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Thread: Bar Blocking A Cardinal Sin Or Not?

  1. #1
    Still about Mobyduck's Avatar
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    Default Bar Blocking A Cardinal Sin Or Not?

    Over the years of participating on this forum and others as well as reading countless pub reviews , I can't help noticing that the general practice of bar blocking is generally derided and sneered at, I would suggest that most active members on here have probably mentioned it in a negative way, in a review at some time or other. It is however, I would suggest part of traditional pub culture, certainly in traditional locals pubs where the greater percentage of customers all know each other and repeat the same ritual day in day out. This is the culture I was brought up in and still practice to this day, well until a week and a bit ago anyway.
    I am suggesting again, and these are only my thoughts , may not be in the mainstream, that pub goers that dislike , are annoyed, Intimidated?, by this practice are solo operators who travel on the most part alone visiting new pubs and therefore are a stranger in that pub. I do both I have (had) two local pubs I use on a regular basis, i.e. I am in one or the other at some point most days of the week and yes I am guilty of sitting at the bar, that's where most of the interaction is.Of course I also travel about a bit on crawls, more often than not solo, more so than in the past as my drinking crew are generally older than me and are beginning to suffer the march of time, but when I am alone in a new pub I am never troubled by a sea of blokes sat at the bar, nearly always they are happy to move sideways to let me see whats on offer. To me such scenes signs of a proper pub. Am I alone in the way I see this?
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    Glass Half Empty Brainypool's Avatar
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    As long as I can actually get through to the bar, I don’t have any problem with it. As you say it’s a sign of a proper pub where the regulars are part of the furniture. And the bar blockers will very often be the ones that will welcome you to the pub, bring you into the conversation, tell you about the beer etc

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    This Space For Hire Real Ale Ray's Avatar
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    I too prefer to stand or sit at the bar, especially if I'm out on my own on a quite midweek afternoon visit to the pub. You get into conversation with the bar staff and other customers this way. If it is a busy pub, I always stand back and give people some space to see what's on the pumps.
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    This Space For Hire Aqualung's Avatar
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    I used to stand at the bar but for many years now I can't comfortably stand anywhere for an extended time. I find tall stools or chairs extremely uncomfortable and don't like sofa or armchair seating.
    The worst cases of bar flies is where a bar has seating along the entire length and they are all taken up. Even if all the seats are not taken they are still an obstacle. Ideally bar seating should be just at either side of where most serving goes on. Another annoying thing is two people standing at the bar talking to each other but standing a few feet apart. This is unconnected to the recent social distancing.

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    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    Depends where you're sitting or standing

    I think Moby's got it about right, I will stand or sit at the bar in pubs where I am enough of a regular but on my solo jaunts I get a beer and sit or stand elsewhere. Bar blockers are only a problem when they are blockers, either blocking a view of the pumps (usually bloody lager drinkers) or entirely blocking access to getting served. Pet hate: "the wall of arses" in both senses of the word.
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    we are the drunk and disorderly,
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    and we’ll meet you all in a pub said he.

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    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboots View Post
    on my solo jaunts I get a beer and sit or stand elsewhere
    Me too, except for places 'offering' table service where I resolutely remain at the counter (and pocket my own gratuity) or in the more up-themselves gastro-pubs when I can't be bothered with the "can I bring you a menu" hassle when sitting at a clearly empty table laid up for those dining.

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    Depends.

    At its worst you find a smallish bar counter with a horseshoe of punters from one end to the other. Your task is to obtain four drinks, which means standing in the middle of the sem-circle with people shouting over you. You deliver the first two drinks and return for the others to find someone else in the middle on the same mission as you. Beer is easily spilled. The whole thing is annoying for everyone, including, I suspect, the members of the semi-circle.

    In any case I never drink standing up unless it's the swiftest of halves.
    Last edited by NickDavies; 29-03-2020 at 19:47.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboots View Post
    Depends where you're sitting or standing

    I think Moby's got it about right, I will stand or sit at the bar in pubs where I am enough of a regular but on my solo jaunts I get a beer and sit or stand elsewhere. Bar blockers are only a problem when they are blockers, either blocking a view of the pumps (usually bloody lager drinkers) or entirely blocking access to getting served. Pet hate: "the wall of arses" in both senses of the word.
    Yup. I think the difference is people at the bar in a goodly traditional manner and an impenetrable wall of 'barholes', glued to a stool and who won't budge, however politely you ask them.

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    As a beer ticker I want to see whats on the pumps and get close to read the abv.Rarely find a problem but ask the blockers to move so I can see them or ask them to read the abv for me.I often find it leads to a conversation about beers. I think all cask pumpclips should be about a foot square to help the elderly like me. Craft beer boards are a boon.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tris39 View Post
    Yup. I think the difference is people at the bar in a goodly traditional manner and an impenetrable wall of 'barholes', glued to a stool and who won't budge, however politely you ask them.
    I think you and oldboots have hit the nail on the head here.

    I want to be able to see the pump clips and get to the bar to order without having to shout over a row of people.

    So long as the people at the bar have some kind of self awareness and are happy to budge out of the way, it's not usually a problem.

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