If you’re considering opening a new bar…

Photo by Cater Yang on Unsplash

I live right around the corner from a bar that has one of the finest selections of German beer -probably in the entire state of Chicago (yes, to me, Chicago is a state).

It’s called Resi’s Bierstube. This place is classic Chicago, opened in 1973. People go out of their way to have a couple beers and a shot of Bärenjäger there.

Anyhow, my wife has a friend in town from Germany, so of course, we had to take her to the Bierstube to test its authenticity. So we’re there eating some potato pancakes and schnitzel and having drinks when suddenly, I notice… Holy hell… Everyone is looking at the television.

Human connection. 

I know I bitch and moan about the distractions of tech a lot. Mostly, I’m bitching and moaning at myself. I’m openly a hypocrite here.

I found myself, in that cozy little awesome bar with great beer and fantastic company, twisted around in my seat staring at a horribly-dressed news anchor as he yapped about the ‘apocalyptic snow storm’ that just hit Chicago (and no, it was not apocalyptic at all — it was quite peaceful, actually, from my living room staring out feeling grateful I didn’t have to drive in it).

Even after I recognized what was happening, it was hard to ignore that damn screen.

This is what I can’t stand about bars in the US… 98% of them are plastered with TV’s. (I love what I hear about pubs in Ireland — no TV’s.)

Trust me… I still love the Bierstube. I will continue to be a patron. Their classic hole-in-the-wall Chicago vibe, good food, and great selection of beer make up for their TV use (and it’s not nearly as bad as our sports bars). I’m just saying…

So, a couple things here.

First, if you’re considering opening a new bar, please don’t install televisions.

Ignore the urge of your inner American and the very real complaints of some of your patrons. Be bold. Do something different. Design your bar around human connection. It would be a remarkable thing for those of us who want it.

Secondly, this ties directly into content creation and creative work in general.

Yes, everyone focuses on the flashy, headliney, shiny, tabloidey thing. Yes, clickbait will trigger our lizard brains and get our attention.

But afterwards, will we be feeling better about you and ourselves because of it? Will you truly be remarkable?

Try something different. Shoot for content based around passion, enthusiasm, care, and connection.

Try creating work designed to make an imprint on our hearts rather than inciting our nerves and triggering our egos.

You may not find the masses rushing in, but the ones who do will know that they’ve found something that’s meant to be treasured and shared with those who ‘get it’.

I don’t know about you, but these are the only ones I want hanging out at my bar.