If you visit bars often, most often, it’s the small things that are to be taken into consideration. Your Friday night in Shoreditch will be improved tenfold if you can find bars that account for these things:
The Bar Stools
As I get older and I experience back problems, it’ll be because I’ve probably spent hours sitting on bar stools shaped as if you’re meant to get scoliosis the more you sit on them. They’re shaky, wobbly, hard to sit on, and most importantly, don’t have any lumbar support. Amongst all those bars, I’d prefer to stand all night rather than sit on those things that they like to call stools. However, there are some amazing barstools out there, and the DBGB found in the East Village is one of those nice barstools. You can also find some seats that have room for storage under the seat. This means that you won’t have to find yourself misplacing your things or having your bag or coat hung on a tiny hook that’s underneath the table.
The Bar Itself
You can’t start your own bar business, without the bar itself. I know it sounds obvious, but other bars may have missed this very important detail. You can’t just build a block of wood, make sure that it’s within elbow level and place it in your business. That’s not what a good bar means. Regardless of what the bar’s materials are made up, I want to sit on a bar and make sure that it has sufficient space for my food, drink, and elbows, but not to the point that it’s too large that reaching out is difficult.
The Drinks List
I remember entering a couple of establishments, and the moment that I’ve asked for the menu, the bartender would directly point towards the wall, situated 100 feet from where I was standing! Going through the wall menu makes my heart squirm, not to mention that the room was dimly-lit, making this making it even more difficult. It’s a good thing that there are still some bars such as Manhattan’s famous The Pony Bar who tells their customers the available drinks.
I wonder, how hard is it to print the menu and give that piece of paper to customers who are asking for a menu? Most of the bars these days make it difficult to understand what’s in their menu, and giving out something that I can actually hold in my hands and read myself! While it doesn’t have to be an actual menu, you can still make this easier for your customers. For example, Drink in Boston has a bespoke method of achieving this even without handing a simple piece of paper. I understand that taps change now and then and getting menus updated considering that there’s a large number of liquor and wine collections, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You may want to invest in a good laser printer for this.
Ordering a Bloody Mary, Bud Light, or Gin and Tonic? You’ll probably receive it in a shaker pint. I’m pretty sure where you live, it’s all the same. I know that I’ve tried to imitate those who don’t care about glassware, but for me, it’s essentially important. Not just for the aesthetics, but the aroma as well.
The Ice Itself
The moment that you’ve started taking into consideration the ice that is being used in these bars, other people would say that you’re being impractical and that you’re not living in the real world. But the truth is, it matters a lot. Just like the glassware, the ice, its shape and size affect how your drinks would taste. You’d don’t want a pile of ice that’s already been watery to be poured on your drink, don’t you? As a matter of fact, you should probably stop going to bars that do this! I’ve found a great bar in Charleston, South Caroline – The Gin Joint. They have an industrial ice machine which creates huge blocks that are usually being used for making ice sculptures. From those blocks, the bar then breaks down the ice into smaller shapes with the use of sledgehammers and chainsaws. They’ll continue doing this until they have a clear cube, or even spear, that’s right enough for whatever cocktail or drink you want in your hand.
Last, but not the least, if you’re spending most of your time hanging out in bars, it’s already been given that you’ll be spending the majority of your time in bathrooms trying to avoid most surfaces that you can avoid as much as possible. Public loos are often stinky, disgusting, dirty, minuscule, and usually, don’t have soaps! In general, most bars make you want to stop drinking altogether until you find a bar that has a self-cleaning toilet such as the Den Dyver bar found in Belgium.