Writers’ Roundtable: What Makes A Good Bar?

Writers' Roundtable

Nothing gets us through the week like the promise of a visit to our favorite drinking establishment for happy hour or a weekend bender. Your taste has likely changed a bit since the college days of penny pitchers and $.25 cent shot night (although if it hasn’t your liver must on its last legs by now). Everyone likes their bar a little different, so here’s what the PGP staff has to say about what makes a place “can’t-miss” to get over the legal limit at:

Gotta have good specials. I am a sucker for wings and if they’ve got some Yuengs (Yuengling) and Wings, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll at least try the place out. I am very loyal to any bar that has a solid atmosphere and good specials. I will also drunkenly buy a t-shirt from said bar. Finally, a solid jukebox selection is a must. I’ll feed the jukebox and DJ the party all night if the place carries the classic goodness. — MadoffInvestment (@MadoffInvestment)

Food. I’m a big dude, and dudes gotta eat. Bar food is probably some of my favorite food out there. Nachos, wings, sliders, mozzarella sticks, cheese fries, and all the other good greasy fried stuff. I’m happier with a big hot plate of cheese fries in front of me than I am with a beer in my hand. Sue me, but there’s something about golden fried potatoes covered in melted cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Don’t forget the ranch. — Delph (@delph_13)

Any place with cheap drinks and ratchet girls. If no one is getting kicked out for dancing on tables, it’s too classy of a joint for me. Also I’m a fan of drunken activities. Old arcade games, shuffleboard, batting cages, or pretty much anything to keep my ADD occupied. My favorite bar has goldfish racing which is super depressing when you’re sober but hilarious when you’re hammered off $5 beer and shot combos. — Nick_Arcadia

I’m all about the company a bar keeps. I like when it’s pretty rowdy, but I don’t necessarily need to participate in the rowdiness. Happy drunk people are the best. Bougie drunk people are the worst. I prefer a spot that is half bar and half dancing, so I can stand at the bar and watch white people try to get their drunken grooves on. Dive bars > lounges. How much of an NYC douche am I if I tell you I’m a sucker for a summertime rooftop bar? — Tine_Vogue (@_cflammia)

At this point in my life it’s all about the music. They either need a DJ I can tip or a jukebox that I can hijack. No amount of booze in the world can cure listening to dogshit music. I need “Return of the Mack,” some various 70’s/80’s, some 90’s hip-hop, and lately I need Rihanna’s “Work.” Call me an old man, but if it’s so loud I can’t hear myself think, I’m mentally packing it in. — Kyle “I Used to be CrashDavis” Bandujo (@kylebandit13)

Depends on the type of night I’m trying to have. To relive my college days, I only need a few things: reasonably priced drinks, music that isn’t too loud, enough TVs to show at least four different games at once, and Golden Tee. When I’m trying to behave my age, I look for a rooftop bar that is at least a 7 out of 10 on the douche-scale and has lots of European chicks. In any case, I refuse to leave Manhattan for one of the other boroughs; ain’t nobody got time for that. — The Winger Guarantee

Two things: proximity and beer selection. Is it walkable or bikeable? Great. My house in Austin was bikeable to Red River and 6th Street, which was awesome. I enjoy the exercise and not being pulled over, which is important because I would probably enjoy prison too much to leave. As far as beer selection, I am 100% that hipster douche you don’t hang out with anymore because he’s snobby and only drinks local taps. — Icehouse (@PJHart)

The main factor that makes the ideal bar experience for me? Crowd level. If a bar is overly crowded I’m miserable. Everybody bumps into you, drinks are spilled, you have to scream to talk, getting a drink is next to impossible, and it’s a certified buzz-kill. When the bar isn’t overly packed you can have the best convos with strangers, get served quicker, and the odds of me getting laid went up 200% (when I was single) because I am in no means what people would call a looker and a good conversation with bad jokes were really all I had in my arsenal. — PostGradShibby (@DrShibby)

Free snacks, no dress code, no line, a place to sit, bartenders who don’t treat you like the human scum that you are. Maybe I should just stay home. — Best (@MillennialWhine)

Ask Jon Taffer…I like a bar that plays songs that are pure heat and fun to dance to. A bar near me has 90’s night every Friday and it’s an electric atmosphere. Also, call me old, but I want a bar that doesn’t blast the decibel levels to the point where I can’t carry a conversation. And if you have a local, having a bar tender that knows you and your drink order is clutch. — Improper Brostonian (@bostongoldstein)

A good bar needs three things – cold beers, shuffleboard, and a jukebox that hasn’t been updated since 1995. — Will deFries (@WilldeFries)

Music- good blend of modern jams with classics hitting right when you least expect it. I like when it can go from “Tops Drop” to Waylon out of nowhere. Also it can’t smell like puke. — Dave (@dcarterruff)

If you have anything you’d like PGP to roundtable, post it in the comments or email at

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Kyle Bandujo

The artist formerly known as Crash Davis. My kid doesn't think I'm funny.

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