At the end of a long day, many of us like to unwind with friends for a few cocktails and some live music. It can be relaxing and exciting, but above all, it’s quality time spent with the people whose company makes us feel good. Sometimes we gather at house parties. Other times we hit the lake or sip drinks by the pool. But more often than not, we’re gathering at our favorite local bars.
This begs the question, why are we so fond of going to bars? They are almost automatic destinations on any night out. We can grab drinks and hang out anywhere. But great bars can offer us so much more than that. They can fill other needs that make our lives more meaningful in many ways.
Why we love local bars
While it’s always fun to travel to out of town events, our everyday lives demand a local respite. A great local bar comes down to much more than its proximity to our homes. It can be a gathering point before heading out, or it can be a spot to grab late night drinks before heading home.
In our case, we’re looking for more than just a happy hour near me. We’re looking for a vibe and clientele that make us feel at home but with the selection and service that go hand in hand with a great establishment. Finding local bars where we can mix and mingle with like-minded people connects us to the community.
Since our moods change, and we crave variety, it’s nice to have a few places to frequent. Sometimes we want to go to a busy bar, and other times we’re looking for a low key bite and drink. They all contribute different perks to our lives, but some are universal.
The social aspect
The biggest reason most of us go to bars is to socialize. Again, we can sit and drink alone at home, but what fun is that? Even if you have some friends over to play, do or drink games, home hangs always lack the excitement that comes with meeting new people.
When we go to local bars, we usually see some regulars and a handful of new faces. This is a great mix. When we already know some of the folks in the bar, their presence can make talking to new people easier, and they can even help break the ice when you’re feeling a little shy.
A large part of what draws us to bars is that we don’t have to act as hosts. We don’t have to be vigilant or on top of the details. We’ve worked all week, taken care of our chores, and probably prepared a handful of meals. When someone else takes care of stocking the bar, making the food, and cleaning up after us, the whole night gets that much better. It’s why we crave a bar experience over hosting on so many occasions.
Here’s an area where bars have a solid advantage over other types of venues. How many times have you seen a recipe for fancy cocktails, bought a bunch of booze that you’ve never heard of, and failed to make even a second round? Going to a bar means everyone can drink what they like, and you don’t have to watch a bottle of Herbsaint gathering dust in your home bar for the next decade.
Sometimes you want to go out and grab a quick bite and a drink before heading to a show or game, but you aren’t meeting people until later. Going to local bars where you know the bartenders or servers can make a solitary meal so much better. When they know you are there by yourself, bar staff are pretty good at taking care of you.
Why we love clubbing
We’ve looked at some of the reasons why we love our favorite local bars so much, but sometimes we want to turn the night up a notch. Dive bars and sports bars are great for when we want a low key night or watch the game. They’re set up for what they do best. But when you really want to make a night of it, you can’t beat the club.
Clubs offer many of the same benefits as your smaller local bars, but they offer many others that you can’t find just anywhere.
Getting dressed up
When we feel good, we like to look good. It works the other way around, too. Dressing up gives us a boost of confidence and adds a little something special to the night out. It’s a great thing to do once in a while. But, not all destinations live up to your amazing ensemble.
Getting dressed to the nines for your local dive bar may seem like overkill, and it probably is. If you want to get dressed up, grab some friends and hit the club. You’ll feel perfectly in place.
Seeing live music outside the big venues
Live music is the lifeblood of many people around the world. It provides a soundtrack to our night, it makes us move, and it makes us feel. It also sounds best in a small venue.
If we’re going to see a hall of fame act on their farewell tour, we probably can’t avoid the megavenue. That being said, most up and coming acts play their shows at bars and clubs, and that’s a great thing. Unless you drop a fortune at a big venue, you can’t get nearly as close as you can at smaller clubs and bars. You’ve also got the benefit of a dance floor at smaller venues, meaning you aren’t stuck bobbing in place in a crowded stadium seating situation.
When you want to go dancing with your friends, a solid sound system is a huge draw. Most bars play music, but often through small, dusty speakers peeking through clearings in the kitschy decor. If the music is going to sound great, the place has got to be set up for it.
Since clubs plan their calendars around people having fun with top-notch musical talent, they typically invest in their sound systems in ways that smaller bars can’t even fathom. In addition to the system itself, clubs hire audio professionals to make sure it sounds its best. Clubs that really have their stuff together even incorporate acoustic treatments into the decor, providing the best listening experience possible.
We all get a little irked when we’ve got to stand in line for drinks. Want to take trips to the bar out of the equation entirely? VIP bottle service is an excellent option for when we want to spend our time chilling with friends rather than waiting. Setting yourself up with bottle service can also get you the best seat in the house in many clubs. There aren’t many better ways to generate that main character energy on a night out at the club.
Sometimes you want to go…
Whether you prefer dive bars or the club, finding yourself a few good local bars can do wonders for your outlook on life. They provide you a place to imbibe in a few drinks, let loose, and socialize with your friends. That face-to-face time where you’re having fun with people you enjoy is great for your mental health as well.
Do something good for yourself this weekend. Visit your favorite local bar for a little self-help. If you don’t have one in mind, there’s no better time than the present to find a place you love.