The Man About Town Guide To Effective Bar Hopping
As any popular man-about-town will tell you, there is a fine art to bar hopping that can be the difference between social stardom and social suicide. That being said, if you spend too much time worrying about the 'Golden Rules' of bar hopping then you'll most likely lose the fun factor of actually going out and mingling in the first place. This article isn't intended to ensure you follow each rule religiously. Instead, we've compiled a set of guidelines that can help to make your evening a success. So go out, have fun, socialize, drink, be merry and live your life to the fullest using our Man-About-Town Guide To Effective Bar Hopping.
Organization and Transport
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Okay, we'll get the boring bit over with right off the bat because most people don't really care about how they're getting to the club or where they're meeting their friends. However, I've seen many a good night ruined because of poor planning ahead of the event. At the very least you need to know where your friends are going to be. Arranging a time and place before going out is essential because once you're in a bar and it's loud and crowded, your friends might not hear their phone going off. Before you know it you're spending half the night going to different bars and clubs trying to find them. Once you do, you've already lost the party mood and the night is wasted.
You might also want to arrange car sharing or splitting the cost of a taxi between as many friends as possible. Not only do you get to have fun and games while you're heading out to the bars, you'll also save valuable beer money by cutting the costs. This is all fairly common sense but you would be surprised how many people don't plan ahead and end up having a terrible time as a result. I'm not saying you need to prepare a full-on social tactical mission, but a few minutes calling your friends can make all the difference.
You're going to need to stay connected to the guys throughout the night as well, so use text messages to communicate if you ever get lost. I'll never forget the time I was looking for my friend in a crowded club and he got me on a 3G video call while he was 'getting acquainted' with a girl in the toilets. Absolutely legendary.
Choose the cheapest place first
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Whatever town or city or country you're partying in, there is always at least one bar with cheap alcohol on offer. This should be your first point of call to start the evening with a bang. Getting merry here will save you a fortune later, especially if you're going to a nightclub where they charge extortionate amounts for bottled water let alone your triple-JD and coke. This is the ideal place for you to buy the rounds (if you and your friends do the rounds thing) because it will be cheaper than at venues later in the evening.
You can also take this time to catch up with your friends on their day and generally just have a good time while inebriating yourself. Later, when you might well be looking to court a young woman - you can be confident that you won't offend your friends by leaving them to their own devices.
How to get the barman's attention
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One of the best skills in your arsenal is being able to get the barman's attention quickly at an overcrowded bar. I've seen friends of mine ignored for up to 10 minutes while trying to get just one drink for themselves. If you're female it seems so much easier because leaning forward to show just a hint of ample cleavage is enough for most red-blooded barmen to be over like a shot. For the guys, it's a little more difficult.
Leaning forward while holding your money in a prominent position seems to work well. It signifies your intent to buy and many bartenders will acknowledge that. Another way is to become friendly with the bartenders outside of peak times. Perhaps visit a few bars earlier in the evening for a few weeks and get to know them on a name-to-name basis. You could also tip them like a gentleman after the first round, encouraging them to be more prompt with their service next time you get the drinks in.
Play drinking games to get the party started
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There's nothing like a good drinking game to liven up the mood and atmosphere to have a great night. Sure, you could sit around and talk while drinking and you'd still have a bit of fun and get drunk - but wouldn't you prefer the challenge of a competitive drinking game? How much would you give to be the only Centurion standing (the only guy to drink 100 shots of beer in 100 minutes without puking/peeing)?
Drinking games add variety to any evening and, since you'll get pretty drunk, tend to make it a whole lot more entertaining. As always though, alcohol is best consumed responsibly. [Had to put that disclaimer out there, just in case.]
Always dance like a man
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The problem with bar hopping is that with the power of alcohol comes great responsibility. The responsibility that you owe yourself to not dance like this guy:
Now if you've got the moves then by all means use them. Personally, I tend to favor the Will Smith ? la Hitch school of dancing. Sidestepping left and right with minimal movement, keeping to the rhythm of the music. Of course once alcohol has lubricated my joints, my hips become possessed and I look like Shakira in a hurricane, so I obviously try to downplay my dancing as much as possible.
Choose spots with a favorable Girl:Guy ratio
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Whoever coined the expression 'bros before hoes' obviously didn't have a snowball in hells chance of getting some. You'll want to pick a bar/club with a favorable girl to guy ratio. As a friend of mine so eloquently put it, "Nobody wants to bar hop with a sausage fest of dudes!"
