I'm trying to approach this as a customer, not as a manager/owner. That list would be boring as fuck. Requested by @TT.
  1. "Getcha drunk, getcha laid."
    This was my first motto as a manager. Be FUN, make people comfortable. Your job is to act as a social lubricant. You facilitate some nookie for a customer, you have a customer for life. Disclaimer: this is not meant as encouragement for bartenders to fuck customers. It's more about creating an environment that gets people in the mood!
  2. Good. Fucking. Service.
    I will forgive almost anything if I feel taken care of.
  3. Coat hooks under the bar for jackets/purses.
    I have contemplated founding a "guerrilla bar improvement movement" dedicated to surreptitiously adding these to bars. Can't get around how loud drills are, unfortunately.
  4. Knowledgable staff.
  5. Friendly staff!
    This is a no brainier, correct? Incorrect.
  6. A clear identity.
    Are you a whiskey bar? A sports bar? A straight-up brew-pub? A tiki bar? Don't try to be too many things.
  7. A "label out" policy.
    When someone's pouring well shots, I wanna see that label, bro.
  8. Specials
    This could be: a weekly themed DJ set, discounted boilermakers, Sunday cocktails, drag queen bingo, whatever. Anything special or fun or rotating or original.
  9. Bartenders who never have their back to the bar.
    I don't fucking get it. I really don't. Why would you turn around to have a conversation with your coworker?
  10. Tullamore DEW. So much better than Powers or Jameson.
  11. Good/appropriate music.
    I'm super into the "electronic lounge" type stuff: Portishead, Massive Attack, Zero 7... But not at a gastro pub, thank you very much!
  12. A workable bathroom situation.
    Get creative. It's not that hard. Only have two single stalls? Make them both co-ed, please. Cuts down lines drastically.
  13. Consistency.
  14. Appropriate lighting.
    If I'm gonna make a bad decision tonight, I don't want a spotlight fucking up my beer goggles, thank you!
  15. A well-rounded beer selection -
    - unless you're specifically branded (i.e. My German bar).
  16. A water station.
    Life-saver for bartenders.
  17. Pride.
  18. At least one area where you can hear yourself talk / have a conversation
    Suggested by @ChrisK
  19. Good lighting
    Not too dark, not too bright, and simple, but aesthetically pleasing design. No ostentatious center light fixture, no colored bulbs.
    Suggested by @LizDawson
  20. Seating!
    Nothing says "please come enjoy my bar" than a nice amount of seating.
    Suggested by @jeanette
  21. Fucking parking!
    Don't drink and drive! I'm the designated driver from time to time and I hate having to park 10 blocks away/look for parking for a half hour.
    Suggested by @p
  22. easy access to public transit
    Suggested by @ejpevents
  23. State of the art sound system. Only the best for Harry Nilsson 😉
    Suggested by @KrystalKay