I'm not a huge drinker. (Really. See No. 2 below.) But I do love a good draft beer, and since I don't (yet) own a keg, having a pint requires going out. And let's face it, being around other people is (sometimes) better than being on your couch. Here, a list of things I'd love to see in a drinking establishment.
1. Hooks under the bar. I hate when there's no place to hang your bag. I also hate groping under the bar for hooks and finding only gum.
2. A two-drink maximum. You read that right: maximum. That's my own personal limit and it has kept me out of any number of scrapes over the years. No one really needs to get more drunk than they do on two drinks. I will, however, be flexible: if you weigh more than 150 pounds, you can have three. Soft drinks will be served for free in between rounds.
3. Friendliness toward board game players. On weekend afternoons, Mr. SZ and I like to bring our travel Scrabble board to a pub and have a pint or two. It's helpful to have some lighting and fellow patrons who don't mock us. (Remember when I said I was through being cool? Well, yeah.)
4. Good music played at a reasonable volume. No one should have to scream to be heard. It's no fun to wake up after a night out sounding as if you've smoked a pack of Kools. And by good music, I mean stuff I like. No lite jazz, no Bieber, no Whitesnake.
5. Five to 10 interesting beers on tap. Any fewer is too limiting; any more makes me anxious about making the right choice.
6. Decent food. What's up with the mozzarella sticks, potato skins and cheeseburgers? I might be poisoning my liver but the rest of my body shouldn't have to suffer. A nice spicy hummus, veggie flatbread and hey, even oysters are excellent things to serve.
7. Clean bathrooms. One of my favorite bars, d.b.a., has a toilet so appalling that I limit my beer intake to avoid using it. That ain't right.
8. Big windows. I like watching rainstorms at bars. It's so noir.