“The neighborhood decides if you’re the neighborhood bar,” he said. “You try to provide a great product, you have to want to be there every night and find good people to work for you. And the neighborhood decides, they have to show up. You’re the fortunate one if they do.”
He said there is something about knowing all the regulars’ names that sets a neighborhood bar apart. He said it makes you feel accepted, where if you see the regulars out walking around or at the store, you wave and say hello, and they do the same.
“There’s something about knowing the community is happy to know you’re there,” Barbuto said. “When that finally clicks, it’s like the business is breathing on its own.”