A good bar is needed and it can’t be far. The good bar is close enough to go whistling. The owner must be a foreigner, with an even more foreign name that yields an affectionate nickname. He has to have barely passable English, a thick accent, and be eccentric. The eccentricity of the good bar owner is of paramount importance to the success of the good bar — not financial success. If the bar goes really well, it will go really wrong. Then it won’t be good for anyone else — The bar has to be a “struggling middle-class business” that is, always between breaking even one month and wasting all the reserves it the next on some new novelty (which won’t work after a month and the bar will go back to being what is it).

This fine balance between conservatism and progressiveness is important so that both movements always fail for the success of the bar.

The food served can be basic and with options just to satisfy your convenience of staying there. The drinks must have the obligatory variety: beers, soft drinks, spirits, and three dusty bottles of wine for a possible improvident customer or a new friend of a patron who is still ignorant of what constitutes a good bar. There also has to be that right drink for you, which only in a good bar is mixed the way you want it or the way it should be mixed.

The bartender always needs to be clearly capable of having a better job, but can’t stand the idea of ​​just being a customer. He must speak English, Spanish, and two more languages with no fluency at all. A good bartender has between five and ten years of experience in the finesse of dealing with the inconveniences of alcoholics, working (or between jobs) girls, criminals (or police officers), stressed businessmen, and young men around a table asking for a can of soda and four glasses. A good bartender understands the door, the cashier, the lighting dimmer, the owner’s English, and the musical selection for the good bar.

He knows you by name and fills you in on what happened during your absence. He knows your friends, dislikes, and even that person you have your eye on. About that last one: he wanted to be able to help more with this predicament, but you would have to tell him that you would take the risk and accept his intrusion. If you don’t accept, he’ll mediate it anyway because he’s a good bartender and wants you well.

If there are waiters or waitresses, they will be first-rate creatures: they are the kind of people very warm with each other and surprisingly capable of having a great time traveling together. Sometimes to countries you have never been to or intend to go to. They are just like that. They go abroad, disappear for a while, and then return with new stories, hairstyles, and even your order. They are light, fun, and above all very friendly… people you wish were your cousins ​​in the closest possible degree.

When you arrive at a good bar, friends are always there, even if they are those you don’t know yet… because in the end, with yours 18 percent or more, that’s what a good bar exists for: to take your shoulders off the outside weight with the lightness of the stories that will begin there. The good bar is for the good customer who leased it with his heart and unofficially adverse possession. It closes late and happily, radiating a feeling of accomplishment for those who serve and those who pay. The good bar is close by and without many obstacles to tipsily dodge on your way back home. May you have a sound sleep. Amen.

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