Now that we have entered a new decade I have been reminiscing about the last 10 years and when it comes to bars I desperately hope that this next decade will mean the end to faux-lounges, you know those incredibly hip "locales" where upon entering you feel like you are in a SKYY Vodka ad. Everyone inside, dressed to kill so not to offend the "dress code", is trying to fulfill their fantasy of living out a P. Diddy video, but in reality they are some underpaid bureaucrat who is buying the establishment's $12 cocktails on credit. I'm completely guilty of subscribing to this same fantasy - perhaps it's a phase some of us go through, but this past decade seems to have birthed so many faux-lounges that make you feel like you just dicked by a used-car salesman after you've left. You stand in line only to pay a cover that gets you in to an overcrowded room with a bar so understaffed that you know whatever you order will be some rushed and watered-down version of whatever you order that you opt for the most uncomplicated of cocktails only to be disappointed anyway.
Don't get me wrong - there are plenty of legitimate lounges out there created by some people with a real unique sense of style and sophistication. These places have stood the test of time and offer their patrons a great all-around experience focused on quality. What I'm referring to are those cookie-cutter meat factories that are the McDonald's of lounges.
I hope the next 10 years will entail the rise of the uncomplicated, come-as-you-are establishments that offer a real product and an atmosphere to match. Forget the bells and whistles, give my friends and me a drink, some nice music, a comfortable place to sit, maybe some dancing and lets enjoy each other's company.