Once you pick a decent place and you've got good odds you can start to make a beeline for the ladies. Ideally, you'd want to hook up with a similar size group to you and your friends and have a good old merry time together. If you do pair off with a broad be sure to make her laugh and she'll love you for it. If you're out to get incredibly drunk with your friends however, get her number and get back to your pals. You don't want to be dribbling all over her in a drunken stupor later in the evening because that will just about ruin your chances of getting anywhere with her.
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Bouncers can be the bane of your life if you let them. The majority of doormen I've met are ego-driven men on a serious power trip. The best way to deal with them is to remain polite and friendly with them as much as possible. These guys are practically looking for an excuse to give you a good kicking. If, for some reason, you get refused entry to the club - just be calm and collected and leave with your head held high. (Take a few hot women from the queue with you if you can)
I've often found that befriending bouncers in the same kind of way as befriending a bartender can help you to get preferential treatment too. I've regularly found myself jumping the queue and sometimes even land an entry to the VIP section. I did it by tipping a couple of bouncers and then striking up a conversation with them about how often they get tips and what time they are working till etc. Once I'm on first name terms with a bouncer, it's much easier to swan up to them and be like "Hey Chuck" while walking straight past the queue of 10 people waiting to get in.
The pre-gaming ritual
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Pre-gaming can be as much fun as, if not more so, than going out itself. It involves a group of friends meeting up earlier in the day to drink, be merry and enjoy some quality male bonding before you head off the the club. You buy-in large quantities of alcohol for low prices and proceed to get plastered at a fraction of the cost of drinks in a bar. It's the perfect warm up.
A personal favorite for me and my friends is to put on an action movie and for every gunshot, explosion and fight scene - you take a shot of your chosen poison. It's fun, entertaining, and it can get you totally wrecked in no time at all. The only bad pre-gaming experience I had was when a few of the guys made a bet with my friend Rob. All he had to do was neck a pint of vodka and his drinks would be bought for him all evening. He did the bet and seemed fine....until we got outside and the fresh air hit him. He didn't make it out with us that night but it did made for a pretty great pre-gaming story!
Always carry enough cash
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Not all bars and clubs allow you to paid by card and sometimes, you can be in the middle of nowhere which means no ATM either. You'll need to carry some cash in your wallet for buying rounds and getting into clubs too. In fact, I often take out the amount of cash I want to spend that evening and then leave all bank cards at home. Like most men, when I get drunk I can sometimes throw caution to the wind and buy a round for everyone, including the porn star I've just met and the entire cast of Shaving Ryan's Privates.
You also need to be careful that you don't flaunt your money around because there are always unscrupulous people out there who will be looking to take advantage of your drunken state.
Always dress to impress
Although many bars allow you to get in wearing a hoodie and sneakers, that's not going to win any style awards is it? I always dress up and take care with my appearance because you never know where the evening will take you. Always wear shoes because if you do end up going to a club, you often won't get in with sneakers on.
What else? A smart and fashionable shirt tends to work well with jeans and shoes for a smart casual look. Novelty shirts are never acceptable by my standards, but you can if you'd like wear one to a house party. Never, ever at a bar though.
Don't get too drunk to function
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A lot of guys seem to get thrown out of bars for ungentlemanly behavior. Whether it's passing out at the bar, puking up in the urinals or copping a feel of the gorgeous blonde in the miniskirt; alcohol makes us do some crazy stuff! The fact is that if you overdo the boozing you could end up on the receiving end of a drunken shaming. Something no self respecting bachelor wants floating around on YouTube:
I remember one occasion when I was incredibly drunk and for some reason decided I wanted to get another drink. At the bar this attractive looking girl was all over me and hitting on me. She was grabbing my butt, kissing my neck and stroking my thigh. I thought the night was going to have a happy ending until I came to pay for the drink I'd ordered. My wallet was gone and so was the object of my affections. She'd stolen my wallet from my pocket right under my drunken nose!
Nobody wants to be the idiot with an Abe Lincoln beard on YouTube or to get their wallet stolen by a hot kleptomaniac, do they?
Leave a message in the comments with any tips or advice you have for becoming a bar-hopping messiah and if you've got any good drunken shaming stories/videos/pictures then feel free to share them too.