Hoodies on Tap: Breaking down what makes for a good local bar.

As you get older, you learn that you need a few important things to get through life. You need a loving companion, you need a reliable automobile, you need a place to get your haircut that you trust, you need to subscribe to at least one magazine that comes once a week so you’ll always have something to read in case of an emergency and you need a good local bar. Sure, you might need other things depending on what kind of person you are, but the above necessities I mentioned are absolute and like a good airborne disease cross all barriers, oceans and land masses.

For the most part, obtaining all of these important things are able to be controlled by you. That’s a good thing. However, there is one thing that is the wild card and the thing that unfortunately is not controlled by you. But that’s cool. Uncontrollables in life are a good thing and yes, I might have just illegally pluralized uncontrollable. It’s Friday. No rules.
 
The local bar: hugely important, often forgotten, and frequently needed.
 
The local bar: sadly not under your control because you cannot control whether or not there is a good local bar in your area. That’s troubling, but not the end of the world. It just means you have to dig a little bit, you know like if you wanted to go to China or hide gold bonds.
 
But why exactly is a good local bar important? That’s simple- because it is you silly bastard. The local bar is as important as a life raft is to a sinking ship. It’s a reprieve, it’s a savior. Dude it’s quite simply a damn good thing to have around. A good local bar cures a bad mood, a bad day, a bad string of luck. You get older and you encounter more & more flotsam & jetsam. You subsequently need a joint (preferably within walking distance) that you can ramble into, grab a table or stool, have a drink poured and pretend like nothing else matters, exists or happened. It’s a beautiful thing, which is probably why God created bars in the first place. The local bar is like a hammer- important to have around and always useful.
 
What makes for a good local bar? This can be disputed as everyone is different and has different tastes. You might be a fancy lad and appreciate a good, dry martini or you might be a wildin’ out white girl, which is phrase I heard on Hot 97 this morning, and need someplace loud, fast and swanky. If that’s the case, our views of a good local bar will be different. But in the end, what makes a good local bar is akin to the same kind of warming sensation that makes juice boxes timelessly delicious and a well-worn in hooded sweatshirt the most comfortable article of clothing in the whole wide world- it fills you up and feels just right.

A good local bar should not be loud, it should not be over-priced and at the very least, should offer up at least two edible things on its food menu. 

Your local bar should have televisions and your local bar should have beers reasonably priced. Your local bar should be able to make a good cocktail and your local bar should have at least one waitress who looks like a female version of Keith Richards…and she should be hilarious. Your local bar isn’t run by asshole and your local bar should have its own softball team, fantasy football league and March Madness pool. Your local bar could have a pool table, but it’s not a deal-breaker if it doesn’t  it’s just a bonus. The same can be said for a dart board. Your local bar would be best served to have something like free peanuts, pretzels or something else to snack on available. Your local bar should be called something that makes someone realize what kind of bar it is when you mention it- like Frankie’s, Gritty’s, For Pete’s Sake or Nappi’s. 
 
Apparently a good local bar should have some form of punctuation in its name, but never an exclamation point.
 
In the end, the good local bar should be friendly and…no wait, I thought about it a little more and having done so- a good local bar does not necessarily have to have some form of punctuation in its name. But still, no exclamation points. Exclamation points should be reserved solely for comic books, birthday cards and misusage in term papers.
 
I say all of this because last night, after living in Point Pleasant since this summer, my darling wife & I finally found a good local bar in town that we can hitch our wagon too. It was a good feeling; a reassuring feeling. It was warm, cozy, friendly (except for the two butt rockets who stole our seats at the bar) and yes, had at least two edible things on the food menu. Setting up shop there made Point feel a little bit more like home.
 
It’s the little things in life that frequently have the biggest impact. If you can make a new town feel like home by doing something as simple as going out to grab something to eat on a cold Thursday night, then life is good. You have one less thing to worry about. Maybe your neighbors are still potentially hazardous to your good-time having ways and maybe the town still hasn’t said anything about collecting the pile of debris in front of your house- souvenirs from Hurricane Sandy, but it’s not all bad and therefore, it’s all good.
 
Now if only Rutgers had won
 
Stay thirsty my friends and if you haven’t already, find your own local bar. You’ll be happy you did.
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