I have always loved the bar scene.  Since I’ve turned legal age, and maybe a few years prior to that, I’ve been immersed in bar culture.  When I think of bars I conjure up images of smooth mahogany booths and intellectually stimulating conversations over pints.

Now some of my more fugal contemporaries may point out that bars are expensive.  They might try to convince you that you could have the same experience at your house for less money and charging your finger food as cabbage (I’m looking at you S.P.). Being a lover of bar culture I feel it my job to say don’t be dismayed.  Bars are in fact the perfect place to drink and socialize.  Here are a few reasons why I will always prefer bars of having a few drinks over at a friend’s house.

Bartenders

There is reason we idealize bartenders in pop culture as wise old men polishing pint glasses and providing pearls of wisdom with each libation.  These men and women are the adults in the room.  In a sea of drunkards, it’s the bartender who slings the drinks, cuts off the visibly intoxicated and tells the dangerously sloppy to get the fuck out.

Bartenders are also the ultimate neutral party and have excellent insights.  Have a dispute with a friend? Ask the bartender, often times they know the answer.  I make it a habit to learn the bartender’s names at all of my favorite establishments.

When you go to a party at someone’s house this figure is visibly absent.  Guests decided how much it is that they can drink and sometimes with disastrous results.  If you’re hosting it can sometimes be difficult getting rid of the obnoxious drunk element and keep your relationship intact. Bartenders are the objective party that makes sure everybody is having a good night and no one exceeds their limit.

No Stupid Board/Card Games

I don’t know how many times I’ve gone over to a friend’s house and some well meaninged person says, “Oh, maybe we can play Cranium.”  While the impulse is understandable there are a few reasons board games may not be a suitable drinking activity.  Of all the times my friends and I have tried to play games like Cranium or Balderdash only a handful of times did we finish them.  The other times they have erupted in arguments about rules and that it’s unfair that Daniel and his best friend Andrew are on the same team I mean they share a brain for God sake!

As for card games, there is a reason nobody plays kings at a bar.  It’s because being in a bar is it’s own activity.  Games like kings don’t make conversation they stifle it.  These drinking games also create asinine and annoying rules to follow.  When you are in a bar you’re there to drink and make conversation that’s it.

No TV and No IPod

Now this may be dependant on what type of bar you prefer but I’ve always found my favorite bars to be ones in which the there is no TV and the patrons have little or no control over the music being played.  This frees up patrons to enjoy their time together more.

At a party there is always someone who makes it their job to control what music that everyone is listening to. While again they may have good intentions, this often serves as a wedge preventing everyone from enjoying the party.  One guest maybe trying to get everyone to join in a conga line or impress everyone else with his or her musical prowess.  Having music and TV out of guests control keeps it from being a barrier from people enjoying each others company.

Last Call

They may be two of the most bittersweet words in the English language but few recognize exactly how important last call is.  We have all been over at parties that should have ended hours ago.  For whatever reason, perhaps because the host is drunk or an awkward couple can’t seem to seal the deal there are some people who just want then night to last forever.  Our noble aforementioned bartender’s flicking on the lights and yelling “DRINK’EM UP! PAY YOUR TABS!”  is necessary and lets everybody know no matter what level of intoxication it’s probably best if you go home.

Simply put the best bars are about two things, the alcohol and who ever you choose to have a conversation with.  It removes all the distractions.  Your Yuengling may cost a little extra but it’s a small price to pay for the ability to have a setting for you and your friends to talk about everything and nothing and whatever is on your mind.  Besides, what are you going to do, drink at your own house like an alcoholic?

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