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  #1  
Old 05-22-2008, 12:53 PM
dalej42 dalej42 is offline
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Guys going to bars alone: Do you and what do you do there?

As a counterpart to the girls going to bars thread, I'll ask the same question to the guys out there.

I go to bars by myself all the time. Plenty of reasons:
1. When I had roommates, it was a place to get away.
2. To watch games that I couldn't see at home
3. When I lived by myself, it was a place to be social with people
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  #2  
Old 05-22-2008, 12:58 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is online now
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I sit at the bar and read the newspaper in peace and quiet while enjoying a pint. I don't do it often, but boy do I enjoy it when I get the opportunity.
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  #3  
Old 05-22-2008, 01:01 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Back in the day, I did it all the time. I would usually take something to read and sit at the bar. Sometimes someone would talk to me but usually I just kept to myself and I never hit on anyone. It was one of my favorite things to do and I never felt awkward at all.
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  #4  
Old 05-22-2008, 01:56 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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Back in the days when I was single, I would prefer going to bars alone.

I could hang out with friends I met there if I wanted to, or I could leave and go somewhere else without having to wait for someone.

Also, going by yourself allows you to move away from one group and go talk to another group or single person without having to go into great explanation why and who for how long, etc.

Plus, part of the reason of going to a bar alone was so that I might not have to go home alone, if you get the drift.

It makes it a whole lot easier to quietly leave with someone if you don't have to worry about how other people are going to get home, or if you need to get your jacket out of the car etc.
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  #5  
Old 05-22-2008, 02:10 PM
Troy McClure SF Troy McClure SF is offline
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I have a handful of times (not counting when traveling). Of course, it helps when you're friends with lots of bartenders.

Usually with something to read. I'm bad at making conversation, so I pretty much just chill with myself until I get bored, or until someone nearby gets tipsy and talkative. Then again, I ended up making friends with this couple in Boston because they were having a deep conversation about Snakes on a Plane, and I couldn't help but crack up.
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  #6  
Old 05-22-2008, 02:15 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Are there boobies involved?

If I am away from home alone sometimes I might drop into a bar to have a drink if I'm in the mood. Or to have a nosh. But I get bored quickly and since I don't usually start talking to strangers and I am not in the market for female companionship I usually leave pretty soon. Doesn't happen very often since I am mostly at home or work. Yes I'm old and boring.
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  #7  
Old 05-22-2008, 02:37 PM
UncleRojelio UncleRojelio is offline
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I used to go to bars alone back in the day. Learned to dance at a bar. Met my wife at a bar. We'll have been married 20 years in Sept.
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  #8  
Old 05-22-2008, 03:30 PM
carlb carlb is offline
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At least once a week I go to my local, have a couple of pints, and read the latest Chicago Reader and Onion so I can plan out the weekend. I'll usually take a book along to read if I finish the papers before I finish my dinner/beer. I'll chat with the bartender if it's not overly busy, or occasionally watch the TV if there's something interesting on.
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2008, 03:35 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagnasty
Back in the day, I did it all the time. I would usually take something to read and sit at the bar. Sometimes someone would talk to me but usually I just kept to myself and I never hit on anyone. It was one of my favorite things to do and I never felt awkward at all.
Same here, though I did start talking to some of the regulars as I got to know them. The pub I used to go to was about a mile away from my house, so having that pint at the end of the walk was really gratifying.
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  #10  
Old 05-22-2008, 07:11 PM
eldowan eldowan is offline
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This one's easy.
I go to play pool. (the bar I frequent is a pool hall)
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  #11  
Old 05-22-2008, 07:36 PM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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Yeah I do it. I usually go, chill, get slightly to heavily drunk, and talk to strangers. Last year there was the thought of picking somebody up, but it never happened and I'm taken now. I especially go if there's karaoke. Me loves teh karaoke.
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  #12  
Old 05-22-2008, 08:02 PM
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I used to, but this place I've just moved to doesn't really have any bars to my taste. When I did, it was generally because I was mixing two things I happen to greatly enjoy: booze and people watching. I've made my fair share of friends after going to a bar alone, but I've never tried to pick anyone up or anything like that. I usually went to the two or three bars where I knew the bartenders pretty well, too, so that helped.
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  #13  
Old 05-22-2008, 08:12 PM
BellRungBookShut-CandleSnuffed BellRungBookShut-CandleSnuffed is offline
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Sometimes bars have pool/ping pong/darts. Sometimes you're looking to meet women. Assuming neither of those cases, sometimes it's nice to be somewhere just anonymously drinking and either relaxing and/or people watching. You sit down, get a nice cool pint on tap, and just hang out for a bit.

