How To Find The Perfect Bar


Very few things are as important as finding the right bar after college.

Size Matters
Bars come in all shapes and sizes, like people. You don’t want a bar that’s too big and loud, because those are called clubs and those are generally hot, expensive, packed, and terrible. Also, I’m pretty sure the air (and cologne) density in most big city clubs is high enough to suffocate Giorgio Armani. It’s like someone turned a Hollister into a social club. On the opposite end, you don’t want a bar so small that the crowd is you, the bartender, and Ol’ One-Eyed Pete, who is the former longshoreman from the local docks district. I can guarantee you will meet no one new there, and there’s at least a 50 percent chance Billy Joel will write a song about you. No one wants that. Find yourself a bar of moderate size and quality. It’s the first key to success.

In The Mood
Atmosphere is also very important. You don’t want to hang your hat at the local hipster bar if your college days consisted of you doing keg stands at your frat house. Spoiler alert: you will not fit in there. Find a bar with other likeminded individuals or people with similar interests. It’s key to your future successful recreational activities. Otherwise, you’ll be doomed to be that lonely person in the corner who chose the wrong bar to frequent, and that isn’t a fun place to be when the drinks are $11 a pop.

Economically Boozing
Speaking of drinks, find a bar that doesn’t charge $30 for you to inhale a few sips of whiskey. Find a place that isn’t bottom of the barrel, but also isn’t the lounge at the Ritz. Strike a happy pricing medium–God knows you can’t afford to spend your entire paycheck on booze, mostly because those calories alone will not sustain you day-to-day.

Feel The Beat
If you’re a big music fan and music is integral to your experience at a bar, that should also be something you consider. Country bars or Irish pubs are fun, but if that isn’t your style of music, you’ll look like an angry fish out of water in that Nine Inch Nails shirt, chief. Figure out if the bar you’re looking at plays the right mix of music to get you in the mood to be social. If it doesn’t, you might want to find another place to hang your mug.

Power To The People
Going beyond atmosphere, you should keep the crowd in mind, too. If you’re looking for a one-night stand who is pushing the high end of the attractiveness scale, you want to make sure you are in the right place. That means you’ll want bars that cater to people our age instead of our parents. If you’re out to mingle and make contacts professionally, stick to the older bars and be prepared to bring your best professional networking skills. In either case, flirting is key. You just have to remember the difference between professional “flirting” and romantic flirting.

Keep all of these things in mind and you should find a bar that actually fits what you want out of your nights out. Just like dating, there will be a few duds along the way. Take rejection in stride and eventually you’ll find the place you want to call home on your Friday and Saturday nights.

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Jack Quesinberry

Recent graduate from the University of Maryland working in the biotech industry. I like to spend my weekends in DC ensuring my future political career will be one filled with a number of great scandals and equally great Sunday brunches. My alter ego is Whiskey Ginger.

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