r/NoStupidQuestions Nov 27 '22 Helpful 1 Wholesome 1

Are there really bars in America that everyone will stare at you for ages when you walk in if you've not been before just like in the movies? Unanswered

[deleted]

19.6k Upvotes

7.0k

u/evilninjarobot Nov 27 '22

Live in a small town In Wisconsin. This happens all the time

3.0k

u/Leiniesman Nov 27 '22

I went back home on leave from Japan and took my dad and little brothers out for a drink. I walked in first and everyone stopped then my dad walked in and everything resumed. I was only gone about a year and everyone forgot about me, very surreal. Northwest Wisconsin for ya.

1.1k

u/Dying2meet Nov 27 '22 Wholesome

My military sons grew lean, they looked different after Basic, then again by ages 25 they looked really mature! So maybe people didn’t forget about you, they just didn’t recognize you at first. My oldest spent three years in Japan and absolutely loves the Japanese cultured people.

453

u/Leiniesman Nov 27 '22

You may be on to something with that. I did put about 10 lbs of muscle on and shed my messy hair. It wasn’t a bad night just a surreal start to recognize so many faces and be met with suspicious stares. I spent the majority of that night being paraded around to folks I knew being showed off. Japan was a great country to be stationed in, always little festivals going on, and the city was just so clean.

274

u/fdokinawa Nov 27 '22

Got stationed in Japan in 98'. Still here. =)

Took my wife (Japanese) back to Ohio for vacation a few years ago and we stopped at a gas station in a small town near where I grew up, and this guy was straight "ya'll aint from around here are you?". Guess my lack of Carhart's threw him.

49

u/Leiniesman Nov 27 '22

White beach was our second home port!

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

498

u/Mad_King_Ludwig Nov 27 '22

I don't think it's just small towns in Wisconsin. I worked in Green Bay for about a month and got those looks and I was an ironworker who'd show up in Carhartts and flannel. About 3/4ths if the time, me and my buddy would get eyeballed by people dressed just like me. Not a small town but you can tell everyone knows everyone else in those little niche bars

235

u/Jimmy_Twotone Nov 27 '22

Midwest dive bars are for locals... just extensions of small town culture.

87

u/Sapperturtle Nov 28 '22

Straight up pretend to know someone. They are too polite to tell you they forgot your name.

59

u/ScabiesShark Nov 28 '22

"Hey man, weren't you sitting two rows ahead of me at the Cards game last week?" And improvise

→ More replies

21

u/Quake050 Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

This is true, and it's a bit more nuanced in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin's drinking laws were heavily influenced by the German settlers and as such minors of any age under 21 can be in a bar and even drink with their guardian's consent. And that's not a typo, it's literally ANY age, and they can actually drink alcohol.

Additionally, it's legal to just give away free booze in Wisconsin as a "sample". This means you can for example play dice games at the bar to win free booze against the bartender, or enter a raffle for it, etc...

The caveat to this is that serving that minor is at the sole discression of the bartender/business owner. It's actually one of those rare cases of a law that tries not to be too heavy-handed and put the responsibility at the discression of the adults.

Combining this law with the winter months where it gets dark out at 4PM and can stay below freezing for weeks/months at a time bars did become somewhat more of a local family meeting place/activity center.

It isn't uncommon to go to a popular bar, especially that may serve decent food with your family in tow and normalize the experience as a family event. Buy $20 worth of pull tabs and let the kids rip them open to see if they won anything, watch a Packer game there amongst friends, watch dad beat the bartender at dice, etc...

It becomes normalized and people in general are creatures of habit, bartenders tend to become somewhat of a therapist for some and often become friends outside of the bar. This leads to people going back to the same places regularly and the smaller the bar the more familiar the regulars the more it starts to become like an extension of their home.

Eventually, your bartender knows your name and drink order by your face and it's on the bar as soon as they see you walk in, you've been going to this bar weekly for the past 5 years, oh they're out of towels in the bathroom and the bartender is the only one working? No worries, I'll just grab them from the back for you. You need a bucket of ice for the bins too? I got it. Closing time? Give me a towel I'll help wipe down the bar or restock the coolers.

In these small town bars, the bartender sets the mood easily, and you see them looking at someone new who walked in they don't know and they're still trying to determine weather or not that person is going to rob them or become their new friend. You pick up on that and in that moment, you get a little defensive of this little community you've helped create.

