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The Perfect Bar...

shoeman Oct 30, 2010 10:16 AM

In the perfect bar you always bump into someone you know. The bartenders must be male and wear black pants, white shirt and bow tie. The rest of the wait staff are a mixture of men and women. It includes eight beers on tap, two hand-drawn cask conditioned. One tap must be Guinness. The rest are a rotation of Belgium and Microbrews. They have large cocktail onions and caper berries for martini's. The bar has a limited menu but everything is outstanding. Nothing over $10 bucks. They are known for thier hamburgers and chilli. Homemade soups of the day. It's name is one word. The jukebox always has Frank Sinatra and Paul Westerberg. All of the bar stools have backs. The bar is child friendly untill 8 pm. There are no TV's or arcade games. The owners live upstairs. Its near a train station...

  1. n
    nvcook Jan 3, 2011 07:29 PM

    A lot of the bars described sound like my favorite here in little 'ol Winnemucca Nv. It's on the historical register, there's a large back room where once a month there is music (usually cowboy or celtic or something else acoustic or a play). There is a wonderful restaurant attached and you can eat in the bar area or at the bar. Children are almost always gone by 8:30 and the owner and bartenders are all friends and as soon as they see me and my spouse they automatically make our drinks. It is a very short straight drive home and they will pay the cab fare for anyone that asks. The train runs about 5 times a day right in front of the place (literally 100 yards). It is casual, friendly and they know how to pour a drink, all in an historic setting.

    1. l
      LeoLioness Jan 2, 2011 01:27 PM

      I'm pretty lucky that a near-perfect bar for me already exists down the street from me: you can order a beautifully made craft cocktail with fresh juices and house-made bitters, or you can get a can of High Life. Have a burger and fries, or a platter of raw oysters or a salad with duck confit. Come in jeans or come in a cocktail dress. The jukebox has plenty of punk rock, soul and old-school country. The bartenders know your name and your drink.

      So this place would be my prototype, with the following additions: smoking is allowed, but it's never very smoky, Happy Hour specials exist (no such thing in MA), it's always lively but never packed, there are plenty of couches and comfy chairs in addition to barstools, they are open until 3, and there's an outdoor lounge area in the warmer months.

      To dream...

      8 Replies
      1. re: LeoLioness
        invinotheresverde Jan 2, 2011 03:54 PM

        I'm also in MA and curious about this bar. ;)

        1. re: invinotheresverde
          jgg13 Jan 3, 2011 07:25 AM

          Ok, time to play "guess this bar" :)

          I'm going to start by guessing highland kitchen. I was going to say deep ellum, but LL's recent posting history in the boston board suggests a somerville location.

          1. re: jgg13
            invinotheresverde Jan 3, 2011 07:27 AM

            Somerville? I'm guessing the Sligo Pub. :)

            1. re: invinotheresverde
              jgg13 Jan 3, 2011 07:41 AM

              I'd be a little leery of any oysters served there :)

              1. re: jgg13
                invinotheresverde Jan 3, 2011 07:59 AM

                I was there once (kind of by accident) and drank something called Sligo Punch. It may have had oysters in it. ;)

                1. re: invinotheresverde
                  c oliver Jan 3, 2011 05:15 PM

                  It MAY have? That's hysterical!

                  1. re: invinotheresverde
                    jgg13 Jan 3, 2011 06:42 PM

                    more than one person I know would consider sligo to be their perfect bar. Well, maybe not any more, I have no idea if/how it's changed over the last several years.

                    I suppose I should have said "would have considered".

                    I'm getting too old :)

                2. re: invinotheresverde
                  alanbarnes Jan 3, 2011 07:00 PM

                  Speaking of Somerville, anybody remember Studley's? No craft cocktails in sight, but for the time and place it was my perfect bar.

                  You kinda knew most folks there. Whenever you were flush, you bought a round for the house. And most evenings, somebody would pick up one of your drinks. Maybe it evened out, maybe not, but camaraderie is priceless. And besides, the laundromat was right across the street. What else are you gonna do while your clothes are in the dryer?

          2. s
            Sal Vanilla Dec 24, 2010 02:25 PM

            Perfect Bar:

            You can only dink up to it and then either wade or walk the dock to get to it. It serves ice cold beer and rum. Limes at the ready.

            I am a simple girl.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Sal Vanilla
              Passadumkeg Dec 25, 2010 08:44 AM

              The perfect bar? In my rowboat, fishin'.

              1. re: Passadumkeg
                Veggo Dec 25, 2010 09:16 AM

                Sean and Reilly are fishing in their rowboat in a Galway lake, as is their custom. Sean spies a floating corked bottle, and nets it. Pops the cork, and the genie appears. "I'm only a fresh water genie, so you only get one wish". Sean reflexively wishes for the lake to turn into Guiness, and presto, it does. Sean is overjoyed and turns to Reilly who is looking a bit despondent, and asks Reilly why he is not sharing the joy of their good fortune. Reilly replies "because from now on we'll have to piss in the boat."

