Whether you are dining solo or heading out with a date, nothing beats sitting at the bar! In addition to the gastronomic experience, you are much more likely to have a fun social experience as well. Dinner and entertainment all in one! Ginger and my dad always ate at the bar, and unless we are out with family or friends, Peter and I do too. Are you in this camp or are you ready to give it a try? Here are 7 tips that can make or break your experience:
- Smile and say hello – when you sit down, say a quick hi with a warm smile to the person that may be seated next to you. You are acknowledging their presence, and also demonstrating that you are a friendly person. You need not always engage in conversation, but it opens the door… Peter and I have had some hilarious conversations, and met some very interesting people at bars both near and far.
- Leave your book at home – do you really want to read at a bar??? Or maybe, is it a crutch – a way to keep strangers from talking to you?? Then why are you sitting at a bar? If you need a distraction from someone that is bothersome, pulling out your smartphone is an easy solution. (Then put it away.)
- Order a grownup drink – everyone is drinking martinis, champagne, rosé, tequila – you order a Sprite? Not exactly giving off the sophisticated or fun vibe. Even if you really cannot drink alcohol (or choose not to), there are often interesting mocktails or nonalcoholic beers.
- Move down a seat or two – when others are looking for two seats together and you can create space for them by moving, it’s a nice gesture that is always appreciated…and we appreciate those that have done it for us. Even better, when you do move, do it with a smile, and a few kind words as if you are welcoming them to join your party!
- Show interest in the bartender – in many cases bartenders are great listeners – like your hairdresser or your therapist! They usually know what’s best on the menu and they like to be appreciated for their mixology talents. Be friendly and you may be offered a taste of a specialty cocktail on the house. 😉
- Ask your fellow bar-mates what they are eating – you see something that looks yummy only inches away?? Most people love to tell you what they ordered and how good (or not) it is! “That looks delicious, can I ask what it is?”
- Dress up – please, please, please: leave your fleece vest for doing yard work. Leave your athletic sneakers for the gym. Your sports teeshirt and baggy jeans? No and no. As I have said before, just because you don’t have to dress up doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Make a positive impression to the world around you and see how it instantly changes your experiences.
C’mon, there’s room for two more, we’ll move down a seat!