According to a new Oxford research study I came across, going to a bar with friends could actually be incredibly good for mental health. The findings state:

The report emphasizes how essential face-to-face meetings are in maintaining friendships. Bars play an integral role in facilitating close bonds by providing a venue where people can meet and build up their friendships.

In a social-media soaked world, where human interaction is scarce, the local watering hole is an important part of contact.  We can check out local bands, enjoy a long summer evening on a patio, reconnect with old friends and strike up conversations with new ones. I don't go out very much, but when I do, you can find me at one of two local bars in the area.  If you can't find me there, I'm probably home, knitting on my couch where I belong.

I'd like to take this moment to thank a couple of local establishments that are near and dear to my heart...

Dear O'Duffy's,

Nestled away deep in the back-streets of the Vine neighborhood, you are such a wonderful gem. Pleasant company, great service, and good whiskey are such a fabulous combination. Couple that with great food and incredible ambiance (ie, people actually talking to one-another), I can't go wrong. You truly are the Chicago-Irish bar I had been missing for almost ten years. I have introduced several friends to you when they come to visit, and, just like for me, it was love at first sip. Also, the soap in the bathroom kicks ass.

Dear Bell's,

For three years you've been putting up with my sh*t, and I thank you for it.  Whether or not people understand my odd-ball sense of humor, I know I can be a bit of a handful, especially when I've had your cider (seriously, what is in that stuff? -t t's like going 0-60 in under a half-hour), but I really wanted to say thank you for hosting trivia, and, thereby introducing me to some great people. I look forward to seeing Dave every week, and Anna's team (though I'm sure the feeling isn't mutual). You've given to us a much needed outlet for our nerdy pleasure. As always, thank you to Dana and Colin for slinging drinks and NOT overtly rolling their eyes at me, and thank you to Carl who always has a smile. Sunday night trivia is always the perfect way to end the weekend. I promise I will try and behave.

 

What's your favorite local watering hole?