                1. re: Passadumkeg
                  Sal Vanilla Dec 27, 2010 12:19 PM

                  MMM... That IS a good one. May your igloo always be heavy with ice.

              2. c oliver Nov 7, 2010 05:48 AM

                I can't remember if this has been mentioned but the perfect bar won't have any ferns! No fern bars. The perfect bar doesn't have enough light to grow them.

                The perfect bar also has a cocktail glass on its outside signage.

                1 Reply
                1. re: c oliver
                  Veggo Nov 7, 2010 07:51 AM

                  Tilted, in pink neon. That means there is a juke box inside with Patsy Cline songs.

                2. JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Nov 7, 2010 01:32 AM

                  My perfect bar... First and foremost, while I'm there, I have to forget that the rest of the world exists. The atmosphere has to be dark, as if lit by candlelight. TVs are nowhere in sight. The room has no windows. Or, if there is a convenient impossibly beautiful view, the wall facing said view is replaced by picture windows. Music is audible, but played at a level that soft conversation is not impeded. The staff must be knowledgeable about the products they have, accommodating to any reasonable request, gracious and friendly. The beer selection well-chosen, with a mix of local and international favorites. They might have some Bud Light squirreled away in case someone with no imagination wanders in, but they won't admit it readily. Wine selection is simple: A light crisp white, a full-bodied white, a delicate red, a big lush red, a reasonably priced dry sparkling wine, and some Veuve Clicquot or Moët & Chandon White Star for times that just call for some real Champagne. Cocktails are properly prepared: Shaken well when they should be shaken, stirred well when they should be stirred, with proper proportions of ingredients. Citrus juices are all freshly squeezed daily. The soda gun is banned; bottled sodas are offered instead. Anyone ordering a highball receives club service; their spirit of choice is poured over ice in a short, regular, or tall glass as they wish, with their juice or soda served on the side to add as they wish.

                  I do have a couple of bars that are as close to perfect as I've ever seen. First among them is the Mandarin Bar at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. I don't know if they do club service there; who the hell orders a G&T when the cocktails are so exquisitely crafted? The mint julep my friend ordered was the best mint julep I've ever had the pleasure to sip, and my Golden Leaf cocktail (Hendrick's, fresh lime, muddled mandarins and pineapple, garnished with flecks of gold) was as perfectly balanced as a Cirque du Soleil performer. Yes, a cocktail there is about $20. However, when was the last time you saw the price of perfection so beautifully low?

                  1. corneygirl Nov 5, 2010 10:51 AM

                    Small, and narrow a row of booths and a long bar. Baseball or old movies on the television, other wise it's shut off. A real jukebox (no internet single from every record ever made bullshit). With the Stones playing late and Getz or Brubeck anytime. Cold beer, a stiff shot (unless you ask what the specials are - then it's 1.25 oz), a mix of people. Good scotch/burbon/tequlia sure! Anybody care if I want a gin and juice on a hot day? Nope. No blender, no schnapps, no kids.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: corneygirl
                      c oliver Nov 5, 2010 12:10 PM

                      Oh, lordy, definitely no blender. And I'd prefer that it open at around 8AM.

                      1. re: c oliver
                        jgg13 Nov 5, 2010 12:17 PM

                        There's a bar in between my apt and the subway that opens at 8 or so. It's interesting how the same derelict looking guys are there outside smoking in the morning as when I come home in the evening. Not entirely sure how they afford to drink there all day at 4-5$ a pop.

                        1. re: jgg13
                          Passadumkeg Nov 5, 2010 12:20 PM

                          I used to work as a miner, 3 different shifts. Just outside the mine property was a bar w/ 6, yes six drive in windows. Lots of business after every shift


                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                            c oliver Nov 5, 2010 04:44 PM

                            ALRIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! Now THAT'S a bar. Drive through. What a marvelous idea :)

                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                              jgg13 Nov 6, 2010 05:55 PM

                              drive in windows for a bar? Now that is a perfect bar :)

                              1. re: jgg13
                                Veggo Nov 6, 2010 06:13 PM

                                Or at least a good roadie. During my spring breaks in Ft. Lauderdale, early 70's, they were commonplace. Drive-thru packies, too.

                                1. re: Veggo
                                  c oliver Nov 6, 2010 06:17 PM

                                  In Atlanta, way back when, we always had "go cups."

                              2. re: Passadumkeg
                                justanotherpenguin Nov 7, 2010 12:27 AM

                                there used to be drive through bars in the new orleans area in the early 70's. i remember something about them not being allowed to insert the straw because then they would be serving you an open container! but it was legal for you to insert the straw.

                            2. re: c oliver
                              corneygirl Nov 5, 2010 12:33 PM

                              Yep, that's the one! I like one-step up from places that don't use glass or have doors on the bathroom stalls (I can live with shower curtains).

