Lying Media Bastards

June 4, 2006

Last Call

I keep writing the same essay in different ways, and it’s just not coming out right. So here’s the short version.

What is the future of bars in America? Nearly all the development that goes on, at least in suburban southern California, is track housing and strip malls. And strip malls, in their efforts to be “family friendly”, don’t have bars. Older parts of town have them, new ones don’t.

The two exceptions to this seem to be a) the family “bar & grill” restaurant franchise, which sort of have bars in the middle (e.g. Applebees), and b) the sports bar.

Sorry, this question’s been digging away at me for days. What do y’all think?

Posted by Jake on June 4, 2006 8:20 pm


  1. You forgot Coyote Ugly.

    Comment by Piper — June 5, 2006 @ 8:28 am

  2. Since the party has now changed to Starbucks addiction, they will just keep building those into grocery stores and every space they can. Caffinated beverages all ’round.

    Comment by Christine Taylor — June 5, 2006 @ 8:45 am

  3. i live in new york city, so i don’t really see the dominion of bars coming to end anytime soon here, but i guess its possible for bar-free “communities” in suburban america. on one hand, its just one more way to prevent people for socializing together, on the other, if people have to do their drinking at home, they might be less prone to drink and drive.

    Comment by kittie k. — June 5, 2006 @ 12:08 pm

  4. Kittie, coming from New Mexico, the highest drunk driving fatality rate, it doesn’t matter where they drink. Most drunk drunks drink at home, alone from others. We have many multiple DUI offenders, and these are the ones who aren’t out for social drinks but are hopelessly addicted regardless of social activity. It may have an impact to have fewer bars but it is negligible.

    Comment by Brian/Buddy — June 5, 2006 @ 1:27 pm

  5. well then, there is no plus side other than suburbanized are further atomized into individual identical plots in individual identical homes.

    Comment by kittie k. — June 5, 2006 @ 11:15 pm

  6. I find it interesting/depressing/telling that these Applebees/Sports bar monstrosities with inescapable TVs in every nook and cranny are replacing the sorts of places where folks might occasionally go and, you know, talk to one another. It’s really kind of the suburban social model in miniature: reside shoulder to shoulder with your neighbors, but don’t actually live in the same place.

    Comment by ChrisTheRed — June 6, 2006 @ 3:54 am

  7. yeah, i was very sad when this fantastic jazz bar where i live got bought out by some guy who turned it into a sports bar. it had been around for decades and was such a cool place… now it’s like everywhere else.

    Comment by holly — June 6, 2006 @ 6:48 am

  8. I just came back from a trip to Atlanta, where I was out in the suburbs and I’m pleased to report that there’s at least one strip mall there that has a fairly decent pub. Ok, so it’s part of a chain, but still it’s a pub.

    Comment by cm — June 7, 2006 @ 5:50 pm

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