The Romance of Bars (part 3)


Last week we discussed the beauty of a bar’s natural invitation to mutual conversation and consolation of all who gather there. All opinions are welcome and all have an equal say (at least to begin with). this creates an unique atmosphere for a public gathering of men and women that would be much more difficult to establish without the gift of a bar.

Now before we move much further along we must first deal with a few aberrations that plague the modern bar and distort these natural gifts. Here I’m referring to sports bars and the rise of theme bars.

sports bar

Sports bars are common and found in just about every city and town in this great country of ours. You can go there to catch your favorite team on giant TV’s set at just about every angle you could imagine so you do have to miss a moment. No matter which way you are sitting or who you are talking to you can be sure that eye contact wont be an issue for lurking over every shoulder is another screen.

Now I love watching sports in a bar. I have lived for many years now without cable and catching a game at a bar was often necessary if I wanted to see it at all. But it is entirely different to watch a game on a little TV in the corner of the bar compared to the blast of glowing screens in a modern sports bar. For starters the other patrons wont allow the little TV to dominate the conversation, and if you’re not nice to the Bartender they just might change the channel. My wife and I once went to this sports bar in Jacksonville that had such massive screens played at such an incredible volume there was simply no opportunity to engage in conversation (even if it was just between downs).


The theme bars also distort things to such an extent that the wonder of the bar is lost. Think of “Hooters” or “The Tilted Kilt” or just about any type of establishment along these lines (unfortunately most so-called “biker” bars fall in this category as well). Now there is nothing more enjoyable than a beautiful woman that enters a bar and causes all the conversation to stop for a moment, and there is something delightful about a well built chopper that pulls up outside your local watering hole. But when these delights are magnified to the point that they become the center of the bar’s identity then it ceases to be that great public house we all need.

I guess what I’m saying is that perhaps the old adage is true, quite often less is more. We rob the simple joy of the breathtaking beauty walking through the door by clothing all the waitresses in scantly clad uniforms. We distort the fun of convincing a bartender at the St. Mary’s GA that tonight we should watch the Lakers game rather than competitive bass fishing by having more TV’s than sports channels.

Surprisingly the bar at its core is not a place of excess, but a delightful balance of simple God-given joys.

So get out there and rejoice in those gifts. Cheers!!