                              1. re: corneygirl
                                c oliver Nov 5, 2010 04:43 PM

                                I see there's alot of agreement on this thread about what constitutes the perfect bar.

                          2. Gio Nov 5, 2010 08:44 AM

                            My perfect bar stocks Punt e Mes and serves it to me in an old fahion glass with 3 ice cubes and a twist of lemon...

                            1. RealMenJulienne Nov 4, 2010 10:12 PM

                              You stick a sap into your pocket, a .38 into the other pocket, and a fedora onto your head. Head down the rickety fire escape to the bottom floor of your apartment and enter by way of the steam-filled alley under a blinking vertical neon sign. The clientele is a sea of fedoras and pincurls. Drinking your Manhattan alone at the bar you can hear the rumble of the elevated train outside, and the distant sound of foghorns in the bay. Make your way through the smoky crowd to the lounge where an all-Black band is playing "The Night has a Thousand Eyes". The torch singer looks like Jennifer Connelly.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                RealMenJulienne Nov 5, 2010 12:48 AM

                                Oh, and if you get hungry, go to the automat next door.

                              2. TheHuntress Nov 4, 2010 07:53 PM

                                Love it!

                                1. jollyinebriate Nov 4, 2010 07:11 PM

                                  My perfect bar will be long and narrow with the bar running along the entire side of it and deuces running along the other side. The front will have a window with a stage where karaoke can happen or bands can play. There's a patio on the roof and the bathrooms will be in the basement. There will be two bartenders, one guy and one girl and they should be a couple but it's okay if they're not.

                                  The spirits should be heavy on whisky and gin with decent options for tequila, rum and vodka. Liqueurs are marginally represented but they should at least 20 different kinds of bitters. I'd like to see 10 beers on tap with 6 standards and 4 rotating seasonals. Bottles should have the same split but be different than the draught. Wine should be whatever caught the bartender's eye at the store that week.

                                  The clientele should largely skew local but allow for the influx of interesting newcomers and the both the staff and regulars should welcome this. The jukebox should be old and have everything from country to punk.

                                  There's no food but you can bring in whatever you want to eat and the bartender has a list of good take-out.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: jollyinebriate
                                    jeanmarieok Nov 4, 2010 07:17 PM

                                    I like the idea of having a food choice from a bunch of different take out joints. That'd be great....

                                    1. re: jollyinebriate
                                      mariacarmen Nov 6, 2010 10:28 AM

                                      yep, my bar has takeout. also on offer are jalapeno chips.

                                    2. pikawicca Nov 4, 2010 06:51 PM

                                      Irish bars (in Ireland, before smoking bans and drunk-driving checkpoints) were the best. Lots of great stories (blarney, most of it), impromptu singing and poetry recitation, not to mention the lovely Guinness.

                                      1. Chemicalkinetics Nov 4, 2010 06:45 PM

                                        This is the funniest thing I have read for awhile. All I want to say is that in my perfect bar there will have to have acrade games and TV. Sorry I am still stuck in that college/graduate school mode. I don't like the so called adult bars.

                                        A perfect bar is like a perfect woman -- there is NO such thing.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          Veggo Nov 5, 2010 08:16 AM

                                          But we can drink 'em both perfect until we sober up.

                                        2. bushwickgirl Nov 4, 2010 05:39 PM

                                          Cold beer, warm acquaintances, seating always available, Frank Sinatra on the juke, all drinks are free, for me anyway, and I live upstairs.

                                          Everything else is just gravy.

                                          1. Passadumkeg Nov 4, 2010 01:56 AM

                                            Sounds like a bunch of gall darn nambie pambie EASTERNERS! Probly New Jersey. You all are talkin's about some liberal COCK TALE LOUNGE. A real bar is where ya don't know no one so ya can drink in peace and be serious about it. The bartender is an ol' 4X4 Mexican woman who ya don't notice what she's wearin', but she pours a quick shot of Tequila, right up to the brim. What wait staff? Ya here to eat or drink? Ya don't get served unless yur wearin' a cowboy hat and boots. Half the customers are wearin' their WRANGLERS t-shirts (Western Ranchers Against No Good Liberal Eastern Radical Sh#$heads). It includes ceiling fans to mix up the smoke, a little and a beer cooler where ya can mosey on over the git your own icy cold Coors with out havin' to ask no one. The cans of Snappy Tom are sittin' in a little pyramid on the bar right in front of ya. That is the "limited menu", what ever that is. Nothin' is over 2 bucks. The only grub is green chile (I wish Easterners would learn to spell chile.) cheeseburgers. The jukebox always has Tom T. Hall and Freddy Fender. What's a bar stool? Kids don't belong in bars. (They should be in church w/ their mother on a Wednesday night.) There's a pool table in the middle of the dance floor. Live bands on the week end to play Honky Tonk or Mexican Polkas. The AT&SF runs every 5 minutes right behind the place, rattles the bottle behind the bar and stops all talkin'....

