This is just like the bar I would open if I could. A library with good books for people to read while they drink, good music playing over the speakers just loud enough to be enjoyed but not too obnoxious, and 12 taps of good beer.
Sometimes I think we have lost that kind of pub culture in the US. I know we haven’t, there are places in every town where you can go and have a pint or three and not be annoyed by a bunch to 26-year-olds trying to hang on to their college years by doing body shots at 4 in the afternoon. However, I think it is dying.
With the rise of craft brewery taprooms, bars are slowly disappearing. That is a shame. Taprooms are a wonderful place to try a brewery’s beers. The beer is going to be at its freshest since it only has to go from the brewery a whole 100 yards to the taproom and not sit in a warehouse waiting for delivery. Most are comfortable places that extend the breweries ethos and brand. A bar is a different place.
A good craft beer bar should be a gathering place for the neighborhood and for the local craft beer community. It should be neutral ground for all the distribution reps and brewery sales reps to gather, drink, and shoot the shit.
A good bar shouldn’t have loud obnoxious music playing at 2 in the afternoon. It should feel like your living room or den. A place where you are comfortable enough to talk to the person sitting at the bar next to you or sit quietly in a corner reading a thick great novel.
I’ve been lucky enough to find a place like that everywhere I’ve lived. I’m even luckier to work in a place like that right now.
There was a Miller or Bud commercial a few years ago, for one of their ill-fated forays into specialty beers. I don’t remember which one and neither do the people who bought and drank it. Anyway, the commercial was a bunch 25-year-olds dressed in their best night club gear in a dark club with EDM playing trying to look cool drinking this crappy beer. A description of the commercial I read said something like this a “bunch of people I don’t want to hang out with drinking a beer I don’t want in a place I would never go.”
A good bar is a great place for a writer. They can be left alone to read or write if they want to. They can watch the world and the customers as they come in and interact. Where do you think characters come from? And they can engage with a cross section of humanity if they so choose. Without bars, we would be missing a lot of great novels and short stories.
Anyway, read this if you haven’t read it before. It is about a café in Spain and not a bar, but it is the same general idea.