This past year I’ve often found myself in the company of avid barhoppers.  Since I don’t drink, it’s no surprise that I don’t appreciate the experience.  But I’m surprised by how truly awful the experience is – why pay good money to hang out somewhere dark, dirty, loud, and smelly?  The greatest puzzle, though, is bartenders’ lack of manners.  In my admittedly limited experience, the whole philosophy of “service with a smile” seems alien to bar employees – they’re more about service with a scowl.

You could say, of course, that they don’t like me because I’m not ordering drinks.  I wouldn’t blame them if they did!  But paying customers get the same brusque treatment.  And it’s not just during peak times, or closing time.  So here’s my question for all you hard-drinking econo-nerds: What gives?  Why don’t bars at least strive for the same level of courtesy as your local Applebee’s?