                                            13 Replies
                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                              Gatogrande Nov 4, 2010 06:09 AM

                                              Ooorah! And Barack keeps an eye on my F250 while I'm inside

                                              1. re: Gatogrande
                                                Veggo Nov 4, 2010 07:27 AM

                                                And the Colt you had to check at the door.

                                                1. re: Veggo
                                                  Passadumkeg Nov 4, 2010 09:51 AM

                                                  Edward Abbey has written a short piece describing this type of western bar. I'm surprised no one has aked what a Snappy Tom is.
                                                  The roughest bar I've ever seen was a uranium miner's bar between Grants and San Mateo, NM called The Stope. No one checked their Colt and shots were fired. We snuck out through the kitchen. And there was the time the long haired hippy was thrown threw the plate glass window......but that's another Barstory.

                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                    Gio Nov 4, 2010 09:59 AM

                                                    I know... I know...
                                                    Snappy Tom is a brand of spicy tomato juice....

                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                      CDouglas Nov 4, 2010 10:03 AM

                                                      We are talking about Snap-E-Tom the tomato and chile cocktail mixer as opposed to Snappy Tom the Australian cat food, right?

                                                      Otherwise I am in.

                                                      1. re: CDouglas
                                                        Passadumkeg Nov 4, 2010 10:41 AM

                                                        I hope so. Why yup, Snap-E-Tom and Coors; the breakfast of....cowboys.

                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                          c oliver Nov 4, 2010 10:44 AM

                                                          I didn't think Snap-E Tom was all that unusual. Maybe I just hang with the right kinda folk.

                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                            smartie Nov 6, 2010 06:45 AM

                                                            reminds me of a bar we went into while driving through rural France about 10 years back - having driven all night through the Alps we stopped at 5am for a pick me up strong French coffee in a small village and the local farmers were having their breakfast - croissant and a Pernod amongst Gauloises smoke so hazy we could barely see.

                                                        2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                          Perilagu Khan Nov 6, 2010 08:08 AM

                                                          "And there was the time the long haired hippy was thrown threw the plate glass window"

                                                          Let me guess--that was YOU!


                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                            Passadumkeg Nov 6, 2010 09:52 AM

                                                            Nah, I was a uranium miner. Really!
                                                            The Summer of Love I was in Nam. Now there were some bars!!!!

                                                    2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                      c oliver Nov 4, 2010 07:39 AM

                                                      Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner. The ultimate bar.

                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                        Gio Nov 4, 2010 09:07 AM

                                                        "I Love This Bar"...s'my kinda place.


                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                          mariacarmen Nov 6, 2010 10:24 AM

                                                          Thank you for the pool table! and the smoke.

                                                          and the irish owner is named Elvis. true story.

                                                          tanq and tonic for me-extra limes- and double shot of cuervo, neat, for the boy. never the twain shall meet.

                                                        2. w
                                                          westaust Nov 3, 2010 08:20 PM

                                                          no kids, no band, plenty of seating, both at tables or at the bar

                                                          a nice selection of scotch and beers (both locals microbrews and imported)

                                                          1. ZenSojourner Nov 3, 2010 04:50 PM

                                                            The heck with it. Obviously the perfect bar is the one you program into the holosuite, and the holobartender replicates whatever your poison of choice is. It's all free, and you never have a hangover.

                                                            1. ChefBoyAreMe Nov 3, 2010 02:33 PM

                                                              ...with a full selection of single malts plus a cozy fireplace for the winter months

                                                              ...and a nice outside space with some visual appeal for the summer, and the margaritas there are made with good silver tequila, Cointreau, fresh squeezed lime (4/3/2 ratio), never from a slurpee machine.

                                                              1. f
                                                                funniduck Nov 3, 2010 02:22 PM

                                                                I’m just taking my three favorite neighborhood bars and meld what I like best in each.

                                                                When I walk in and sit at the super LONG bar, the bartender (male or female) knows my name and asks if I want my regular drink. Once in awhile /she’ll introduce me to someone because he knows that we have something in common. On nights when I bring in a book, s/he’ll light an extra candle for me so I can see better. Or I'll just chat with whomever is sitting by me. It’s a bar with lots of dark wood, and the bar stools are wooden with backs, and right underneath the bar itself are hooks for my coat and bag. (I’m being really picky, I know.)

                                                                There are about 10-12 beers on tap, half of which they change regularly, the other half are staples. But they always update their offerings via Twitter. And the bartenders know their beers. If I tell them what I kind of beer I like, they’ll let me sample 2-3 beers that fit my tastes. Full liquor bar, well stocked in whiskeys, and a couple of wines. They can make drinks, but no frozen/blender drinks and nothing too cloying. No food is served but they can serve free popcorn, and they’ll have a full binder of take out/delivery menus from the area.