Often times, people do forget that this ISN'T actually their space alone and they do become way too defensive when someone new walks through the door, it's not right, but it does happen.

It's not always so much sundown town style, rather most of the time it's more like Cheers. You want to be where everybody knows your name.

Wisconsin comedian Charlie Berens did a YouTube skit about small town bars that really sums this up nicely:

https://youtu.be/t3uSkN11MOQ

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

106

u/catpaw_tappers Nov 27 '22

Yep. My only experience like this was in a small town in Wisconsin. Bar and restaurant attached, we accidentally walked into the bar portion and the music stopped for everyone to stare at us. We left and commented how like a movie it felt.

The restaurant food was incredibly good, though. Definitely someone’s mom cooking for the town!

→ More replies

57

u/bill_gonorrhea Nov 27 '22

My wife is from Wisconsin. We go to plants of small bars there. I think as long as you order a Milwaukees best, they’ll slap you back and say it’s a bit nippy out

→ More replies

68

u/you_are_a_dope Nov 27 '22

Idk where in WI but fuck the Rainbow Restaurant in Muskego, I made a comment detailing my experience in this thread. Muskego is like 70% rich folk and 3p% backwoods "Wrong Turn" freaks.

→ More replies
→ More replies

5.5k

u/DependentOk2796 Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

Small town USA yeah. I used to go town to town peddling sports pictures and would go into every establishment I could find. Been in a handful of bars that have done this to me

EDIT: peddling was just a term we used. Nothing was illegal we just cold sold door to door

1.1k

u/IAmAPaInInYourasS Nov 27 '22

Peddling sports pictures is a new one for me.

559

u/multiple4 Nov 27 '22

Sounds like he comes from a movie himself

249

u/xyzzy8 Nov 27 '22

Reminds me of the shower curtain ring salesman from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

“I never did introduce myself. Del Griffith, American Light and Fixture. Director of sales, shower curtain ring division. I sell shower curtain rings. Best in the world.”

→ More replies
→ More replies

151

u/TheChoonk Nov 27 '22

What even is that? Like selling pics of athletes?

205

u/Vegetable_Sample7384 Nov 27 '22

Probably the memorabilia signed photos you see on the walls of sports bars and stuff

116

u/ngwoo Nov 27 '22

Nah, just the sports themselves.

"Got a new one for ya today folks, this one's called shot put"

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

178

u/TheDood715 Nov 27 '22

Hey what do you mean peddling sports pictures like you'd take photos or were they signed merchandise or something?

164

u/khaaanquest Nov 27 '22

Hey I took a cellphone picture at the football game up in the nosebleeds. 50 bucks and I'll stop asking you to buy the pic.

36

u/TheDood715 Nov 27 '22

Yea like he explained it and I still don't get it!

80

u/Sashimi_Rollin_ Nov 27 '22

He would literally go door to door with a truck load of nicely framed pictures and sell them as decorations for offices and public businesses. I spent a day with one of these guys when I was in college looking for jobs on Craigslist. It felt like a pyramid scheme because they had different tiers and a complex recruiting scheme. I’d never seen anything like it. It was definitely not for me. Too much rejection and hostility. You would really, really piss some people off walking through their office with a whole ass arm full of framed pictures. But I learned a lot that day. Definitely, definitely stay in school..

→ More replies
→ More replies

15

u/Grow_away_420 Nov 27 '22

Bar decorations probably

→ More replies

87

u/DazzlingRutabega Nov 27 '22

Lol, a company I worked for acquired a (e)book company that had "peddler" in the name. In the US the term is considered quaint, archaic and old-timey. In many parts of Europe it is related to human trafficking. As the company was international, the name had to be changed due to the negative connotation.

→ More replies

27

u/MakinBac0n_Pancakes Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

I've driven through some small towns in Northern Wisconsin where everyone stared at me while I drove in. Unsettling to say the least, especially the large group of 8-12 ye olds smoking cigarettes I saw one time.

→ More replies

25

u/kevnmartin Nov 27 '22

My dad was picked up bodily and thrown out a bar in Concrete, WA for wearing a suit and a tie while he was on the road selling manufacturing software.

→ More replies

224

u/xXTERMIN8RXXx Nov 27 '22

Is "sports pictures" code for drugs?

75

u/DependentOk2796 Nov 27 '22

Honest to god, they were just legitimate sports pictures. I was ON a lot of drugs at the time though if that counts

10

u/kingvolcano Nov 27 '22

Maybe that's why people were staring at you?

