Bar Dreams

Some politicians in Washington are pushing for banks to offer more small business loans. Well, I want to open a bar. These are some of my ideas:
Location: San Francisco, CA
The Bar: The Glass Ceiling—Accessible only by a glass elevator, this rooftop dance-party venue overlooks both the women’s studies department of UC-Berkeley and the former office of Bitch Magazine. Its main attraction is a glass dance floor so shiny that patrons can see the reflection of their 5-inch stiletto heels in it. At The Glass Ceiling, every night is Ladies’ Night, but get there early—the bar closes at 10, as most patrons give up and head downtown to troll for men around that time, anyway.  

Signature Drink: The Third Wave—We take your regular old Sex on the Beach and add sugar to make it more palatable. With a Third Wave in your hand, you’ll feel justified Slutting It Up on the Beach, Withholding on the Beach, or trolling for men downtown.
Locations: Havana, Cuba; Oak Park, IL; New York, NY; Key West, FL; Paris, France; Ketchum, ID

The Bar: The No Effin Hemingway—Here is what will not happen at any of the bars in this laid-back, no-frills chain: No one in your party will say, “Ernest Hemingway used to drink here! Isn’t that fascinating?!” Someone else will not chime in with a Hemingway fact and conjecture such as “He could have penned A Goodbye to Arms right here at this table!” No one else will correct person number two. (“Actually, it’s A Farewell to Arms, Dave.”) And you will not sit there weeping with boredom because you know the ghost of Hemingway trivia will haunt your night, as it has done so many times before.

Signature Drink: The Moveable Feast—This is just a pitcher of Miller Lite— one of the few alcoholic beverages there is no record of Hemingway ever drinking.  
Location: Los Angeles, CA

The Bar: The Strip Tease—Like many bars in LA, The Strip Tease is in a strip mall. After paying a $10 cover, patrons are admitted into a room of red leather couches surrounding five shiny metal poles. This new LA hotspot is as perfect for a date night as it is for a guys’ night, since there are actually no strippers here. (That’s the tease.)

Signature Drink: The Stripper Crippler—Before trying our secret recipe, most people demand their $10 back. But after their first Stripper Crippler, patrons tend to cancel their subsequent plans and spend the entire evening with us, though sometimes they don’t know it.  

Location: Portland, OR

 The Bar: The Hipster Who Failed at Life—Talented, witty, unemployed writers and musicians flock from near and nearer to bask in the irony of this glorious dive. A back room called “the creative space” is equipped with dozens of electrical sockets and tabletops the exact size of a MacBook Pro, though regulars just know it as a place to buy and sell Oregon’s famed “prescribed medicinal” herb.
Signature Drink: The Whine-O. Schlitz is poured into a wine glass and served on a silver tray with a hot dog for $26. Parents’ credit cards are accepted.
Location: Cambridge, MA

 The Bar: The Wet Teachers’ Conference—Finally, a place for professors to let loose in a college kids’ town. Profs get dirty—and then get clean again—at The Wet Teachers’ Conference, where you must be at least 35 to get in. Every Wednesday is Tenure Night, which features half off Jell-O shots and an 8 o’clock Hose Down, wherein world-renowned tenured professors get really snockered and use garden hoses to spray teaching adjuncts in white t-shirts.

Signature Drink: The Harvard Crimson—White wine spritzer is mixed with the blood of the smart-aleck Harvard freshman who answered all his midterm questions with “Your mom.”
Location: Detroit, MI
The Bar: The Truck Stops—This comfortable, affordable new bar opens at 9 a.m. and, with conscious irony and sadness, runs on energy from solar panels imported from Japan.
Signature Drink: The Guzzler—Invest 20 beers of your life into this place, and surprise! –it’s closing time.
Emily Winter is an editor at