For people with hefty wallets and type AAA personalities, meeting people at bars is no problem. However, for most of the population, it’s neither comfortable nor sustainable.
Enter the tachinomiya, aka standing bars, which are all the rage in Tokyo, Japan. These are very intimate, rather densely occupied venues that serve drinks and appetizers, but with no chairs. As the New York Times states, “Their popularity is fueled by low prices and the opportunities they offer many young, shy Japanese to mix and mingle with whoever is standing next to them.” Imagine a happy hour from 4 to 11 pm at someone’s home, where most everyone’s dining and talking to whoever they happen to be standing next to without regard for a bar tab.
This is an entirely urban concept that wouldn’t work in the elbow-room oriented expanses of suburbia, but for areas where pedestrian traffic and costs are high and the confidence to start conversations with strangers is low, these standing bars may be just what people are looking for.