Sitting at the bar > Sitting at a table
Originally Published 1/21/11
I’ve never understood open seats at a bar inside a decent restaurant. There should be no reason why it’s considered a holding pen or an unwanted last resort for dining. Unless you’re in the early stages of googly eyed puppy love with your significant other, try sitting at the bar. Be kind to the bartender, enjoy the people watching, and follow these few simple suggestions:
- Don’t stick with your usual beer or drink. Experiment a bit.
- Order a couple green salads and a simple appetizer. Space is wonderfully limited. This makes it easier.
- Ignore the TVs unless there’s a game both you and your date are interested in
- Don’t bug the bartender with too many questions. They’re working. Observe but don’t pester.
- Be open to friendly conversation from your neighbors. But don’t initiate tons of yakking.
- And if you are eating? Absolutely still tip 20%. More if the bartender is excellent.
It could be argued that sitting at a decently busy bar is much more intimate than sitting across from your date at some expansive table. You’re close, sharing food, and you get to create your own conversation cocoon.
It’s a blast. Give it a shot. And remember… if some oddly charming character named “Axel” finds out you’re originally from the Midwest and then proceeds to strike up a conversation about how Usinger’s makes the best mail order kielbasa?*
Roll with it.
*Scout’s honor this happened to me a few months back.