The Endorsement: Working at the Bar

Ditch the coffee shop Wi-Fi routine and get a few things done with a drink in hand and a snack nearby.


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I’m writing this post from a bar.

Okay, full disclosure: I got a table. But I’m very close to the bar. It’s right over there.

I went in to work today knowing two things: one, that I had a great deal to get done, and two, that I was not going to allow that level of activity to force me into a vending-machine lunch. And while I could’ve earmarked this noontime foray for any number of tasks, at any number of locations, I got to thinking: more people should get work done at bars.

For too long, the coffee shop has reigned supreme among places to complete tasks in public. And yes, caffeine is a better work aid than alcohol. But the remainder of the java palace experience — the easy chairs, the faux-fireplace lighting, the obtrusively poignant soundtrack, the scones — is designed for conversation, not creation.

Bars, on the other hand, are designed to get you to sit in one place for an indefinite amount of time. They have big tables. And many boast a variety of snack-appropriate food. These factors make them pretty much ideal for out-of-the-office task completion.

Right now, for example, I’m on the bar side of Luke Wholey’s Wild Alaskan Grille in the Strip. The bar and restaurant has a serious seafood menu — oysters, lunch specials with a variety of fish over rice or salad, pasta entrees, po’boys and ahi tuna sandwiches and many more. To accompany all that ocean bounty, they have a dozen beers on tap and a laundry list of bottles, a perfectly respectable wine list and a selection of (mostly sweeter) cocktails. (Don’t underestimate the pairing of rum, sugar and a seafood entree.)

As I type this, I’m eating a very tasty shrimp po’boy and sipping a pint of Magners Cider. I can pause to look out on a bright, busy day on Penn Avenue, and the speakers are softly mixing a soundtrack of jazz, classical and standards into a mellow crowd. The service was remarkably quick, and the Wi-Fi (obviously enough) is free.

I could be trying to figure out how to balance a muffin, a Pumpkin whatever and this laptop on the arms of my chair at a coffee house — or I could be at my desk with a bag of Goldfish crackers. But I’m not. I’m at the bar. With a po’boy. And a beer.

So if you’re reading this with plenty to do and a growing sense of restlessness, grab a laptop or tablet and head for a Wi-Fi-friendly pub. (Searching for “Wi-Fi” on Yelp will yield a list of bars, restaurants and coffee shops that can hook you up). Gonna be a late night? That doesn’t mean you can’t work through dinner with a beer in hand. And your improved outlook will likely lead you to get more done than you had intended.

If you’re near the Strip, I can certainly recommend Luke Wholey’s as a fine place to get a few things done. If you’re not, experiment.

Maybe avoid the sports bars, though. Buffalo sauce and laptops do not get along. I speak from experience.

Categories: After Dark