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Jun 19, 2007 04:27 AM

Eating At The Bar

What's the fascination with this? It seems that most of the "solo dining" inquiries around here look for places where a "good, quick meal at the bar" is available. When I go out to eat, even alone, I like the time to myself, and don't mind asking for a different table when the host leads me to the one by the kitchen door.

I don't drink (in restaurants, anyway - costs too much) so maybe that's the part about the bar that I'm missing, but when I say "one" and the host or hostess asks if I want to sit at the bar, I always decline. What am I missing? When I was a kid, I used to like eating at the lunch counter, but that's about as close as I ever got to enjoying eating at the bar.

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  1. I think it's partially because when you are dining solo you often get more cordial interaction with a bartender and sometimes more attentive service. I prefer to eat at the bar, especially when eating alone.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jpschust

      Ditto. Additionally it's a more conducive setting to interacting with other patrons at the bar, if you're s inclined. I particularly enjoy it on travel. A great way to glean local color. Though it's not just for solo dining. My husband and I often prefer to dine at the bar.

      1. re: Meg

        On the rare occasions I am dining alone, which is usually when I am away on business, I prefer to dine at the bar. You get the interaction with the bartender as well as other folks who might be doing the same as you. Plus, th e bartenders never give me crap for wanting to hold on to the wine menu all evening as I pick the next glass I want to try.

        The last place I dined at the bar was at a place called CinCin in Vancouver. Good food, good wine, good service. I was happy.

    2. I'm with you -- I prefer sitting at a table even when I am alone. But I understand those that prefer siting at the bar and the interaction with other patrons and the bartender.

      1. When dining solo, I do not like to sit at 'the bar', near a service area, or near the kitchen, where I am usually offered a table. When asked if I would like to sit at 'the bar' I reply that if I did, I would go to a bar. I'm sure the host(ess) is only being considerate. But, I prefer to sit in a main dining area. My check would be the same as others.

        1. Dh and I often eat at the bar, if either of us is alone or it's just the two of us. We like chatting with the bartender, the service tends to be better, and Dh likes the tv and I like talking to other patrons. We had dinner at the bar at PF Changs (gasp!) last night.

          1. Well,if quickness is a factor, it may be more likely to found at the bar, where a drink and an app is just as acceptable as a full meal.

            On several occasions I have been very happy to have been a single diner and snag that last seat at the bar in a packed restaurant - if I'd had a date there would've been a long wait for two bar seats or a table. I'll book a table if I'm planning ahead or take a table if there is one, but if I'm just out trying my luck, especially on a weekend, I'll hope to squeeze in at the bar. I