When we’re younger, there’s certainly power in numbers. Looking back to my twenties, I remember how my friends and I wouldn’t even walk into a bar by ourselves. Instead we’d wait outside for a wingman, even in 15-degree weather. By the time I reached my mid-thirties, I realized this group approach wasn’t working, so I decided to try a new one… Going out by myself. Fortunately I can now afford a $20 cocktail or glass of wine, so there’s nothing stopping me from sidling up to the best bars in New York City (and Miami, the Hamptons and L.A.) and putting my own skills to the test.
But I’m not really alone. My wingman? The bartender. These men and women have seen it all, and I’m picking their brains for the best advice (and the biggest no-nos) that will help me achieve my goal. (My blog, Bartender, ManStraightUp! chronicles all of my escapades.) Technically any bar will do, but there’s a method to my madness. I’m zeroing in on testosterone-heavy hotspots where there’s bound to be a man or two that strikes my fancy. Here, my targets…
1. The steakhouse. Honestly, meeting a man at a steakhouse is like shooting a fish in a barrel. And you’re more likely to meet GROUPS of men than a man sitting by himself. Do yourself a favor and brush up on the whiskey, scotch or cigar basics. Those topics are sure to grab (and keep) a man’s attention in these establishments.
2. The sports bar. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a watering hole with more testosterone than a sports bar. Before you go, make sure you actually know which sporting events are happening on a given evening, or better yet, read the ESPN.com headlines before hitting the town.
3. The hotel bar. I like hotel bars for many reasons. For one, they’re inherently social and designed for people watching. They’re also filled with men who are traveling, so odds are they’re looking for a little conversation or company—and I don’t mean that in a prostitution-solicitation way.
4. The speakeasy. We all know how men hate asking for directions, so you better believe they’re going to seek out one of these underground establishments—and keep going back once they find the door. These bars are also known for having a gimmick (and I don’t mean that negatively). Whether they use the best ice in town or only fresh-squeezed juices, men (especially ones who think they’re ahead of the curve) are going to scope out these places for future dates.
5. The trendy bar. I’ll admit it, I love myself a trendy bar. I like being able to say, “I’ve been there” when someone asks if I’ve heard of so-and-so, and I’d like to share my passion for the latest and greatest with a guy who feels the same. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met my fair share of jerks in these places, but since I’ve started enlisting help from bartenders, my outings have been a lot more fruitful.