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Ask a Bartender: What 3 Words Describe Your Ideal Bar?

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Armand Rodriguez of Juvia in Miami

We all have some notion of our ideal bar. Maybe it's a question of liquor offerings or atmosphere, maybe it's about attitude or the music playing in the background. But let's distill it to the core—what's truly important to us in a drinking establishment?

We asked a few of our favorite bartenders to describe their ideal bar in three words. Here's what they had to say.


"Hole in wall." — Armand Rodriguez (Juvia)

"Built around guests." — Dean Feddaoui (Jackson 20)

"Rock. Whiskey.¬†Unpretentious.¬† Difficult to find,¬†but will be frequented many times when I do find it." — Roger Bailey (Filini Bar and Restaurant)

"Dark. Spirited. Cozy." — Darren Crawford (Krescendo, Bourbon & Branch)

"Rum, rhum, rum." — Kevin Peters (Bathtub Gin)

Jonathan Harris of Firefly in DC.

"Velvet, leather, go-go boots." — Jonathan Harris (Firefly)

"Cozy rooftop lounge." — Miri Kolici (Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel)

"Casual, Approachable, FUN." —Kevin Diedrich (Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen)

"Unpretentious, resourceful, gracious." — Greg Sorrell (The Patterson House)

"Wood, brass, and mirrors." — Luiz "Papa" DaHora (The Park Bistro & Bar)

Back Problems

Elizabeth Powell of Liberty Bar in Seattle

"Height. Appropriate. Bartop." — Elizabeth Powell (Liberty Bar)

"Loud, dim, and full." — Brian Kane (Zahav)

"Modern. Fun. Welcoming." — Juan Carlos (Copita Tequileria y Comida)

"Dark. Cheap. Friendly." — Peter Abbruscato (Pork Slope)

Lauren Lathrop Williams of Jsix in San Diego

"Dim, jovial, neighborhoody. You didn't say they had to be real words." — Lauren Lathrop Williams (Jsix Restaurant)

"Cocktail sports bar." — Nate Howell (Cusp Dining & Drinks)

"Dark, anonymous and cozy." — Kat Dunn (Fish & Game)

"Clean, efficient, and consistent." — Barbaro Dominguez (Juvia)

Stabbed With Ice Picks

Pamela Wiznitzer of Dead Rabbit in NYC

"Fun, Friends, Hospitality." — Pamela Wiznitzer (Dead Rabbit)

"Clean, friendly, and fun." — Griffin Elliott (Sepia)

"Music, Smiles, and Drinks."— Justin Fairweather (Evelyn Drinkery)

"Hospitable, knowledgeable, FUN!!" — Jen Queen (Saltbox Dining & Drinking)

"Beer and Bourbon." — Adam Karpf (Oak)

Marci Wenrich of Pakpao in Dallas

"Warm, great lighting, energetic. (That's four, I know...)" — Marci Wenrich (Pakpao)

"Personal, local, meticulous." — Dan Andruss (312 Chicago)

"Friendly, open, whiskied." —Mike Ryan (Sable)

"Convivial, lurid, free." — Sarah Mengoni (South Water Kitchen)

What's Yours?

Enough of these folks—how would you describe your ideal bar in three words?

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