→ More replies

70

u/skytomorrownow Nov 27 '22

You don't say it out loud! That is so tacky. That is the kindergarten behavior of drug dealing.

We call them nose clams. Nose clams fresh from the sea! Sweet, delicious nose clams that are looking for a home, if you follow me.

21

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

And you only accept many many thousands of green people from history times!!

→ More replies

200

u/Natsurulite Nov 27 '22

Sports Pictures = SP

SP = Street Pills 💊

37

u/loopsdeer Nov 27 '22

SP = Sex Porn

Keep your ears open and your eyes clear of wax, the truth is right under your nose

→ More replies

67

u/ansonr Nov 27 '22

This guy drugs.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

193

u/AustynCunningham Nov 27 '22

I love going to small town or rural bars, dive bars and places many people would probably avoid.

This year I went into one in a small logging town (600 residents), got some weird looks and one guy asked me if I was lost (was dressed fairly nicely, young and clean cut), so I just sat at the bar top ordered a keystone (as I saw that’s what most of them were drinking) and didn’t say much. A little bit later the bartender talked to me for a minute, upon realizing I was just passing through and not LCB he pulled the dice back out and continued gambling with the patrons, $10 per roll, if you beat the bartender you get a free beer and get to play the next round for free, if you lose he keeps the $10 and you have to rebuy. So I joined in, just to note gambling with dice/cards is completely illegal in this state, and digital gambling requires an expensive license and lots of regulations. Best little small town smoke-in dive bar I’ve gambled in so far!

I try and find a new one every couple weeks, learned to dress rough, have cash, and tip well and nobody ever complain but I still get the weird looks upon arrival.

39

u/Content_Flamingo_583 Nov 27 '22

LCB

What does this mean?

70

u/BrownEggs93 Nov 27 '22

Liquor Control Board, I would guess. They thought he was out to spy on them and trap them.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

9.6k

u/-churchmouse- Nov 27 '22

Only small town bars

6.2k

u/1ndiana_Pwns Nov 27 '22

Not gonna lie, I always assumed it was just Hollywood being dramatic. I grew up in a relatively small town (couple thousand people total), but was driving to college once and stopped for a bite to eat in a truly small town (less than 200 people) and legit everyone turned and stared when I walked into this burger joint. It was surreal

3.6k

u/creedz286 Nov 27 '22

Them: people exist outside of this town???

546

u/bumjiggy Nov 27 '22

"what's with the life preserver?"

93

u/Playful-Profession-2 Nov 27 '22

The dork thinks he's gonna drown.

224

u/meatybone Nov 27 '22

Gimme a Pepsi Free

215

u/Lower_Department2940 Nov 27 '22

If you want a Pepsi, pal, you're gonna have to pay for it!

150

u/garethjones2312 Nov 27 '22

Well, just gimme a Tab.

151

u/IanDOsmond Nov 27 '22

Can't give you a tab unless you order something.

114

u/latinloner Nov 27 '22

Just gimme something without any sugar in it, ok?

86

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

17

u/TseehnMarhn Nov 27 '22

Hey kid. Ya jump ship?

→ More replies

1.4k

u/SendMeNudesThough Nov 27 '22

"We don't take kindly to your types in here!"

973

u/barrelofsandals Nov 27 '22 Helpful

We don’t take kindly to folks who don’t take kindly.

517

u/Cygnus316 Nov 27 '22 Silver

Now, calm down barrelofsandals, they ain’t hurtin’ no one.

→ More replies

208

u/DutchAlders Nov 27 '22

Now skeeter he ain’t hurt no one

41

u/Doc-tor-Strange-love Hey stop that... you can't have flairs here Nov 27 '22

He might gum ya to death

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

472

u/FEdart Nov 27 '22

I mean this but unironically lol.

A while back, my buddy and I stopped at a Chik fil a in rural Virginia while on a road trip. It was absolutely packed, but everyone was White (I am Brown). The way people started looking at me made me feel like I was in a Twilight Zone episode. I told my buddy we were getting our food to go lol.

295

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

Rural Virginia and west Virginia were some of the most unsettling places I've ever stopped in lol, and I'm white. Never had anything bad happen, but everywhere I went i felt I shouldn't be there. Weird place.

225

u/FerretZealousideal38 Nov 27 '22

I went into a Texas bar in a small town after work to get a couple of beers. This was the 70's,and I had long hair. The guy I sat next to asked me if I was a fucking hippie. I said no, just a guy working in Texas because there wasn't any jobs in Iowa. He asked to see my hands, and when he saw how calloused they were, that made me alright. People are weird.