Now the bars that I are close to me I know the bartenders, so I go hang out and talk to them. I've also taken to studying there-- I'll just bring my course materials and read and sometimes drink alcohol and sometimes not.
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  #14  
Old 05-22-2008, 08:15 PM
River Hippie River Hippie is offline
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I used to go to bars alone often. Usually it was to see a particular band play. Gettin' old, get sleepy too early.
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  #15  
Old 05-22-2008, 08:46 PM
Kozmik Kozmik is offline
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I go to bars (nightclubs) alone if it is a major event advertised, long lines, crowds. Because then I will usually bump into someone I know. Plus the music is better when they draw in a big crowd.

I go to a casual or eclectic bars with a group of friends occasionally.
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  #16  
Old 05-22-2008, 08:51 PM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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I don't do it very often, but when I do, I just get a drink and read a book/newspaper/magazine....
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  #17  
Old 05-23-2008, 06:44 AM
kferr kferr is offline
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Yes, in about 5 hours from now. I nearly always go alone but since I've been using this pub for 10 years I'm guaranteed to find someone I know.
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  #18  
Old 05-23-2008, 07:29 AM
Swallowed My Cellphone Swallowed My Cellphone is offline
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I used to when I was working on a show building sets. It was always so rushed and so high stress, that I'd go to pub and read a newspaper. By the end of the day, I really enjoyed the alone time. It was just right to calm down and decompress so I could be human again by the time I got home. It became a regular thing: pint and newspaper.

I think the last time I went to a bar by myself in any kind of regular way was one year during March Madness so I could watch the games.

Last edited by Swallowed My Cellphone; 05-23-2008 at 07:31 AM..
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  #19  
Old 05-23-2008, 07:36 AM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
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The bars I go to have live music. I go to drink, listen to music, and sometimes enjoy some female companionship. Not so much recently, as this was how I met my gf a few years ago.
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  #20  
Old 05-23-2008, 07:43 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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I occasionally visit a quiet pub and sit there with a pint and a book.
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  #21  
Old 05-23-2008, 08:10 AM
Dead Cat Dead Cat is offline
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I've never intentionally gone to a pub on my own - I prefer to chill out at home, pubs are for socialising with friends and I feel awkward any time I'm in the pub alone. However, this is probably due it being unplanned - I can see how I would enjoy going to the pub on my own with the Sunday paper, but at the moment there are too many other things I'd rather be doing.
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  #22  
Old 05-23-2008, 08:33 AM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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Almost always. I avoid loud crowd bars 'cause I go to relax. Downside is I never meet anyone who isn't at least two of: ( married, male, over 50, obnoxiously drunk ). You really need to go find a loud crowd to meet people.
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  #23  
Old 05-23-2008, 08:40 AM
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is offline
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OK, I'll go against the steam and say that, before I met my wife, I used to go to bars alone with the purpose of meeting women.
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  #24  
Old 05-23-2008, 08:59 AM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
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I did a lot more when I was single, but I still do it now, and mostly it's because I'm a moderately heavy drinker and I just love being in bars. I like the atmosphere that a good bar has. I'll have a book with me in case it's dead, or there's no game on the box, but I like talking to random people too. I talk to bartenders and I talk to the old guy sitting next to me. Those are the best, buy one of those guys a round and the next thing you know you're having the strangest conversation ever. It's a riot. I'm kind of the type that I'll be a regular after my third or forth visit to a place. I'll know the bartender and most of the regular crowd too.

