The Welcome Home Feeling - What Makes the Best Bar

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One of the most exciting things about London is the night life. Like New York, London has a reputation as one of the best cities for cocktail bars. As a former bartender and a designer I always find it fascinating the feeling I get when I enter a bar.

Generally, many of the bars' features are the same; the music is the same, the beers are the same, and even the people are dressed the same. So why do we choose to go to a specific bar? And more importantly, why do we choose to go back to it? 

Let's think about a situation: you want to go out for a drink, you dress nice, you go online to and choose a random cocktail bar that you think will make you feel as if you're in a movie. 

You enter the bar and the hostess leads you to your seat. Now, for those of you who aren't familiar with the feeling that you have when you first see the bartender, let me describe it. 

It is like the feeling you get when you meet your blind date for the first time, after 1 second you know if it’s a go or no go. 

Now my point is: no matter who you are with, no matter what music is playing in the background, no matter what you will choose to drink, the bartender is the most important factor in your evening fun. 

At this moment, he is God. It's in his hands to determine if you'll finish your night hugging the cute redhead from across the bar, or… well, or not. 

I have a magic list; in that list there are dozens of the most amazing bars in the world. I try to visit as many as I can and I can tell you without a doubt, the bars I have enjoyed the most are the ones in which the bartender gave me the "welcome home " feeling. 

On the other hand, the bars that I didn’t enjoy are the ones that I felt like I was interrupting in the sacred work of the mixologist. Those bartenders shake and stir and measure and serve the cocktail in a way that makes open-heart surgery look like a stroll in the park. 

YOU are no interest to them in any way. 

I am positive that what I remember from all the bars I have been to is not the taste of the cocktail, nor the interior design, or the music; it’s the welcome home feeling. 

Soooooo bartenders of the world, I LOVE the double shake and triple strain and the salty frosting on the margarita, as well as the perfect ice cube you have delicately hand crafted just for me. 

But, not on the expense of the smile and the attention which are the special ingredient for the best bar in the world!

Moran Strassler is a designer from Tel- aviv living in London.

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