Guy at bar

Making the Most Out of Your Night Out

Subtle strategies for the urban nightcrawler.

Culture

Kyle Carpenter
March 26, 2012

There’s no formula for the perfect big city night out. Every guy’s got his own tastes and, more often than not, a night is what you make of it. Still, there are few ways you can tip the scales in your favour. Getting your head in the right place before you leave your home/office pays off when people start thinking of you as the guy who knows what to do tonight. Without turning play into work, here are four tips for turning “It was alright” into “You had to be there.”

Always Dress for Anything
Nobody wants to look out of place; worse yet is being denied entry into a restaurant or club for failing to meet the dress code. While there’s usually no need to wear a full formal business suit, the fact is that a suit can go anywhere (stop short of black tie, of course). If dressing like Draper actually alienates the crowd you like to hang with, either relish the vibe, or scale down to cover off at least the bases: dress shoes, collared shirt, no jeans. If you want to play it really safe, opt for a sport jacket or blazer, sans tie.

Know When to Step Up
Some situations call for a leader. Whether it’s someone campaigning for an over-hyped bar, or the feeling that your friends are underwhelmed once you’re inside said over-hyped bar, it’s good to be the guy who’s got a back-up plan. Scout your destination ahead of time and pick out a couple of places nearby as potential fallbacks; always have a go-to place — that you know is reliable, preferably from personal or friend-of-friend experience — in your back pocket as a safety.

Get into the Spirits
When it comes the booze — not necessarily inevitable, but wise to prepare for — it’s fine to have go-to cocktails or favourite brews. Still, if you want to get a true taste for the bar you’re at tonight, talk to the bartender and get the lowdown on the real house specialties. Many modern urban bars have something better than a bartender behind the rail — mixologists are all the rage these days, so take advantage. This kind of adventurous enthusiasm can be contagious in your group — and it will probably get you better drinks, oftentimes more generously poured.

Have Ideas, Not a Plan
While it’s good to know exactly how you want to spend your night, sometimes getting married to plans can lead to an messy “divorce.” Whether it’s a long line, group overrule or a general bad vibe, things happen. Don’t get annoyed when your plans fall through; take it as a challenge and remember that great nights often come together by accident. Be the guy in the group who can have a “good enough” time just by being with the group; keeping your cool can make you cool. And remember: There’s always tomorrow.

——————–
Image courtesy of Thomas Hawk