animal curiosities and gave customers who paid to see the animals a “complimentary drink.” Often there were no actual animals to be displayed and it was a thin facade that law enforcement officials winked at. Blind Pig dates to at least 1870, while Blind Tiger appears to be a bit older, being traced to 1857.