AdviceBoozeSex and Dating

How to Meet People at Bars

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news


Are you new in town? Or are you just tired of hanging out with the same old bunch of losers and are looking to meet some new people? The natural place for most of us to find ourselves surrounded by others are in local watering holes. There can be both advantages and disadvantages of meeting someone in a bar. First of all, bars can be dark, loud and crowded – making it difficult to make conversation with the cute guy or girl standing next to you. Whether you are looking for your future ex-wife or just a drinking buddy, here are some tips on making new friends in a bar:

1) Location

Choose a bar or pub close that you want to concentrate your efforts on. Maybe it is close to home, maybe you pass by it everyday after work, or maybe you just think it looks cool. Frequenting the same place often will increase your chances of running into the same people.

2) Timing

Pick a time that your bar of choice is not super busy. This way you won’t look too out of place when you take a seat at the bar alone. Late afternoon is usually a good time to step in for a drink and meet the local crowd.

3) Occupy Yourself

Take a newspaper or a notebook to keep yourself busy. Headlines can often be used as conversation starters. Don’t just sit there with your smart phone and text, obsess over Words with Friends or surf the net all day. You will look unapproachable and too annoying to talk to.

4) Learn to Eat Out Alone

Go to a bar or pub that serves food. It doesn’t matter if it is finger-food or gourmet grub, the fact that you can sit by yourself and eat alone shows others that you are confident. Food always makes a good conversation starter, even if you start by asking the waiter what they recommend.

5) Spark a Conversation with the Bartender

Bartenders are otherwise known as psychologists of lonely, thirsty souls. Take your chances and exchange a few words with the person serving you drinks. Don’t talk about something lame like the weather…talk about something current, like the so-called ban on alcohol at Bay to Breakers this year. Or if you can tell a good joke, now is the time to do it.

6) Sit at the Bar

Sitting at the bar increases your chances of sitting next to someone else who wants to chat. Use the advantage of proximity to ask the guy next to you his opinion of Donald Trump running for president. Don’t start a sob-story about how your boyfriend recently dumped you, or you will just seem desperate and pathetic.

7) Introduce Yourself to a Group

Even if it kills you to talk to a group of strangers, give it a shot. What have you got to lose? Go up to a table and introduce yourself as the new guy in town. Ask if you can sit with them. Hold a light-hearted conversation and impress the shit out of them. If they don’t let you sit down with them, fuck ‘em…go back and have another shot of whiskey at the bar alone. You’ll show them who the real bad-ass is!

8) Offer to Buy a Drink for Someone

This step is a bit tricky. It all depends on the person you are interested in buying a drink for. If you are a guy trying to buy a girl a drink, make sure you don’t make it seem like you are just want to get in her pants. Try talking to her first before you just straight offer a drink. Let her know you’re intentions. Some broke-ass girls will take you up on the offer no matter what, so don’t get all bummed out if she takes the drink and walks away. If you’re a girl buying a guy a drink, this comes off as forward and self-assured. If you want to buy someone of the same sex a drink, make sure you know their sexual orientation before you get yourself into a sticky situation.


9) Play Pool

Having some sort of bar skills such as playing pool or shuffleboard is always a good way to meet other people in a friendly competition. Put your name up on the list, and you never know – you may become best friends with your opponent!


10) Drink Responsibly

Nobody wants to talk to that wasted guy at the bar or that girl passed out in the corner. Make sure you can hold your liquor before you try talking to anybody. It is normal to feel more confident with a few drinks in you, just make sure you don’t go overboard and scare people away. If there happens to be dancing in the bar, don’t start freaking people you don’t know. That may result in a slap across the face!




Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

Triple Crown of Yo-Yo Competition

Next post

Meet Chelsea Handler Without Being 50 Cent

Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Heidi works for a non-profit cultural exchange organization helping others experience life from a different perspective. She likes magnetizing the obscure and scavenging the city for fun, free things to do. She is a world traveler, a freelance writer and a spontaneous chef. She is also said to be part-mermaid.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous
    May 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    erroneously swapping the word “your” for “you’re” and vice versa is dangerous and offensive. to some people. well, to me. i’ll stop now.