                                                                They don’t have a jukebox, but random music that varies by the bartender’s ipod. Sometimes folk rock, sometimes classic rock, but no tv. A backyard would be nice, but really, I prefer a back room for live music, book readings, and just more room to hang out.

                                                                1. a
                                                                  andrewtree Nov 3, 2010 09:12 AM

                                                                  Reminds me of George Orwell's ficticious ideal British pub 'The Moon Under Water'

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: andrewtree
                                                                    bakersdelight Nov 4, 2010 11:22 AM

                                                                    thanks, andrewtree! what a treat.

                                                                  2. Veggo Nov 3, 2010 08:11 AM

                                                                    The perfect bar? Let's see....as I enter, promo girls for Chateau d'Yquem are handing out splits of '78 sauterne, "take mine!...take mine...!" and I score 3. I slide into a barstool upholstered with a buttery Saddleback leather seat and a suede back. The bar itself is polished ziricote from Belize, with a trough in front to cradle my elbows. Alexander Calder mobiles drift lazily overhead among soft Dale Chihuly lighting, propelled by gentle Marrakesh ceiling fans. A complimentary box of Cohiba robustos is within easy reach, behind the revere bowl of macadamias. Eric Clapton and J.J. Cale are strumming a few warm up chords in the corner. My bartender, Catherine Zeta-Jones, leans my way and says "What will it be, big guy, and the first one is on me." Later, as I visit the W.C. , the towel attendant is Sarah Palin.
                                                                    And then the f&*#ing alarm clock wakes me up.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Veggo
                                                                      kattyeyes Nov 3, 2010 08:30 AM

                                                                      HA HA HA...game on! Rob Lowe is the bartender. When he sees me walk in, he asks where I've been all his life, then lets me know he'll be getting off early (ahem!) to do body shots with THIS KAT!

                                                                      There is a special S button on the soda dispenser so I can have a strawberry soda as they used to make at Friendly's way back when.

                                                                      A designated driver is parked outside in something exotic and fast to whisk me back home without incident.

                                                                      There is a piano and people throw money as I play.

                                                                      The bartender lines up interesting bottles and shot glasses for me to sample. Hey, this has actually happened recently--and more than once...but minus THAT Rob, the designated driver and strawberry soda. ;) Oh, well!

                                                                      ETA: Jay Kay is my designated driver! Nice fleet. "I musta died and gone to heaven..." He takes the long way home so he can sing to me. :)

                                                                    2. b
                                                                      beevod Nov 3, 2010 07:52 AM

                                                                      A bartender who hands you sunglasses when, after drinking from noon to three, you're about to leave and emerge into the harsh light of a blazingly sunny afternoon.

                                                                      1. g
                                                                        guilty Nov 2, 2010 05:50 PM

                                                                        Highly competent bartenders of any persuasion wearing whatever they want--preferably without too much cleavage. I'll bump into people I know only occasionally, and it will always be someone I actually want to talk to. All top-shelf liquor and top-quality mixers. Almond-stuffed olives available for martinis. Fresh orange and grapefruit juices. And fresh bloody mary mix. Tasty, ungreasy bar food. No hipsters. No children. Good background music, complemented by a moderately-volumed jukebox. Very flattering lighting. No sticky surfaces. Clean bathrooms. No live bands, except that quiet jazz quartet with that famous guy who retired and plays incognito. They only play once a week. I always drink free.

                                                                        1. LA Buckeye Fan Nov 2, 2010 02:55 PM

                                                                          There is a free shuttle from my house to my bar stool. There is always something salty to snack on (besides me). The bartenders, be them male or female, have a sense of humor and a sense of community. And a heavy hand. Slainte!

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: LA Buckeye Fan
                                                                            Gatogrande Nov 3, 2010 06:53 AM

                                                                            Hmmmm.....I'll be pulling my barstool closer to yours

                                                                            1. re: Gatogrande
                                                                              LA Buckeye Fan Nov 3, 2010 11:01 AM

                                                                              Slide on over, Big Cat. I'll share my snacks. Just not my drink. :)

                                                                          2. j
                                                                            juliewong Nov 2, 2010 02:07 PM

                                                                            And when you walked in - your Gibson was waiting for you at your deslired location ........ Alas there was once a bar like this but many years ago.

                                                                            1. j
                                                                              jaykayen Nov 2, 2010 02:02 PM

                                                                              You can order a Jack and Coke, Appletini, or Corpse Reviver #2, and you will get it without any smirks.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: jaykayen
                                                                                justanotherpenguin Nov 2, 2010 04:32 PM

                                                                                i think that they should refuse to pour a jack and coke;)

                                                                                1. re: justanotherpenguin
                                                                                  jgg13 Nov 2, 2010 05:22 PM

                                                                                  I have no problem with the highballs, I have a problem with the appletinis

                                                                                  1. re: jgg13
                                                                                    invinotheresverde Nov 3, 2010 08:54 AM


                                                                              2. c
                                                                                CDouglas Nov 2, 2010 08:42 AM

                                                                                Bar snacks are fresh pistachios and dark, Pennsylvania pretzels like Martin's.

