A Very Special Guest Article by Joe Donatelli
A good bar is filled with good people
, good atmosphere, and endless opportunities for drunken debauchery
. A sad bar is filled with about five or six people who sit at the bar looking as if their souls have been crushed long ago, their faces a mixture of apathy and despair, giving off a vibe of "too lazy for suicide". Here are those people’s favorite places to hang out, also known as The Saddest Bars to Drink In:
The Mall Bar
Malls Bars are sad for many reasons. The first reason is the location: twenty yards from your bar stool, mocking you with its innocence, is a Jamba Juice, a Hot Topic, or a Build-a-Bear. If you are any type of real man, you have to ask yourself, "Would Sinatra order a drink in a joint that shares a wall with a Build-a-Bear?" The answer is yes, but only because he was a raging alcoholic. Even worse, mall bars are immediate proof your hometown sucks. You don’t even have a real bar to call your own. Nothing cool happens at mall bars. At real bars, fights break out, people hook up and make out in the bathroom, and the entire place doesn’t smell like the Panda Express that it shares a ventilation system with. Don’t think the sadness of a mall bar would alienate patrons, though. There’s bound to be 4 or 5 of them slouched over the bar, and they’ll gladly tell you about the greatest night that mall bar ever saw, which involved a drunken Santa trying to hump the Golden Tee machine. That’s pretty much the "good times" high point for a mall bar.
The Neighborhood Sports Bar That Time Forgot
Thanks to ESPN and satellite TV, neighborhood Sports Bars sprang up across the country in the 1980s as quickly as herpes sprang up on your loins after you tried on those clothes at the Goodwill last weekend. Unlike the herpes, though, most of those Sports Bars have faded with time, but every town seems to have one Sports Bar Owner who refuses to give up the dream, but also refuses to update his establishment. The pennants and the team photos on the walls are from two decades ago. Some of the neon signs advertise beer brands that don’t exist anymore. The women who occupy the establishment were probably sevens in 1986, but hover right around one and half now. The only piece of technology inside that dates later than 1989 is the lone flat screen T.V. above the bar. The bar is known for always being open, and ironically none of the rummy regulars give a shit about sports.
The Airport Bar is the Mall Bar’s close cousin; it is a victim of its environment. Airport bars tend to blend into the rest of the airport, which does nothing for the atmosphere inside. They’re usually poorly lit, which in bar terms means they’re way too bright. Bars are dark for a reason: darkness is relaxing, sexy, and (most importantly) hides all the ugly people. Bright lighting provides none of those benefits. Aside from the general ambiance of the establishment, Airport Bars tend to attract a particular type of patron: the person who just wants to get loaded so that they can pass out on a plane in 40 minutes. It’s not exactly the best crowd to party with. If you ever see a person smiling in an Airport Bar, it’s only because they are thinking of a time when they were at another bar.
The Chain Restaurant Bar
Let’s clarify one thing: people do not go to Chain Restaurant Bars to drink. People end up in Chain Restaurant Bars to drink. There is a HUGE difference between the two. You go to a bar of your choice to meet up with friends, or check out the hot girls, or because people there know you. You end up at a bar because you have run out friends, there are definitely not going to be any hot girls there, or you do not have anywhere else better to go. In case you aren’t grasping this concept yet, here’s a good way to think about it: you go to the movies, concerts, or beach parties. You end up at: hospitals, jails, cemeteries. The Chain Restaurant Bar falls into the latter category.
Bowling Alley Bar
Bowling Alley Bars will always have three things in common: a "weathered" bartender, carpeted floors, and those tortured souls whose lives are filled with impossible-to-convert 7-10 splits. Maybe this is why they drink at the bowling alley: it’s the place where they can find comfort in their shared failures. The gutter, in all its forms, is very visible from the stool of a Bowling Alley Bar. Bowling Alley bars have a plus side, though: the beer is usually cheap, and there is little opportunity for you to stumble out some early afternoon and construct and grotesque five-headed Build-a-Bear.