Bars We Need

The Stranger’s Paul Constant Calls for a Literary Bar

"No nattering blogs or flickering videos to distract from the words you’re writing, speaking, or reading."

By Jessica Voelker June 22, 2011

The White Horse Tavern, West Village, New York

Photo: Wikipedia

So here’s what we need: a fairly large bar, nothing fancy, not too expensive. Open almost all the time. Maybe a typewriter here or there for ambience. Ratty books on shelves. Some sort of an area that can easily become a stage. Chairs. Tables. No TV, no Wi-Fi. No nattering blogs or flickering videos to distract from the words you’re writing, speaking, or reading. A jukebox stuffed with Edith Frost, the Magnetic Fields, and the Pogues. That’s about it for the hardware.

That’s Paul Constant, writing about his dream of a Seattle bar for writers in a new Stranger article entitled "A Barroom of Their Own."

Constant points out that despite Seattle’s status as America’s most literary city after New York, we don’t have a literary movement—a style of writing unique unto our writers. He attributes this to the fact that Seattle’s writers don’t really have an informal gathering space in which ideas can be exchanged casually and in a manner more freewheeling than is possible at prescheduled literary gatherings.

When I moved to Seattle from Washington, DC, a city in which, to its cynical denizens’ amazement, a literary bar had only just opened (it’s now a chain, so…), I took it for granted that there would be scores of such establishments here. But I found only a haunted and dusty Blue Moon Tavern.

Anyway, it’s a good read.

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