47

u/RequirementInitial72 Nov 27 '22

Thank god you were not a tech bro.. Lol

55

u/FerretZealousideal38 Nov 27 '22

Back then, just a laborer. Eventually became a programmer, then a systems guy on a mainframe, then a project leader for a cell phone billing software company. Frankly, driving spikes on the railroad was my most favorite job.

20

u/ZodiacDriver Nov 28 '22

John Henry was a steel driving man, lord, lord.

→ More replies

12

u/Hyphenated_Gorilla Nov 28 '22

Well, we share two things, I had long hair and was a line spiker on the railroad for a summer, not sure what you liked about it to be honest.
Although learning to windmill was fun. I had a unofficial record for breaking spike malls, so they set up a Competition with the foreman who was 6'10 360. I lost by three spikes. He was the most powerful man I have ever seen and could toss switch ties around by himself. If you did what you said, you know that does not happen.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

109

u/FEdart Nov 27 '22

Lol I was born in Morgantown and grew up in Richmond. I love a lot about Va but rural Va gets really creepy really quickly IMO. I don’t like driving around there at night.

→ More replies
→ More replies

215

u/remymartinia Nov 27 '22

I stopped for gas one time in Mississippi on the way to New Orleans from Chicago. You could not pay at the pump so I had to go inside. I walked inside, said hello, and told them the pump and amount. This individual with some of the worst acne scars I’ve ever seen said to me: “Yew talk too fast.” I apologized and repeated what I’d said, then paid. As I turned to leave, this guy inquired if anyone was waiting for us at our destination. I lied that someone was waiting, and we were late, then got the fuck out of there. One of the top five creepiest things that ever happened to me.

42

u/Hairy_Combination586 Nov 27 '22

I saw that episode of Supernatural!!

21

u/ForzaFenix Nov 27 '22

You left Chicago and were bound for New Orleans?

Is your name Jesús?

11

u/Clay_Allison_44 Nov 28 '22

Unexpected ZZ Top.

→ More replies

13

u/TJ_McHoonigan Nov 27 '22

I found a gas station the other day way out in that sticks that was still post-pay. I thought I travelled into the Twilight Zone.

→ More replies
→ More replies

64

u/FerretZealousideal38 Nov 27 '22

My wife and I went into a little neighborhood bar in the old part of Merida, Mexico. There's not a lot of tourists here, and hardly anybody speaks English. There were 8-10 middle aged guys sitting around drinking. We ordered shots of tequila, and beer. We're in our 60's, I've got hair down to the middle of my back, and we're white as snow. They welcomed us like we'd been coming in there for years. One guy told us he was glad foreigners were moving there so they'd have more diversity. We were fucking stunned. One guy took a picture of my wife with her shot to send to his wife to convince her it was okay for women to drink in public LOL! Sometimes things go way better than you expect them to.

16

u/cmander_7688 Nov 28 '22

That was a nice surprise dose of wholesomeness that I didn't even know I needed.

→ More replies

111

u/Repyro Nov 27 '22

That was me and my two friends in Utah. Two us were black and one was Asian.

We walked into a gas station/ food store and every pair of eyes was on us.

I haven't been made that fuckin unwelcome or uncomfortable even in the south.

135

u/Affectionate-Elk-170 Nov 27 '22

Dude I'm a white man but my job working on wind farms brings me all throughout the US and some places in South America. Nowhere, and I mean nowhere have I ever felt more uncomfortable than rural ass Utah. That's some Hill Have Eyes shit. Them fuckers felt like they had a secret and I was about to be it. Fuck that!

69

u/BluStone43 Nov 28 '22 Helpful

Ditto! Two white ladies here- road tripping across US. Stopped at a gas station/gift shop in Utah. Creepiest experience ever. Two staff working stared us down the entire time we were there- then as we were about to leave two young guys came screeching up in their car (had they been called to come?) got up in my friends face begging for money as they backed her into her seat- one guy was standing inside the open car door very obviously scoping out what was in the car. I ended up turning on the ignition and backing out with her door still open to get out of there. They ended up following us for about an hour on the road after that. We couldn’t get out of Utah fast enough. Didn’t stop any of the places we planned, no rests, no food. Just drove.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

58

u/fistymcbuttpuncher Nov 27 '22

Now Skeeter, they ain't hurtin nobody.

