geek bar

[by john, mike, naveen, david, aviv, and te]

get a couple drinks in any of us and soon we'll be fervidly discussing science or cocktails, and often both. science (science!) tells us why we like the tastes we do, how to make them better, and how to predict what you'll like next time. bold claims get bolder with each sip until we know that we (we!) can do those things better. yeah, we assert, we could totally open a bar, and apply science to make it amazing. psh, nevermind the economy and all those entrepreneurial hazards...science works.

thankfully, we always sober up, and none of us has quit his day job yet. good ideas have distilled out, though. here are the initial (feasible) ones; feel free to add your own.

overall: open, not too dark, led lighting, no kitschy beakers or lab coats
  • back-lit plates of glass along the walls for scrawling equations
  • bunsen burner mood lighting
  • graph paper napkins
  • low-key plasma screens showing real-time drink trending, and possibly kubrick or bergman flicks (or nova documentaries)
  • polarized microscopy posters
  • flash cards with tips/conversation starters for shy geeks seeking to chat up their attractive bar-neighbors
  • bookshelf of textbooks
  • overly simple web site hides the contact info and menu in the html comments
overall: lots of bartender interaction, backed with powerful statistical methods; restrained use of lab gadgets; precisely made classics and science-enhanced originals
  • menu formatted in LaTeX
  • touchscreen at tables with machine learning software to suggest drinks
  • discreet use of liquid nitrogen when suitable
  • vortex mixers
  • titrated absinthe cocktails
  • pipettes for busy nights
  • geeky original drink names: 'feshbach resonance', 'mcmc', 'sag a*', 'mixture of gaussians'
  • cocktail shakers with built-in thermometers and timers
  • endothermic glassware (an r&d project for now...)
  • pH meter for analyzing individual citrus fruits
  • bartenders speak perturbative field theory ('i'll have a next-leading order manhattan.')

makes me dizzy just theorizing about it...


  1. To promote your bar's symmetry to a local one, add a gauge field.

  2. Revenge of the Nerds party! You should totally quit your day jobs and get this project going. MIT folk and/or rich young Silicon Valley computer professionals would flock to this venue.