Bar Etiquette

One of the pleasures of bar dining is the hustle and bustle of a busy city bar, with all of the dynamics of the mix of diners and drinkers and watchers, and all of the rest of the people who make up the crowd in a good place.

I mention “city bar,” because there is an unspoken set of rules about just how to behave while dining, drinking, or waiting to do one or the other (and in my case, both). People in cities tend to know these rules, and people in the suburbs tend to be ignorant of them. Am I being ridiculously general? Of course. But it’s my blog, and I feel like criticizing the procession of idiots in my little town’s one halfway-decent bar. I won’t name names, and I won’t post photos of the miscreants, but I will list several of these heretofore secret but generally accepted guidelines.

In no particular order:

1. Don’t nurse one drink for 45 minutes. It’s rude to the people who want to…you know…drink at the bar, and it cuts into the income of the bartenders.

2. Your shopping bag is not deserving of a seat. I am, and if you don’t move the bag I am going to say something rude.

3. Spreading out so that you have plenty of leg room and can look at your drinking buddy may be fun, but it takes up two spots at the bar that can be used by people who are less self-centered than you are!

4. Nobody — and I mean literally nobody on earth — wants to hear your phone conversation. If you absolutely must jabber about the new shoes you just bought (the ones in the bag on the chair next to you), go outside.

5. Move over so that the nice couple behind you, politely waiting to sit down together, can sit down…together. You are not the most important person on earth, despite what your therapist says.

6. If you lay your arm across mine to waggle a fistful of cash at the bartender, I am going to be very tempted to knock your teeth down your throat (I won’t, but I will say something). Don’t touch me unless you are Brooklyn Decker or Eva Mendez.

There are many more, but these are the big ones in my book. Feel free to add to the list or embellish mine.

4 Replies to “Bar Etiquette”

  1. This rule dovetails with rule #6: do NOT waive your arm in front of me in a gesture intended to summon the bartender. If you do, I will with Zombie like certitude, snap your arm off at the elbow with one precise bite. OK, that may be something of a stretch but suffice to say, all that is necessary is that you simply slide your empty vessel toward the business end of the bar. If your efforts receive no attention, that is your signal that you are done. For the sake of the entire establishment and what is left of your self worth, close your bill and move on to the next watering hole.

  2. Larry David had a marvelous approach to his annoyance at the person jabbering away on his cell phone. He had a loud conversation with himself! And you’re right…city folks are acutely aware of bar etiquette.

  3. #7: Don’t sit at the bar while pretending to read a book or making entries in your oh-so-precious “life journal”. This isn’t Eat Pray Love. You are wasting a stool and ruining the atmosphere with your pretentiousness. Go to Starbuck’s and write your shitty poetry there.

    FYI: this only occurs in big city bars.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *