Chef CULTURE EAT

WHY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS EAT AT THE BAR

Welcome to the bar, the best seat in the house. With its slightly higher altitude and lingering promise of bad decisions, it leaves a restaurant table seating for dead. On the menu? Riveting chat served with a side of not giving a shit where I place my elbows.

So, pull up a party pew people, here’s 5 obviously very well researched reasons to forever sit at the booze bench.

Instant access to fun and other stuff

Choosing to eat at the bar over a table presents a buffet of options right at your fingertips. Near instant access to food and drinks without the chain of command wait time. The chance meeting between you and someone you swiped right on or said you did anyway. The hook to hang your bag. The elevated POV. The often close, unrestricted proximity to the bathroom.

Yes, eating at the fun counter is like a visual metaphor for freedom. And, sitting at a table when the bar is basically Disneyland is a bit like being an inch too short for your favourite ride.

Make the bartender your best friend

Bartenders are charismatic and fun and have an entire repertoire of tricks proven to escalate your night from mediocre to manic. They have so well honed the ability to make you feel special it is a near damn craft.

Lola Lucassen from Walter’s in Brisbane is particularly known for making friends out of strangers with her warmth and presence. Mikey Nicolian that works at Newtown’s popular Continental Deli is regarded as one of the greatest draw cards when it comes to dining at the bar there. Marcelo Garrao and Peter Kypreos, the owners from Darlinghurst favourite, Johnny Fishbone, will make you feel like you have arrived in more ways than one. And, Viviane that used to run the show at Stuffed Beaver in Bondi can probably still lay claim to half their regulars even though she exited stage left a long time ago.

So, If you’re a decent human and they think you’re ok, it’s likely they’ll crack some jokes, teach you about drinks, give you the best menu recommends (straight from the chef) and hopefully not ask you to leave because you’re being a big dickhead.

It’s ok to sit on your own

For some reason society has declared that eating at a table on your own is rather sad. And, I’m sorry to say, but I feel it contagious. There seems nothing more deflating than watching someone eat alone, no matter how existentially happy their self help book indicates them to be. Unless you are the great food critic AA. Gill himself, no matter how fast you journal or how vigorously you scroll, you will forever be cast in a dark shadow of inescapable pity.

But not at the bar, my friends. At the bar you are the master of your own destiny. Where sitting alone is a stark sign of independence, of depth, an indication that you are comfortable with your thoughts. And of course, should you ever feel bored or withdrawn, then your friendly bartender is there to be your pity free plus one.

You choose your pace

There are few things in this life that should be hurried: a breakup, a visit to the dentist, a small child to the bathroom, but dining out is not one of them.

At the bar there is very rarely any time restrictions. You are not allocated to a ‘sitting’ nor will you be rushed from your first drink to your last course. You do not have to suffer through your waiter’s list of specials and you can order when you damn like. With the help of your friendly bartender, you design your own adventure. You can be the first to the bar and the last to leave. I needn’t say more.

The perfect setting for a date

Who would’ve thought the most perfect remedy to stale social situations would be a simple shift of seat. The bar makes an ideal setting for a first date. People coming and going, drinks to talk about and to… drink, knees to be coincidentally rubbed (doesn’t have to be your dates), bartenders to intercept all the weirdness – yep, social and cultural fodder exists all around you. The air and likely bar itself is sticky with opportunity. Plus you don’t have to look at each other which is really half the awkwardness and maybe most of the disappointment.

Though we should mention, if things are going well and you’re getting a bit sauced, please refrain from ruining it for everyone and making out at the bar.

Still not convinced that the bar is a restaurant’s star attraction? Great, I don’t care, more bar seats for me. Go back to the table where you came from, table sitter.


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