                                                                                They make the definitive Bloody Mary and Sazerac.

                                                                                They have a Kold-Draft ice machine and serve the 1 1/4" full ice cube.

                                                                                1. b
                                                                                  bakersdelight Nov 2, 2010 02:46 AM

                                                                                  dress code is relaxed, so that I'm judged by my personality and not my adidas/expensive boots/what have you. 3-piece-suits and faded jeans mix freely.

                                                                                  1. ZenSojourner Nov 2, 2010 01:15 AM

                                                                                    I agree with the proviso about it being child-friendly until 8 PM, as long as the live jazz or blues band starts by 7. And my child is 26 now so it's not from personal interest.

                                                                                    But there could be another perfect bar across the street that's child-free.

                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: ZenSojourner
                                                                                      c oliver Nov 3, 2010 05:56 PM

                                                                                      No, no, no :) We're talking about a B.A.R. I want everyone pouring in there after work. No children --- and mine are 31 and 33!

                                                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                                                        ZenSojourner Nov 4, 2010 02:04 AM

                                                                                        Clearly we need more than one perfect bar. Child-free and child-friendly, right across the street from each other.

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                          jgg13 Nov 5, 2010 08:10 AM

                                                                                          I don't care if children are there as long as parents expect other people to act child-appropriate. As you say, it's a bar. If someone wants to bring a child to a bar it's no skin off my butt but they better not expect me to watch my language or otherwise not behave in a manner that isn't child friendly.

                                                                                        2. re: ZenSojourner
                                                                                          ladybugthepug Nov 5, 2010 08:49 AM

                                                                                          The only way "The Perfect Bar" allows entrance to children is if you're the parent of Alec Baldwin or Conan O'Brien; otherwise - no kids!

                                                                                          1. re: ladybugthepug
                                                                                            c oliver Nov 5, 2010 08:53 AM

                                                                                            My short list might vary a little from yours, but an excellent point :)

                                                                                          2. re: ZenSojourner
                                                                                            justanotherpenguin Nov 5, 2010 10:18 AM

                                                                                            our one year old granddaughter has been going wine tasting with us and her parents since she was about two months old.

                                                                                            1. re: justanotherpenguin
                                                                                              c oliver Nov 5, 2010 11:55 AM

                                                                                              See? That's our diversity, I suppose. Your "perfect bar" is actually a wine tasting room. Mine probably doesn't have windows!

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                ladybugthepug Nov 5, 2010 01:16 PM

                                                                                                Mine most definitely lacks windows! There was a dive bar in a basement space back in college that one could literally lose track of time - two o'clock goes from pm to am quickly. Much fun!

                                                                                                1. re: ladybugthepug
                                                                                                  Chinon00 Nov 5, 2010 01:50 PM

                                                                                                  Please describe the music played in this space.

                                                                                                  1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                    ladybugthepug Nov 5, 2010 08:18 PM

                                                                                                    Said bar played a mix of mostly '70-'90's college music. Lesser known songs from the Velvet Underground, Joy Division, etc. You never heard the same bands over and over. I don't know how he did it, but the owner was a massive music fan and you MIGHT hear two songs by the same band in a night. Had a small "stage" that was at most 2 ft. off the floor and saw Beck play there before his first album came out. Reminded me a little bit of Lucky 13 in SF, without windows and crowds (and the punk ass kids).

                                                                                                2. re: c oliver
                                                                                                  justanotherpenguin Nov 6, 2010 04:23 AM

                                                                                                  clarification: i did not say that a wine tasting room was my "favorite" bar, only that our granddaughter has been to said rooms. my actual favorite bars are quite dark and quiet. the palmer house in chicago used to have a wonderful, quiet, "old school" bar in the late 70's.

                                                                                            2. Indirect Heat Nov 1, 2010 11:22 PM

                                                                                              All of it, except that bit about bumping into someone you know. Change it to *never* bump into someone you know, and it's perfect. Anonymity is a beautiful thing.

                                                                                              1. m
                                                                                                mojoeater Nov 1, 2010 08:25 PM

                                                                                                Nix the bow ties and "bartenders must be male" and I largely agree. And I like LaPomme's suggestion that no children are there for happy hour or later.

                                                                                                1. LaPomme Nov 1, 2010 05:05 PM

                                                                                                  There is an amicable mix of unpretentious locals. There are no children there during happy hour or later. They have crispy calamari served with homemade aioli.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: LaPomme
                                                                                                    invinotheresverde Nov 3, 2010 08:53 AM

                                                                                                    No children any time. It's a bar. ;)

                                                                                                    I agree with most of the rest, except for the large cocktail onions. They always taste raw and hard in the middle to me.