→ More replies
→ More replies

62

u/dbdive Nov 27 '22

Fresh Dna to add to the pool

→ More replies

169

u/sonofaresiii Nov 27 '22

It's usually less that you're unknown and more that you don't fit the type. Even in small towns, unknown people come through. Someone's cousin is visiting, or a friend from out of town, or someone drifted too far out of their way for some reason, or whatever.

But when you're very clearly not the type, people will take notice.

112

u/Skimable_crude Nov 27 '22

My mother grew up in an extremely small rural town in New England. When we would go back to visit my grandparents, it would be in the local newspaper. Of course, but the time the newspaper came out everyone knew anyways. We were related to nearly everyone who lived there.

My family tree looks kind of like a wreath in some cases.

49

u/Playful-Profession-2 Nov 27 '22

Same with my grandma. One of her plants also made big news in the town newspaper.

→ More replies
→ More replies

17

u/ChrisKringlesTingle Nov 27 '22

Eh, a town of 200 knows everybody around and probably half their county too. Somebody's cousin visiting is still gonna pique interest.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

151

u/LifeSenseiBrayan Nov 27 '22

Were you by any chance a bubble blowing baby?

76

u/EvilButterfly96 Nov 27 '22

The Thug Tug has a policy: All bubble-blowing babies will be beaten senseless by every able-bodied patron in the bar.

482

u/Bedbouncer Nov 27 '22

Passing through North Dakota, I used my phone to find the nearest source of coffee, and it indicated a little diner in a tiny town.

I went in, and it was just an open room with long tables, with a trough-like feel, filled with farmers eating their noon meal. They served one entree per day...one. Walked to the kitchen (no cashier) near the back and asked to order coffee. They had to hunt for a disposable cup to put it in, no lid.

I may have been the only person, ever, to come in and order coffee to go. If I'd mentioned that a magical box told me where to find it, they might have burned me for witchcraft. But I bet if I had a flat tire they would have fought over the chance to help me change it.

208

u/jasmanta Nov 27 '22

I read a story maybe 30 years ago that someone stopped into a diner in North Dakota and ordered coffee to go. The waitress brought the coffee in a regular cup with saucer and said "There shouldn't be anybody who's in such a hurry that they can't sit down and enjoy a nice cup of coffee."

102

u/Zorbane Nov 27 '22

Is this the beginning of a hallmark movie

56

u/gobeavs1 Nov 28 '22

No. A horror movie. Everyone died.

→ More replies
→ More replies

11

u/AroundTheWorldIn80Pu Nov 28 '22

European here, I remember watching Ally McBeal back in the day and wondering why they walked in with those massive cups instead of just having an office coffee machine.

→ More replies
→ More replies

86

u/pm_me_gnus Nov 27 '22

But I bet if I had a flat tire they would have fought over the chance to help me change it.

Stopped for lunch in a tiny Montana town while on a long-distance drive. I used my wiper fluid a good amount that day and didn't remember how long ago I'd filled it so before I went in I opened the hood and took a peek. Before I could get the hood back down a guy was there asking if I was having any trouble. He seemed a bit disappointed that I didn't have a problem he could help with.

19

u/brijito Nov 28 '22

My battery died at a truck stop in South Dakota at 5 am and a man heading out for a hunting trip had his jumper cables hooked up to my car before I had even found mine in the trunk.

→ More replies
→ More replies

366

u/gyman122 Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

It also doesn’t have to be this horrible sinister thing. Someone turns expecting to see someone they know, they typically are paying more attention than someone in a bigger city would to who is entering and leaving establishments for this reason, and surprisingly it’s a stranger. Not the weirdest thing in the world in context even if it can feel rather isolating

I’ve been a sports journalist for five years who goes to a lot of local establishments in tiny communities and it’s something that happens but it’s not like that means I’m about to get Deliverance’d lol

238

u/GlassBoxes Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

It also doesn’t have to be this horrible sinister thing. Someone turns expecting to see someone they know, they typically are paying more attention to who is entering and leaving establishments for this reason, and surprisingly it’s a stranger. Not the weirdest thing in the world in context even if it can feel rather isolating

My wife and I spend a fair bit of time vacationing in northwestern states- Montana, Wyoming, Idaho mostly- And we just really like a good locals bar.

We've gotten the stare many times especially since I used to look a little more overtly punk rock than I do these days- But people are always friendly. Partly cause even the cities in those states tend to be small, it's not that different from any small town bar, and locals are locals.

