This evening, after work, I was to meet my family for dinner and a lecture by Ricky Jay in the city. Getting off work at 5, I arrived at the Hayes Street Grill 45 minutes early at 5:45. On purpose. I love sitting a bar alone.
I brought a book I pretended to read, as I sipped my Pinot and eavesdropped on those around me. There was a man sitting alone one chair over, taking notes in a sterling silver notebook. He was chatting with the gorgeous yet humorless bartender (those two always seem to go together, gorgeous and humorless) and I was soaking up every word. At one point, it became clear that my fellow loner at the bar was a restauranteur. The bartender asked the name of his restaurant. He replied that he owned BIX. The bartender, having never heard of BIX, asked about it. This is when I dove in.
"Bix is awesome. We dined there last year, on my birthday, and I stop by for drinks all the time. I adore it and you absolutely must go."
10 minutes later, I am best friends with the owner of BIX.
15 minutes later I am best friends with not only the owner of Bix (and several other restaurants about town), but the entire all-male staff of the Hayes Street Grill, none of whom seem to be able to handle a woman sitting alone at a bar. Assured that my family is well on their way, and I typically need a full glass of something full-bodied before dealing with all of them, they refilled my glass and regaled me with hilarious stories of dining mishaps. Mr. Bix was attending Ricky Jay as well, and we bonded over lecture series and fancy restaurants. His friend arrived and as he left me, he handed me a beautifully engraved card, entitling me to a complimentary Bix martini and an assurance that said card would make it perfectly clear to Bix staff that I was to be well taken care of.
Reason number 457 that I love sitting at a bar alone...