We all enjoy a good meal and many of us like a damn good drink to pair with it. So, making our way to our favorite restaurants have become second nature. More often that not, you’re not hitting the restaurant solo — especially if you’ll be saddling up to the bar.
For fear of looking lonely, battling the anxiety inducing feeling of strangers eyes “watching” you enjoy a meal or a drink alone — we resort to friend dates, actual dates or a group hang. When in reality, all you really want to do is go solo and hit the bar by yourself. And to be honest, when you finally build the courage to enjoy some time by yourself at the bar — you’ll never want to back
Trust me, as the resident “solo bar” aficionado — it’s my duty to present the good of enjoying time to yourself, while being surrounded by strangers.
Being born and raised in Philadelphia, I’ve seen the continual growth & evolution of the culinary scene. To be honest, you can’t pick up a travel magazine or read a blog without the mention of how Philly is the best food city in the country (check out the latest James Beard Award winners & nominees). Adorned with art deco style dining rooms, dishes with flavor profiles that leave your palette delightfully satisfied and bars & cocktails that make you want to stay for a drink or two — it’s time to treat yourself to a solo bar date.
As much as sharing these experiences with a friend, date or family member — taking time to sit at a bar and enjoy a meal solo will change the way you experience dining.
Let me paint a picture. You walk through the door of a beautiful restaurant that has an artfully design marble bar, an expertly curated spirits collection, a somewhat friendly looking bar staff and a menu you can’t pass up — so, you take a seat.
Now that you’re settling in (still a bit nervous), here’s a few reason why dining at the bar by yourself might be the best idea you’ve ever had:
Reasons To Dine At The Bar Solo
- It’s Your Time. There’s honestly comes a point when you’re tired of chatting with your guest and you want to just let you mind wander. Being able to focus on yourself, a delicious meal, a robust cocktail and the atmosphere around you can feel emotionally freeing. Sitting in a beautiful space, feeling people’s energy around you, can make you feel more connect to the world in an odd way
- Enjoy A Learning Opportunity. You’ve just enjoy a mind blowing cocktail or two — and, you want to learn how to craft one for yourself, this is your time to spark up a conversation with the bartender. Be sure to show appreciation for what they just served you! Over the last few years, I’ve perfected The Old-Fashioned and Espresso Martini after watching a few being made behind the bar and asking a ton of questions. Just make sure it’s not too busy
- Strangers. Ok, don’t make it your goal to meet strangers when you do your “solo bar thing” — it just comes off weird. But, when the vibe is right and there’s actually something to chat about — the interactions will be natural. Often, if you frequent a place, first time guests might ask you about the menu or a cocktail recommendation. Personally, I’ve had a few instances where I met people at a bar over a meal and they’ve become friends of mine. Once again, it’s not the goal, but, in life everyone wants to meet people. It’s really about community
- Developing A Sense Of Self. It might sound funny, but, many people’s identities are based around their work, family or significant other. Having time to yourself with a clear mind can feel like a form of therapy. We don’t often have time to think about who or what we are because of our need to entertain others.
- Enjoy A Damn Good Meal (And, Cocktail). That’s rights. It’s simple but often an under-appreciated idea. Having someone prepare a meal and cocktails to the highest-level of skill is special. Fall in love with treating yourself with nice things
Photos shot at Prunella Restaurant located in the Midtown section of Philadelphia.
Founder & Creative Director of Men's Style Pro, Sabir has a deep passion for menswear and all things manly. Selected as one of the "5 Best Dressed Men In America" by Esquire Magazine in 2010 & as #GQFall 2013 Best Dressed Man. As of 2014, Sabir serves as a freelance brand ambassador & executive stylist for GQ Magazine & GQ Report. Outside of that partnership, Sabir serves as an independent brand consultant as well. Reach me directly at SABIR@MENSSTYLEPRO.COM