That being said, it was a better time when you could smoke in there. Having to get up and go outside for a cigarette breaks up the rhythm of the camaraderie.
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  #25  
Old 05-23-2008, 09:37 AM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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Only occasionally. I find it is bad for me to spend too much time in my house, so I might go to a movie, but sometimes I'll take a book and go to a bar and read and have a beer.

Sometimes I'll go and watch a game I can't get on my TV.

I am not really that good chatting with strangers, so I don't usually go just because I'm lonely.
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  #26  
Old 05-23-2008, 09:58 AM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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If i did not go alone to bars and restaurants, I would not be in bars or restaurants very often. I spend a lot of time alone.

As a male, I've never found alone-in-a-bar to provoke any surprise but eating in some restaurants by myself occasionally does so.
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  #27  
Old 05-23-2008, 10:22 AM
Shakes Shakes is online now
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The bar I go to; I have no idea who'll be there. But I DO know, when I get there, I'll know about 90% of the people who are there.
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  #28  
Old 05-23-2008, 10:23 AM
ColonelDax ColonelDax is offline
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Yes, I go to pubs on my own, but in my neighborhood, not in places like Covent Garden. I go to watch some sports events that aren't on free TV and, during the summer, sit outside and drink beer. I'm happy to get involved in conversations if it happens, but being a shy guy, that's not my main motivation for going.
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  #29  
Old 05-23-2008, 10:33 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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I play in a competitive (free) poker league, and I nearly always go to the venues they play at alone.

I generally know a couple of the players or dealers who'll be there, though.
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  #30  
Old 05-23-2008, 10:36 AM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright
I play in a competitive (free) poker league, and I nearly always go to the venues they play at alone.

I generally know a couple of the players or dealers who'll be there, though.
That sounds super cool, I'd love it if they did something like that around here. I used to be all about Pub Trivia nights, but then I ran one for a few years and got totally burned out on the whole thing. Unless they have nifty prizes from distributors, because I can always use a few more Guinness pint glasses or some free t-shirts.
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  #31  
Old 05-23-2008, 10:52 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Originally Posted by Cluricaun
That sounds super cool, I'd love it if they did something like that around here. I used to be all about Pub Trivia nights, but then I ran one for a few years and got totally burned out on the whole thing. Unless they have nifty prizes from distributors, because I can always use a few more Guinness pint glasses or some free t-shirts.
There are a bunch of them here.

Mine: www.orlandoholdem.net

There's also something called the Amateur Poker League, which is affiliated with the WPT and has venues all over the world. Doesn't look like they have any in IL, though.

http://www.amateurpokerleague.com/us_tournaments.php

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 05-23-2008 at 10:54 AM..
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  #32  
Old 05-23-2008, 09:55 PM
The Shroud The Shroud is offline
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I just started...found a place that has my favorite beer on tap for $3 (pretty cheap for Manhattan outside happy hour). I'm also trying to be more social, but so far that's not happening...even with a few beers in me I tend to stare at the HDTV and pretend to be interested in the Yankees. :P
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  #33  
Old 05-23-2008, 10:47 PM
China Guy China Guy is online now
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I like to have a few beers, especially if some good beers are on tap. I pretty much only go when on a business trip, and always take a book, my pocket pc (so I can read the news, surf the dope or answer email) and sometimes my laptop to leisurely knock out some work project over beers and dinner. Or, often times I have customer presentations the next day, so I'll be rehersing (sp?), finetuning or updating the presentation.

I don't talk to other people and I'm not there to pick up anyone. Much better to use the bar for a hour or three to break up the monotony of getting up at 5:00, in the office by 6:00, work to 20:00 and then back for room service in the hotel. Rinse, lather, repeat.
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  #34  
Old 05-23-2008, 11:51 PM
gravitycrash gravitycrash is offline
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My now ex wife was a bartender at the local dive bar. I was looking pathetic and quietly drinking my beer, she was a housewife for 17 years with three kids who just started behind the bar. Marriage problems obviously.

