Some days, you just have a hard one that leaves you wanting a drink in Amarillo. Work can be stressful, maybe the kids are on spring break (like right now) and all you want to do is find your neighborhood bar and have a couple of cold ones to relax.

It's something I used to do when I lived in Austin. I had this great little sports bar that was a stone's throw from my house, and I'd stop in after work relatively often. Nothing wrong with ending the workday with a beer or two before going home right?

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I find it hard to do here in Amarillo. Not because we don't have enough bars, there are plenty around town to choose from. I find them uncomfortable personally.

Now, I can go to a bar & restaurant and feel perfectly fine having some drinks there. The atmosphere doesn't bother me a bit in those places. I'm comfortable and feel at home. So what's the difference between say Walk-On's and Whiskey River?

Windows. There are windows at the bar & restaurant, but none at the standalone bars.

Look around town at your favorite watering holes and tell me how many places that label themselves strictly as a bar have windows. Just off the top of my head, I can think of Throwbacks, Whiskey River, Stumpy's. None of them have a window in the place.

The vibe inside is very different. It feels almost secretive. So why do the bars here not have windows? I started to dig into what I could find and found some very interesting answers that didn't pertain strictly to Amarillo but could be some of the reasons for it.


One thing I read was the reason there are no windows in standalone bars is the owner of the bar wants to create an atmosphere of intimacy. Maybe they want you to completely forget about the outside world for a bit, because if you forget about it, you very well may order an extra drink or two.


Not having windows means people can't just walk or drive by and see who is in there. If you're hitting a local neighborhood bar, maybe you don't want your neighbor to know you enjoy having a couple of drinks late on a weeknight. As we all know, people love to make judgments against people, and just that one time your neighbor sees you there at a late hour on a random weekday, they may just want to label you an alcoholic.


Fights tend to break out in bars. I mean, that's just what happens when alcohol is involved in a pointed debate or discussion. Not having windows means someone won't get thrown out of one, which means the bar incurs a charge to replace the window and also has to figure out how to patch it up until they can replace it. Not to mention the police report that will have to get filed since someone literally got thrown out a window.


Now this is just full-on illegal to do, but almost anywhere in the U.S., there is a cutoff as to when a bar can serve you. In most places, the cutoff is 2 am. All drinks must be out of people's hands by then and the establishment must close. However, without windows, no one can easily look in after that time and catch it. Thus creating the ability to keep pouring drinks or letting patrons finish them past the time they're supposed to be emptyhanded.

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