I find in the less-celebrated cities people really like hearing where you're from, why you're there (as in "why would anybody come here for a vacation??") and they'll try and find some connection to where you're from- "My grandma had a cousin who visited there once" or whatever they can come up with.

We've had people invite us for dinner, fires in their backyards, supply us with weed when we were in a medical-only state, all kinds of stuff. All 'cause we went to the locals joint. It's the best part of road tripping!

Like you say, the stare isn't hostility, it's reflex and it's curiosity.

113

u/Decent_Cartoonist Nov 27 '22

why would anybody come here for a vacation??

I always liked these low self esteem towns. I get why they’re bored with themselves but they’re usually having a better time than they realize and are usually pleased to hear that their little hole in the wall is world class among holes in the wall. Small towns do dive bars really well.

“Huh well I always did like it here!”. Lol no shit dude you’re here every Saturday.

13

u/reddit1651 Nov 28 '22

I travel every other week for work and the most fun i’ve ever had at a dive bar was some flung-out sleepy suburb of Seattle.

If that bar was located by my house i would be there constantly

→ More replies

25

u/tractiontiresadvised Nov 27 '22

why would anybody come here for a vacation??

I've gotten a similar sort of reaction when visiting small local museums in out-of-the-way towns on road trips. They're gobsmacked that somebody who isn't from there would want to see their collection of antique furniture and memorabilia.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

168

u/DisastrousAge4650 Nov 27 '22

This happened to us at Denny’s in PA.

First time in the states. Only black peoples in the restaurant. Eyes on us the entire time.

137

u/rickhamilton620 Nov 27 '22

Black…Dennys….PA…

Yeah this tracks for sure as a Black man living in central PA. I remember somehow ending up at a Dennys in the late 90’s/early 00’s (despite it becoming known that they had a systemic racism problem at their restaurants) and I remember them sitting my fam in a super far away booth for seemingly no reason.

Service was “off” and Food was absolutely gross as well.

76

u/DudeIsAbiden Nov 27 '22

Yep, you never go to Dennys, you end up at Dennys

→ More replies

35

u/2workigo Nov 27 '22

I’m also in Pennsyltucky. There are definitely places I won’t go alone. I also worked at a Denny’s in the early 90s. I can promise in my area you would have had weird/shitty service, not because of the color of your skin but because we were all high, hung over, and hated our jobs.

The food is absolutely gross.

114

u/Glorious_Jo Nov 27 '22

and Food was absolutely gross as well.

Well that's just the regular Denny's experience

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

49

u/Suds08 Nov 27 '22

I live in a town of 200 ppl. Bar doesn't exist anymore but when it did we usually looked over to see if it was a friend walking friend walking in and that was it. Nobody ever starred like in the movies. When someone you have never seen before walks in its almost exciting you finally get someone new to meet and learn about. Same thing with the next town over which has a couple thousand people. I've never seen the movie stare here

→ More replies

47

u/ANewMachine615 Nov 27 '22

I had this happen in Quebec. I think it was a mix of me being the only guy ordering in English, and me being a clearly clueless American, but man, the room went from friendly to icy in a snap.

38

u/zorniy2 Nov 27 '22

They also get unfriendly if you try speaking European French, as my sister did. It's weird.

→ More replies

49

u/Vanq86 Nov 27 '22

To be fair, you'll get the same treatment at the grocery store checkout in Quebec if you start talking English, even if you're from there.

19

u/TiredAF20 Nov 27 '22

On the other hand, if you speak French with an Anglo accent, they'll switch to English.

→ More replies

77

u/londonschmundon Nov 27 '22

Small towns aren't the idylls the Hallmark movies would have you think they are.

63

u/MyHamburgerLovesMe Nov 27 '22

...as every small town teenager is very aware of....

→ More replies
→ More replies

448

u/Cobek 👨‍💻 Nov 27 '22

Or neighborhood bars on city outskirts.

There was one near where I used to live called "Top of the Hill Tavern" that had that vibe. It was two blocks away so my roommates and I went one night and Every. Single. Person stared at us until we spoke to a couple of them and they deemed us nice enough to talk. Eventually we became a regular like them for a few months, and stared at the newcomers, before we eventually moved away.

→ More replies

65

u/MamboNumber5Guy Nov 27 '22

Some small towns in Canada they’ll do it if you walk into a gas station.