I of course did not pick up on these warning signs. I just thought she was pretty.

Oh well, lesson learned.
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  #35  
Old 05-24-2008, 12:27 AM
wevets wevets is offline
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I pretty much never go to bars alone - just go with other people to hang out, pretty much the same reason as #3 in the OP.
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  #36  
Old 05-24-2008, 07:10 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Occassionally, like if I'm on the road traveling, but I'm not that big a fan of it. I generally don't know what to do with myself since I don't want to be one of those guys standing and looking around aimlessly holding his beer.
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  #37  
Old 05-24-2008, 07:29 AM
LiveOnAPlane LiveOnAPlane is offline
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I do, and usually for just one reason. They are hotel bars, and I go there to grab a quick and relatively cheap meal. Most of them have a "bar menu" which is the same as the hotel restaurant's menu, just more limited. I can eat the peanuts/popcorn/whatever and watch the TV while waiting. Sometimes I eat there in the bar, sometimes I take it to my room.

Sometimes, it's not just for convenience, it happens to be the only place I can get something to eat at that time of night. Unless it's a Marriott, in which case I can at least depend on having a dinner of cookies or potato chips, maybe some salsa and a bottle of spring water.

(And you thought computer consultants lived this kind of exciting life? One day I think I'll do an Ask the Consultant thread, when I'm feeling especially mean and want to tell the world there is no Santa Claus)
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  #38  
Old 05-25-2008, 02:01 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Originally Posted by LiveOnAPlane
(And you thought computer consultants lived this kind of exciting life? One day I think I'll do an Ask the Consultant thread, when I'm feeling especially mean and want to tell the world there is no Santa Claus)
I don't think anyone ever thought that. Although every consulting firm I've ever worked for, they've always been pretty generous with the dining expenses while on the road.
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  #39  
Old 05-25-2008, 08:32 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is online now
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For a long time, I had this idea that if I went out in public, alone, I was some kind of loser. I'm sure a lot of us have had that feeling; it's the direct descendant of the dread we had of eating alone in the high school cafeteria. What changed it for me was traveling. I flew up to SF for a few days, asked the people at the Haight Music Store (now sadly gone) where to go to hear some good music, and I went. I hit The Saloon, the Lost and Found, Grant & Green, and finished off the evening at Pearl's for some quiet jazz. (By that time, I must admit, I was ready for mocktails, not cocktails. I had drunk my fill of the true, blushful Hippocrene and I knew it.) I did this all by my lonesome, and then cabbed it back to Haight Ashbury where I was staying,. I had a fantastic time. I heard great music, met a couple of interesting strangers, and exulted in being in one of the most exciting places on Earth. When we travel we are more open to things like that. We might be to shy to go out alone in our home towns, but when we're in another city we rightly feel it would be a waste just to stay in the hotel because we don't have anyone to go out with.

So when I got back to L.A., I realized how stupid I'd been. I didn't need to have someone to be out with. There were good pubs within a moderate walk, a famous blues bar just an easy bus trip away, and I had had enough sitting around at home, which had been happening a lot since my friends were mostly busy with relationships and unavailable. I started going out on my own all the time. The cool thing is that it brought me out of my shell a bit, and got me talking to people. And the really cool thing is, I met my wife at my regular pub. She wasn't in any sense a regular, she just turned up there that night.

Going out on your own can be immensely empowering.
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  #40  
Old 05-26-2008, 09:13 AM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gravitycrash
My now ex wife was a bartender at the local dive bar. I was looking pathetic and quietly drinking my beer, she was a housewife for 17 years with three kids who just started behind the bar. Marriage problems obviously.

