I’m Sammi. My many hats include: writer, bartender, actor, yoga instructor, New Yorker, vegetarian, feminist, and dog mom to a lovable mutt named Sherry. Bars I've worked at include The Roof, The Standard Hotel, Bathtub Gin and currently Sweet Polly. I'm based in Brooklyn NY.
The idea for this blog was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend back in 2015. After I started bartending, I became increasingly more comfortable with going to bars by myself. My friend said she wished she could too; that she longed to just go to a bar alone and read a book. When I asked why she wasn’t doing it, she said she felt uneasy sitting at a bar by herself. She was afraid of the stigma, or that men would try to pick her up. She said that women don’t have as much freedom as men do to spend quality time with themselves, especially in a social environment like a bar. I agreed with all her qualms - women SHOULD feel more comfortable being by themselves, and sadly there is still a stigma. And often, men don’t understand that when a woman is by herself, she might just want to be by herself. As being behind the bar became my stomping ground, the other side became less scary. I'd shoot the shit with the bartender, read or check my emails, even just sit and clear my head while clouding it with liquor. And I believe that more women should feel free to go to a bar alone if they want to. We shouldn't be weighed down by worries or fears. There’ve got to be bars out there where we can feel safe drinking alone. Maybe we just need to find them.
Thus, A Girl’s Guide to Drinking Alone® was born. I'm on a mission to find the safe spaces for women to get a drink by themselves. It’s a combination of my love for cocktailing, writing and feminism.
So go get em girl. This one’s for you.
Things to know about me as I embark on this journey!
I am a bartender, so I have a deep love for the craft and the products. I’ll drink mostly anything but I hate vodka. Sorry vodka-soda-lovers, we’ll have to find something else to agree on. (My boyfriend’s drink is a vodka soda, and we’re dating, so anything is possible.)
I usually review bars at off-peak hours; bars on weekends are generally way too crowded for me. My favorite bar is an empty one, which I understand is not the case for most people. I in no way mean to judge those who love to go out with huge groups of friends, or the women who go to bars solo in order to meet people – rock on ladies! But for the purposes of this blog, I am writing reviews for the women who want to go to a bar alone, with the intention of leaving alone as well.
I visit each place only once, so the reviews are colored by my singular experience, unless noted otherwise. I simply don’t have the time or money to get a holistic view of each bar like those fancy NY Times critics; the first impression’s gonna have to do. Ironically, I can’t drink a lot, so I have one, maybe two, drinks at each place, and I spend about 30 minutes to an hour at every bar.
Let me know what you think, and certainly, if you go alone to one of these places, or anywhere else, tell me how it goes! I hope to flood this city (and country! and world!) with solo lady drinkers. Cheers!
A Girl’s Guide to Drinking Alone® is looking for GUEST WRITERS! If you’re a female-identifying or nonbinary person who wants to go out drinking alone then review the experience, email a writing sample and short bio to email@example.com. If you don’t have a writing sample (and it’s okay if you don’t!), write up a sample bar review following the Girl’s Guide to Drinking Alone format. Writers outside the NYC area encouraged to apply.
Cover page illustration and logo design by the incredible Olivia McGiff.
**DISCLAIMER: Drink alone responsibly. Not liable for girls who over-drink alone.**