The Joy of a Bar Without TVs
When I lie on my deathbed, I probably won’t think, “I wish I’d spent more time looking at screens.”
We (yes, we, you know you’re guilty too) spend so much of our precious lives staring at screens, big and small. Our screen addiction is so pathological that even when we’re in the presence of a massive movie screen, we have to be told repeatedly to put away our puny pocket screens. So I have a particular love for bars that not only have the latest double IPA and barrel-aged stout, but no TVs. Bars like Chicago’s Hopleaf and Long Room are more than great beer bars. They’re an oasis from our screen-saturated world.
When there’s a TV around, it’s hard not to look at it, much as a dog can’t resist gawking at a person’s meal. Even if I hate the show, I can’t help looking, which makes me hate myself for being Pavlov’s dummy.
As we stare at screens like drooling zombies, we ignore the people around us, whether that’s a dear friend, a first date, a reliable colleague, or even an intriguing stranger who could become a future spouse or anecdote. Screen time steals human time. TV-free bars give it back. –Mark Peters