Also, It Ain’t Your Corner Bar

I read this in the Wall Street Journal this weekend: A Skeptic Sidles Up to the Wine-Bar Boom:

WHY DO PEOPLE love wine bars so much? A single-beverage bar where the food is tiny and the tables smaller still is an arrangement whose appeal is a bit of a mystery to me. Yet I realize mine is a minority point of view, since the number of wine bars all over the world just keeps growing and growing.

When the wine-bar boom began about five years ago, I thought it was a trend that would eventually end. How big an audience could there be for establishments that specialized in small plates of cheese and wines by the ounce? I was sure that people would realize that a good glass was best savored by the bottle and not in a “flight.” (A “flight” is a cute wine-bar name for tiny glasses of wine with a big price.) But clearly my powers of prognostication are flawed, as Americans’ love of wine bars seems to be a long way from flaming out.

You know why else they’re booming? They’re not corner bars.

It reminded me of something I posted ten years ago about how West Milwaukee was starting to deny liquor licenses to less trendy watering holes:

West Milwaukee, the organic entity, has determined that the time of small entrepreneurs running their own taverns is over. Instead, it’s time for West Milwaukee to look like Springfield, Missouri, and Chesterfield, Missouri, and most of the other suburbs in most other towns. Bring on the Applebees!

Wine bars are novel and upscale, so cities can approve of them in a way they can’t approve of another bar where working men will drink beer.