                                                                                                    Boston sports on the tv never hurts, except hockey. Never hockey. Yuck.

                                                                                                    1. re: LaPomme
                                                                                                      c oliver Nov 3, 2010 05:54 PM

                                                                                                      Definitely a mix. Blue and white collar. I don't know how Harringtons in SF is any more but it used to be the ultimate in that regard.

                                                                                                    2. jgg13 Nov 1, 2010 11:13 AM

                                                                                                      don't forget the martinis are made with gin, using a proper amount of vermouth (none of this mist, barely coating the ice cubes, and definitely not the 'ooking in the direction of the vermouth bottle'), and they're stirred.

                                                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: jgg13
                                                                                                        ChefBoyAreMe Nov 3, 2010 02:28 PM

                                                                                                        Here, here!

                                                                                                        If you want cold gin, ask for cold gin, @$#^^@$%!. If you want a martini, its supposed to have vermouth in it, and you are supposed to be able to taste it...that's what makes it a martini! 4-to1 for me, please. Bombay Sapphire.Vermouth is Noilly Prat, it goes without saying...

                                                                                                        1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
                                                                                                          c oliver Nov 3, 2010 05:53 PM

                                                                                                          And I was advised by a bartender that a good martini gets nothing but a twist, no other fruit or vegetable.

                                                                                                          1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
                                                                                                            Will Owen Nov 3, 2010 06:12 PM

                                                                                                            "If you want cold gin, ask for cold gin, @$#^^@$%!" Double AYYY-men. And as the late great bon vivant Lucius Beebe declared, "Anything over five to one is just iced gin!"

                                                                                                            The finest bar we've found yet blows the OP's parameters a bit: it has a two-word name (Harrison House) and the cocktails are uniformly $11 each. They will also serve nobody who is not seated. However, our waitress knew as much about the drinks as the bartenders did, and the martini made to their house formula (Plymouth gin, a brand of vermouth I can't remember, and house-made orange bitters) was about the nicest cocktail I've ever had anywhere.

                                                                                                            That one place aside, I do like a less formal approach, and I'll be happy with a very good martini (as opposed to perfect, but still astonishingly hard to come by) if there's a good stock of other interesting boozes and some good reasonably-priced wines. A jolly crowd of regulars who welcome congenial newbies is always a good sign. Someone at the piano, maybe, or a small jazz trio playing standards, not loud. And everyone is using his or her Indoors Voice...

                                                                                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                              c oliver Nov 3, 2010 06:18 PM

                                                                                                              First tasted Plymouth Gin in Cornwall, England. Mmm.

                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                Will Owen Nov 3, 2010 06:40 PM

                                                                                                                Yeah, I think I gotta get me some. And try it with Lillet instead of vermouth... okay, that's another thing: the bartender MUST be willing to accommodate experiments without getting snotty about it, and have the wherewithal and skill to do so. Any "fancy" gin that isn't Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray can be hard to get in too many bars, and as for Lillet I had to just buy a bottle.

                                                                                                                1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                  c oliver Nov 3, 2010 06:42 PM

                                                                                                                  Have never tasted Lillet. Will check it out.

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                    MMRuth Nov 3, 2010 06:52 PM

                                                                                                                    I love it. Lillet Blanc (there is a Rouge), chilled, with a wedge of lime.

                                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                      c oliver Nov 3, 2010 06:56 PM

                                                                                                                      Well, lady, if YOU recommend it, I shall be buying. Anything with a wedge of lime sounds good.

                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                        MMRuth Nov 3, 2010 07:02 PM

                                                                                                                        It's a great aperitif before dinner and a bottle of red wine! And doesn't quite pack the punch of a martini or gimlet, though sometimes that punch is needed.

                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                          c oliver Nov 3, 2010 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                          We'll be in DC in a couple of weeks. I'll order one. And feel, oh so, sophisticated :)

                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                            invinotheresverde Nov 4, 2010 06:32 AM

                                                                                                                            Lillet Blanc on the rocks with a twist of orange. Yummmm.

                                                                                                                            1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Nov 6, 2010 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                              the Rouge is quite refreshing, and pretty too....

                                                                                                                      2. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                        c oliver Dec 24, 2010 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                        Finally had this for the first time yesterday. I loved it. Pre-lunch. I am definitely picking up a bottle. Thanks for the rec.

                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                          MMRuth Dec 24, 2010 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                          You are most welcome -- glad you enjoyed it!

                                                                                                                2. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Nov 5, 2010 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                  I love Plymouth but recently happened upon Bell Ringer for about half the price. It's spicier than Plymouth and not quite as smooth, but makes an oh so delicious martini. Obviously, I recommend it highly.