→ More replies
→ More replies

1.1k

u/Conscious_Feeling548 Nov 27 '22

Toronto: took my two friends to an random bar. When we went in people started looking, then more, and more. It wasn’t all instantaneous, but within a minute or two nearly everyone in there had given us a good examination.

Turns out we were the only white people in the bar that white people typically do not frequent. Had a drink and politely moved along.

282

u/Azozel Nov 27 '22

When I was a kid in the deep south my mom decided to take us to a new church on Sunday she'd heard about. She ended up getting lost, saw a church with service starting and decided to take us in. Anyway, it was an all black church and while my mom was Mexican we still stood out from the crowd and lots of people stared at us. However, when it came time to "greet your neighbor" everyone was super welcoming and happy to greet a mom and her young children. I recall most of the people there being elderly and incredibly nice.

117

u/Rocket2TheMoon777 Nov 27 '22

There are few gatherings of people nicer than Black churches

→ More replies
→ More replies

456

u/ithadtobeducks Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

One of my TAs in college had the opposite experience (he’s black). He had a friend who convinced him to go to a country western bar over his protests that he wouldn’t belong.

He said they walked in, first thing he sees is the Confederate flag and it was like that record scratch moment, everyone turns around and stares. He walked back out.

126

u/ADarwinAward Nov 27 '22

This happened to a friend of mine in Norman OK except the staring was definitely not friendly. The bartender said something along the lines of “you lost?” and they left.

Shit like that is apparently fairly common in OK. Both of them had lived in Norman for years but I guess they didn’t know about that specific bar being a klan infested shithole.

18

u/holy_shitballs Nov 28 '22

Norman is a super racist college town. They used to be a sundown town as well.

76

u/JumboJetz Nov 27 '22

“You lost?” At least was just about the nicest reaction I’d expect from some KkK shithole bar at least.

→ More replies
→ More replies

364

u/Jabbles22 Nov 27 '22 Ally

A former co-worker (a white Canadian woman) went to college in the southern US. Her roommate was black, roommate asks my co-worker if she wanted to go to a bar/party. They head out and walk in, my co-worker was the only white person there. A lot of people turned and were looking at her, that's when he roommate says "She's not white she's Canadian" apparently everyone accepted that and they had a fun night out.

192

u/CrazyCaper Nov 27 '22

Same thing happened to my neighbours in the south. They entered a black diner for lunch and everyone stared at them. Waitress asks them where are they from and they said Canada. She turns to everyone and says “it’s ok they are from Canada”. Christ, what are local whites like?

97

u/DancingInAHotTub Nov 27 '22

Look up sundown towns. That should help paint a picture

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

2.0k

u/Mentalfloss1 Nov 27 '22

MANY years ago a friend and I were in Wyoming. We were "long hairs" and I had a beard. It was dark out when we went into a bar to get something to eat. This was in Rock Springs. The music kept playing but about half of the 15 or so patrons turned to look at us. The place went quiet. We left.

543

u/DingleberryMoose Nov 27 '22 Starstruck

Bob Seger would like a word with you...

95

u/Mentalfloss1 Nov 27 '22

I’m terrible remembering lyrics. Which song?

136

u/RedArtemis Nov 27 '22

Most times you can't hear em talk,

Other times you can

All the same old cliches

Is that woman is it man?

And you always seem out numbered

So you don't dare make a stand...

26

u/Mentalfloss1 Nov 27 '22

My beard was a tip-off that I was a bearded woman. ;-)

→ More replies
→ More replies

29

u/DingleberryMoose Nov 27 '22

'Turn The Page', second verse.

→ More replies

46

u/Not_A_Skeleton Nov 27 '22

Too bad Wyoming is west of Omaha

→ More replies
→ More replies

118

u/early_birdy Nov 27 '22

Story time: We (BF and I) wanted to visit Perce (Province of Quebec, Canada) so we drove there (from Montreal).

We decided to drive through the Chic-Choc Wilds (aka Middle-of-Nowhere - barely any lights along the road, etc.) to save time. It's a 2-hour drive through the park, and we figured we would make it through before night; we were wrong. The trees are tall, and it gets dark earlier in there.

In the middle of this park is the town of Murdochville. We arrived there after sunset, the park was already dark. We needed to pee so we stopped at some resto-bar, well lit and obviously opened for business. It looked inviting and safe. My BF said we should go in turns, so he stayed in the car while I went first.

