Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Astatine, Feb 17, 2012.
What is it like inside a pub or bar? Quick description please.
Working class/blue collar - dark, loud, smoky (or at least they used to be), crowded (depending on the night). People talking loudly or shouting to be heard, loud laughter, pool games going, jukebox roaring, TV blasting, an occasional fight breaking out, street noises invading every time the door opens... in brief.
It really depends on the bar, there are so many different types - trendy, themed, working class, dishevelled, gangster, girly, gay etc etc.
It's noisy, usually. If there's a dance floor, the music is incredibly loud. The bartenders spin bottle openers about and flip glasses behind their backs. Lines almost always three-deep or more extend back from the bar which stands at about the height of the average man's chest. The toilets are not the nicest places - the doors are perpetually open and standing by the sinks gives the undeniable feeling that you can be seen by the whole world, and being within a cubicle is not much better where there is perpetual wetness on the floor, which makes you fear to let your jeans go all the way down.
Couches are usually present in the quietest of areas - u-shaped booths with walls that block the dance floor create an area where you don't have to yell as loudly to get your message across - they're squishy and the tables are incredibly low, at knee-height. People are everywhere but nobody is really watching until you begin to walk. While seated you are incredibly inconspicuous until you see someone you know, at which point your eyes are practically drawn to them again and again. While standing or walking, you are appreciated or otherwise by every other patron. Men sneer at other men. Women sneer at other women. The sexes meet with their eyes and their bodies, but for the most part, not a lot is done.
In sobriety, in silence, it's a place that reeks of low morals, but when it is filled and their is noise, it is a place of love and kinship and everyone is allied with everyone. Strangers hug on the streets outside and laugh and run and yell about how brilliant things are going.
My brother worked in Boston a few years back, and he said the bars there were absolutely nothing like an English pub. From my own experience I know that pubs in England can vary a lot, and bars are something else again. You'll have to be a bit more specific.
What's it like in a street? What's it like in a shop? What's it like in a house?
Too generic a question - more info please?
where and when is this?... what kind of bar is it?... what time of day/night is it?
we can't give you valid info without more details...
Try going to one.
Edit: ah, I see. Not an option. Unless you get an adult to take you. One benefit (from a writer's perspective) of having had an alcoholic father is that I have memories of bars (working class bars, that is) etched from way back. I can remember one place he used to frequent that was right over a subway station, and the constant vibrations caused cracks in the ceiling, and the cracks were outlined with water stains from leaks in the plumbing.
i've been in or worked in [as both bartender and cocktail waitress] all sorts of bars all over the world, from the sleazy, smoke-filled ones, to the most elegant ones in 5-star hotels... give me more info on what kind you want to have in your story and i'll be glad to give you all the description you need...
A lot of popular nightclubs have webcams. Tonight is a holiday night in the USA. If you can google a club with a webcam, you will be able to get a lot of insight tonight between the hours of 10pm-3am (dependent on timezone).
Malt liquor and cigarettes, that's all I got.
Who said you actually have to be a legal age to get in and get a drink?
Um, the government? They made the law.
Of course, it's POSSIBLE to violate the law and get served as an underaged person in a bar. But you asked who said you can't, and it's the ones who make the laws.
This is a little bit like asking "what's it like inside a restaurant?". There are all sorts, and they're all very different.
And that, in fact, could be a good starting point. You could pick a restaurant that's closest to what you want for your settng, describe it to us, and we could tell you what would be added or different if that restaurant were also a bar.
It' a thought, anyway. (Or you could watch Cheers. )
I've been in a lot of bars and pubs in my time in a lot of different places. And I've never seen one like this. Bartenders don't spin bottle openers and glasses behind their backs unless they're auditioning for a movie, in my experience. People don't line up three deep at the bar as a rule. Booths don't have knee-height tables; they give you more room than that. Sure, I generally don't go to bars in big cities, but in smaller towns, men don't sneer at men and women don't sneer at women. Most of the patrons are regulars and are friendly with each other and with the staff. The music isn't overpowering.
I enjoy spending time in the bars and pubs I've mostly seen, such as those in Victoria, BC, and Toronto. Even in Adairsville, Georgia. And Sydney or Cairns in Australia. But I'd hate to spend any time in the kind of bar you describe.
I have worked and lived in a bar/pub although need more info on what you're looking for?
This is a good idea, any suggestions as to which bar to look at? Wonder whats going on in bars I've been to in my home town....
Minstrel: (Meant to quote you) The only bar I have seen spinning and flipping was in a movie. COcktail and Coyote Ugly(?)
Chickenfreak: watch "Cheers"? How many bars greet every customer by name as they enter? I would not recomend using anything on T.V. as a reference for reality. C
Check local laws, some places will let underage people in. Eating establishments have bars in them, they are one type of bar, hotels have bars that you can see from the door. Best way to see how things work would be the webcam suggestion. See the people act, the staff working, if it has sound you can hear the noise too.
To help in description here is a link to help describe what you need;
It has sections for sights, sounds, smells, touch,
I think this simply highlights the fact that there are many many different types of bars, and different people will have different experiences of them. I've worked in various pubs and bars, including student bars that are 5 deep THE ENTIRE NIGHT from 8pm to 3am. The bar was the length of the room and there were at least a dozen bartenders racing around non stop, never with less than 4 or 5 customers (to each bartender) clamouring to get served. We had big plastic skips on wheels behind the bar full of ice and the bar-backs just kept emptying case after case of bottled beers and alco-pops in them to feed the demand because the fridges were empty after about twenty minutes. You couldn't hear anything because there were live bands every night, so you had to lean right over the bar and put your ear next to their mouth to take their order - some guys would take this as a come on and try to grope you or kiss you (I'm female, but I don't think the guys' experience was much different with the ladies they served). You're dripping with sweat, your trainers and the bottoms of your trousers are soaked with beer and melted ice from the skips (which leak like anything) and all you do for 8 hours straight is run back and forth from the front to the back of the bar to the till to the customer and on and on.
That's my experience from the other side of the bar. Anyone have a different experience of being in a bar, yours is probably just as valid and authentic as mine, even if it does not resemble it in any way.
I don't know about the US, but in the UK, you're allowed to go into pubs whatever your age. There are loads of nice non-alcoholic drinks like J20s and Appletizers
A good buzz, you can feel the music it's so loud. Girls with painted faces and low cut blouses, tight pants. Assholes talking loud and the usual group of 5 -6 men all together wondering why they never score. Humptey Dumptey look alike that you are trying not to laugh at. Trouble makers looking for a fight, bikers, rednecks and geeks. Some broken heart a hole trying to pour his heart out about his girl cheating on him and nobody really cares. The high roller buying drinks, the bouncer, the sexy bartender, people sneaking out back for a doobie or into the bathroom to snort a line.
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