What Makes a Good Bar?

I spend a good portion of my time in bars. I've been to good bars, bad bars, swanky cocktail lounges, daft dive bars, themed bars, sports bars, arts bars, bro bars, rooftop bars, and many others. What makes a good bar good? This is not a definitive list of the only criteria, but it's certainly a good place to start. Happy #MillenialFriday Now get to a bar, and get to celebrating. 

1. Good Beer

With the rising popularity of craft beer and beer snobbery, you want to be at a bar that has an expansive enough beer selection that allows you to explore. This doesn't need to be a full fledged craft beer bar, but options are nice.

2. Bad Beer

Bad beer is so much better than good beer. It's crazy. I don't know when all the Bud Light hate started, but I won't stand for it. If your bar doesn't have a trashy light beer, it isn't a great bar. Period. Anyone having over 3 beers isn't leaving this list anyway.

3. Liquor

I'm not going to name every kind of drink a bar should have, but it should be a "fully stocked" bar. Vodka, Whiskey, Rum, Gin, Tequila and two options for each. Anything above that is welcomed. 

4. Nachos

Food in general is a must, but nachos are an all-time bar food snack. Top them with whatever you'd like, we just need chips and cheese.

5. Touch Tunes

All bars need music playing, but to be elite you need a Touch Tunes kiosk. The greatest bars have the potential for a bar-wide, mid-July "All I Want for Christmas is You" sing-along. (You know which version.)

6. TV

What is on the TV doesn't matter. It could be the game. It could be a movie from the 90's. It could be highlights from the game that ended hours ago. Who gives a shit? Put it on mute and give us something to look at while we think of stuff to say.

7. A Great Bartender

Bartending is a lost art form. This is much more than expedient draught pours and flashy mixology. Those are necessary to be a good bartender, yes, but to be great is much more. Good bartenders can recommend what beer best suites you based on your prompts and has a few classic cocktails committed to memory, but the greats have the intangibles. When you're in an empty bar alone, a great bartender talks to you and keeps basic conversation going. They have charisma. They speak of life like a well read English teach speaks of books. They have a story for everything, yet they never over power a conversation. If you don't want to talk he/she can read that too, and they will leave you alone. If you do, they are there as a sounding board for whatever is on your mind, but only until someone else comes to the bar and then they go about their way as the humble servant. Indulging and imbibing.


There you have it. Eat, drink, and celebrate weekly. Happy #MillenialFriday