The one bar I will never miss

But cheers to the rest of them.

Welcome to Uncultured, bringing one more email and a lot more culture to your inbox. Subscribe for free and you’ll never miss an issue.

Just how much do you miss going to bars? Slip on some headphones, head over to imissmybar.com, and find out.

This audio project comes courtesy of a bar called Maverick in San Pedro Garza García, Mexico, and as a barfly simulation it’s surprisingly effective.

You can customize the ambience to raise or lower the volume on the clinking of glasses, patrons chattering, a bartender mixing drinks, rain tapping on windows, street noise, and summery night sounds like chirping crickets. It’s even got a decent Spotify playlist, rotated weekly.

Share

And so it is that I’m sitting at my desk with goosebumps up my neck, and a longing to be around strangers, sipping something stronger than this mug of tepid rooibos tea. Turns out I do miss bars after all.

There’s a good mix of sounds here, though after a while it gets repetitive. For variety I’d add a crowd cheering on a sporting event, the mechanics of a jukebox, and the mashing of buttons on a retro videogame cabinet. Guess it’s not that kind of bar.

But there are some sounds I would never feel are missing from my bar experience:

  • a Slurpee machine

  • high-schoolers microwaving burritos

  • customers paying for gas

  • the whirr of many, many refrigerators

  • dreams dying.

Have a listen, and imagine trying to relax with a cocktail to these vibes:

I’m talking, of course, about the biggest little news item out of Ontario this week: the revelation that 7-Eleven stores across the province have applied for liquor licenses — not so that customers can buy beer or wine to go, but for that beer or wine to actually be served, and ingested, in a designated in-store drinking area.

I went to my nearest location on Dundas West, an area already thick with delightful licensed establishments, to confirm whether we’ll also be getting a shitty one.

Indeed we are. That is, if the application is ever approved.

Go ahead and see for yourself if you, too, might get a convenience-store cantina in your neighbourhood.

There are various grounds on which to object to such an idea, but for me it’s just one: why? When restaurants and bars have been struggling for months under lockdown just to stay afloat (and many of them won’t), why add cheap competition from a retail giant?

Seven-Eleven is a great place to buy junky snacks, exchange propane tanks, use the ATM, cash in lottery tickets.

It’s the place you want to go to after a night of drinking, at which point those two-for-$5 slices of salty pizza tanning behind glass are exactly what you crave. You’re there for us, 7-Eleven, with bags of Doritos and tall cans of sugary iced tea just when we need you the most. You’re our Cinderella in reverse, magically transforming into a fluorescent-lit princess after midnight.

Don’t spoil a good thing by having us start the night there, slouching on a vinyl stool squeezed between the Blueberry Blasts and the day-old Taquitos, knocking back buck-a-beers out of a Big Gulp cup.

We don’t wanna go where nobody knows your name.

Like what you see here? Please tell your friends.
An easy way to share is by clicking this link in your inbox, which will generate a handy pre-written message that you can forward to anyone who might enjoy joining the Uncultured club. As a token of thanks, claim some free swag by clicking here.
Lockdown means we can’t go for beers, but you can always buy me a coffee.
In lieu of tips, please click the ♡ on the way out.
Talk soon.