I of course did not pick up on these warning signs. I just thought she was pretty.
I swear that I can hear Charles Bukowski reading your post out loud......
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  #41  
Old 05-26-2008, 02:40 PM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is offline
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I've pretty much always gone to bars alone. Part of that is that I don't have a big group of friends to go out with, and my few close friends aren't really drinkers. Also, I didn't grow up in this town so I don't have any lifelong buddies. I'm also quite terrible at meeting new people.

When I was in my 20s and a drunk I had one or two bars that I frequented regularly. At one in particular I got to be pretty good friends with almost the entire regular crowd. That was mainly because the first time I ever went there I discovered they had an open mike/jam night, and that enabled me to immediately fall in with this crowd of musicians that really enjoyed playing music with a variety of people, and new blood was always welcome. Also, my penchant for comedy songs quickly made me a favorite of the non-musician customers. So while I always arrived at that bar alone, I could always count on there being somebody there I knew and liked, who I could hang out and drink with any time of day or night.

Then in my late 20s I stopped drinking and visiting bars altogether and I lost contact with most of that crowd over the next 13 years during which I didn't drink at all.

When I turned 40 a couple years ago I took up drinking again on a much more limited basis - where in my 20s I was in the habit of drinking beer until I was shit-faced every single night, now I restrict myself to going out no more than once per paycheck, and I also limit myself to spending no more than $50. That works out to three or four doubles of decent scotch, which I sip slowly to make them last from 9:00 to closing time. I only go to one particular small bar, which is within easy walking distance of my house, where I enjoy singing karaoke. I still go alone, but chat with the regulars who are mostly friendly people, though I don't consider any of them "my good friends". Nowadays, my twice-monthly excursions to the bar mainly provide me with a change of pace and a way to get out of the house and away from my computer.
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  #42  
Old 05-26-2008, 07:17 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
Going out on your own can be immensely empowering.

Not to mention that you aren't constantly tied to always having to wait for your friends to want to do something and always going where they want to go.

Plus I think it sounds a lot cooler to call people and say "you should come out here because it kicks ass" instead of "what are you doing tonight...cause I'm doing nothin'".
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  #43  
Old 05-26-2008, 07:23 PM
Dunderman Dunderman is offline
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I don't think I've ever done it, but it sounds like something I would like. Just me in a corner with a pint and a good book. Possibly a small bowl of crisps. I shall have to try it.
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  #44  
Old 05-26-2008, 10:53 PM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is offline
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Also, when you go by yourself it's a lot easier to find a place to sit.
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  #45  
Old 05-26-2008, 11:07 PM
ZebraShaSha ZebraShaSha is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cluricaun
I swear that I can hear Charles Bukowski reading your post out loud......
"my now ex
wife
was a bartender
at the local dive bar -
I was looking
pathetic
and quietly
drinking
my beer.

she was a housewife
for 17 years
with three kids
who just started
behind the bar.

marriage problems,
obviously.

I of course
did not
pick up
on these
warning signs.
I just thought
she was pretty.

lesson learned."
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  #46  
Old 05-26-2008, 11:21 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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All the time! Drink some beer. Ogle the girls. Talk to quite a few of them, since I know them. Talk to the bar owners. Run into other guys I know. And depending on the bar, watch the live lesbian sex show.
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  #47  
Old 05-27-2008, 12:01 AM
bat312 bat312 is offline
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I have no problem going alone to a bar. I find one that I like and stick to it, meet the bartenders and regulars, play some Golden Tee. I am a good tipper, bars like me.
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  #48  
Old 05-27-2008, 06:53 AM
Staggerlee Staggerlee is offline
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I go to pubs alone all the more since having become single. At the moment I tend to go to a fine cider-house which has a good jukebox and a number of rather intelligent old regulars. It's nice to chat with the old boys, and not have to consider the heartbreak that I associate with my own age group at the moment.

Or I go an Irish pub, play pool, and tolerate the relative youngsters.

But I'd visit neither without some reading material.
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  #49  
Old 05-27-2008, 09:48 AM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
Going out on your own can be immensely empowering.
Amen to that. I went through a phase lasting about 5 years during which I vacationed alone. I have some amazing memories from that time.
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