Monday, May 29, 2017

A note from Henry Moore & The FitWell Traveler

How Bars Save Your Town
(And Not Just From Boredom)

When it’s the weekend and there’s nothing really to do, you always have a great backup plan: the neighborhood bar. Whether you’re just heading over for a quick bite, to meet some friends, or to hear some music, you know it will always be there.

Sadly, that’s not entirely true. Local breweries, bars, and pubs can fade away when too few people in the area visit them. Tourists tend to hit chain restaurants and bars because they know what they’re like; each one of them is the same. But locals should go to local establishments.

That’s not just because these places are great for giving you something to do. Local drinking establishments can help save the community by giving residents a place to socialize, bringing in dollars, and promoting the local music and arts scene.

Image Source: Pixabay

A Place To Meet & Hang Out

Bars tend to be a third space for people. Home is your first space. Work is your second. Both are great places to spend time (well, work can be a great place) and socialize with others, but it helps to have a third space. You can socialize outside of the rules of work or family.

That’s why local taverns and bars tend to be great places to have conversations. You aren’t bound by the restrictions of fitting into the home or work environments. Instead, as political leaders in the 19th Century discovered, you can speak freely and talk about things you can’t discuss elsewhere.

But local breweries, bars, and pubs are also places for locals to belong. Sometimes, this centers around the local baseball, football, or hockey team. If you’re a Bears fan, you are not just welcome in just about every Chicago bar — you are part of their “family.” These drinking establishments have become centers of the community almost by default. There just isn’t a similar place outside of the local bar.

Buy Local, Drink Local

In recent years, there’s been a movement to build sustainable neighborhoods. This is when you can get all your needs met locally: there’s a grocery store nearby, a pharmacy down the street, and so on. By keeping everything as local as possible, you build a better sense of community.

By keeping local drinking establishments alive, you add to that sense of community. It’s also safer because, by living close by, you won’t have to worry so much as drinking and driving. But drinking locally is another form of “buy local.” It helps keep money right in your own neighborhood.

This is especially true for local breweries. Not only do they hire locals as bartenders and wait staff, they need qualified, skilled labor to help brew their beer. They also tend to bring in tourist dollars, helping pump more cash into the local economy, helping to save your town.

Hosting Artists (When Others Won’t)

When it comes to big-name musicians, speakers, and artists, they go to big arenas and halls. Those places are more-or-less closed to artists who haven’t yet made a name for themselves. That’s another way a local drinking establishment can save your town — promoting local artists.

Where else is a band going to get its start? Where else can local comedians, painters, and other artists find a venue for their work? Not only does this help give your neighbors a space to show off their craft, it gives you a chance to enjoy some entertainment without paying so much money.

Much More Than A Drinking Spot

That bar down the street is much more than a place to enjoy alcohol responsibly. It’s a place that can help save your neighborhood and town by giving people a much-needed space to socialize in. They also provide a sense of community, help the local economy, and promote the local arts scene. Not too shabby for one local joint.

Author: Henry Moore

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