                                                                                                            2. Gatogrande Nov 1, 2010 08:48 AM

                                                                                                              In mine, the bar is non-smoking, bartenders are female, with open collared shirts. Nix the hipster cask conditioned stuff for at least one domestic beer, and never a prepackaged mix for margaritas. The dispensers must pour real Ginger ale, sprite, and coke, not the soda company's overly sweetened approximations. Oh, and cell signals are blocked

                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Gatogrande
                                                                                                                Chinon00 Nov 2, 2010 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                Cask is hipster?

                                                                                                                1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                  alanbarnes Nov 4, 2010 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                  Cask is beer geek. PBR is hipster.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                    Gatogrande Nov 5, 2010 08:35 AM

                                                                                                                    Okay, maybe I have cliques mixed up. I was thinking trendy urbanites who glom onto the latest thing, the latest places to see and be seen, and then onto the next "look at me", driveby, affectation of the day. The kind of jerk who'd be escorted out of passa's bar immediately

                                                                                                                  2. re: Gatogrande
                                                                                                                    jollyinebriate Nov 4, 2010 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                    Hipsters don't drink cask, they drink cheap.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jollyinebriate
                                                                                                                      Chinon00 Nov 5, 2010 03:48 AM

                                                                                                                      Not where I live. You will NEVER see hipsters at $1 Corona bottle night at {fill in the
                                                                                                                      anonymous faux-Irish pub}. Their main hangs are dive bars (yes cheap) AND urban, neighborhood craft beer bars (w/ and w/o cask).

                                                                                                                      1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                        jollyinebriate Nov 5, 2010 10:15 PM

                                                                                                                        Crazy; not in Toronto.

                                                                                                                        1. re: jollyinebriate
                                                                                                                          Chinon00 Nov 6, 2010 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                          What are the hipster hangouts like in Toronto.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                          Wahooty Nov 7, 2010 05:38 AM

                                                                                                                          My experience in Toronto sounds much like what you describe, Chinon - while there are plenty of hipsters sucking back PBR in cans at the so-called "dives" around Queen West and Ossington, I've also seen plenty of them at Rhino and Volo. Of course, none of them THINK they are hipsters, regardless of what they are drinking.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                            chickenbruiser Nov 7, 2010 05:41 AM

                                                                                                                            hipsters usually ruin good dive bars by slowly turning them into even worse student hipster hangouts until they eventually completely give up and only serve huge cheap pitchers of Molson X

                                                                                                                            in Montreal cheap hipster beer is Boreale.... PBR is for the hipsters that like to hang around the train tracks on a hot summer night drinking beer in cans til early morning listening to beat up copies of Johnny Cash and Van Dyke Parks on a battery operated portable turntable

                                                                                                                      2. mamachef Oct 30, 2010 11:33 AM

                                                                                                                        I am in love with your posited bar and want to go sometime. Would that we had anything close to this in my neck o' the woods, but locally bars seem to be skewed towards pretentious and upscale ( I am NOT paying ten dollars for a libation.) or complete, scared-to-go-there dives. In a perfect world, though, it does sound like a great place to be.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                          tastesgoodwhatisit Nov 7, 2010 06:50 PM

                                                                                                                          A cosy atmosphere with comfortable seats. Interesting music in a variety of styles, but not rap or heavy metal, and at a volume so you can hear it, but you can still carry on a conversation without shouting.

                                                                                                                          Non smoking, and ideally with a non smoking patio as well. Moderately busy, but enough room for people to sit comfortably rather than having to stand.

                                                                                                                          The bartenders can wear whatever they like and be whatever genders they like, as long as they are competent, friendly without being overly familiar, and chosen for bartending ability and knowledge rather than physical assets.

                                                                                                                          A good variety of good beer, including local microbrews and a variety of different styles and nationalities. The selection should go beyond the obvious choices. For example, there should be Belgian beers beyond Duvel. Bonus points if they serve something that tastes like beer mixed with vinegar and lemon juice, and tactfully ask if I've had it before when I order it.

                                                                                                                          Little emphasis on trendy cocktails - the cocktails offered should be well made, and made with good quality ingredients, but no list of twenty things that end in -tini simply because they are served in a martini glass. And no more than one flavoured vodka on the bar.

                                                                                                                          No shooters. Shooters are mainly for getting drunk, and my ideal bar would be more for people who are interested in relaxing, talking, having a bite to eat and a few drinks, but not getting more than cheerfully tipsy.

                                                                                                                          Food good enough that I'd order it in a place that didn't serve alcohol. Traditional pub food is good - ploughman's lunch, fish and chips, chicken wings, hamburgers, but they should be able to make a good soup of the day and a decent salad. There should be an appealing selection of non alcoholic beverages for the non drinkers.

                                                                                                                          And, importantly, walking distance from my apartment, or a cheap cab ride home.

                                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                                          smartie Oct 30, 2010 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                          blue cheese olives must be at this perfect bar, and know how to make a margarita.

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