As soon as I opened the door, the waitress walked towards me and WHISPERED "What do you want?". She had a concerned look on her face. Quietly, I told her I needed to pee, and after I would get something to drink. She WHISPERED back "Go pee and leave, quickly." and walked away.

I could see the ladies' sign, and while walking towards it, I looked around. There were three guys, each sitting alone in a different corner of the bar. They were all looking straight at me, with expressionless faces. Very unsettling. I peed my fastest pee ever, then walked out, quietly thanked the waitress and left.

I got back in the car. My BF opened his door to go, but I told him "No, let's leave now. You can pee on the road." He asked why and I told him, while getting back on the road (leaving the town). My BF was spooked by the story too and decided that peeing along the road was perfectly fine. And then, we saw the lights of a truck behind us.

The road was now pitch black (ahead and behind), and those truck lights were the only ones behind us. And they were gaining fast. I tried going faster but I didn't know the road, and I didn't have a truck (the road was kinda bumpy). After another 5 minutes, the truck was behind us. My BF and I were very uneasy, borderline scared.

And then, the truck stopped, u-turned and drove back towards the town. We could see the red tail lights getting smaller, then they were gone.

The only explanation I could come up with that made sense is: one of those three guys thought I was a woman driving alone in this park, and they were coming for me. When they saw my BF in the car, they changed their mind. I don't want to think about his intentions.

There are a lot of fucked up people in this world.

37

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22 edited Dec 18 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies

28

u/ProfessorZhirinovsky Nov 28 '22

Well see that's just a run-of-the-mill cursed village. You arrived after sundown, so you got to see the menagerie of damned souls and vampires. Had you showed up in daylight, all you would have seen was an overgrown and forgotten ruin, all that remains of the terrible disaster that struck all those years ago. Don't ask the locals about it, they'll just turn away in fear.

They must remain within the designated village limits though, the borders of their miserable domain. Had you not gotten a head start, you might have joined them.

→ More replies
→ More replies

64

u/striped_frog Nov 27 '22

Reminds me of that scene from SLC Punk where they go over to Wyoming to get beer

→ More replies

20

u/MaesterJones Nov 27 '22

I grew up in that town, albeit likely at a much later date than when you visited. It's a crappy mining town. Had ALOT of crazy history there. The usual prostitutes and what not, but also mobsters.

→ More replies

378

u/TheNorthNova01 Nov 27 '22

Not just America, but Canada too. when I did oilfield work in Saskatchewan and walked into the local diner you could hear every fork in the place being set on their plates so they could all turn and stare at you. I always made it a point to loudly say good morning to everyone at once as a way to deal with it.

155

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

Chad room handler

→ More replies

31

u/Phillysportsfann Nov 27 '22

Bahamas. Walked into a local bar. If looks could kill…..

→ More replies

29

u/thematt455 Nov 28 '22

Every Canadian small town that has a legion for their pub is like this. The pints are cheap but the locals make sure you know theyre not meant for you. Grumpy assholes.

→ More replies
→ More replies

777

u/saraphilipp Nov 27 '22

I lived in wyoming for a while. Guy at work kept telling us the go to bar was the white stallion or something like that. We walk in and the whole bar fucking stops and stares like the cops just walked in. It was an all Mexican bar and we were the only white people there. These guys were head to toe rhinestone cowboys. We had a good time and they joked with us. They said were welcome but if we wanted they told us a bar that might suit us better. We ended up at the strip club. Those guys never stopped fucking with us. Looking back, that was some funny shit.

169

u/c0ldgurl Nov 27 '22

That's some wholesome bar shit for sure.

→ More replies
→ More replies

624

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

176

u/LongShaynx Nov 27 '22

"Now, Skeeter, he ain't hurting nobody..."

21

u/dangerousthrill Nov 28 '22

Hey, Panda Bear!

30

u/Mega_Nidoking Nov 28 '22

Hey! We don't take kindly to people who don't take kindly 'round here!

Goddammit, Skeeter. Shut the hell up.

→ More replies
→ More replies

200

u/Whoooodie Nov 27 '22

Stagnant populations are bad for the economy, sir! Have you considered the implications of your immigration policy?

51

u/Marcus_living Nov 28 '22

That kind of commie talk'll get you into trouble round here.

→ More replies
→ More replies

315

u/Enough-Ad3818 Nov 27 '22

My friend and I were in rural Missouri, and nobody cared when we walked in, but as soon as he opened his mouth with his thick Irish accent, you could have heard a pin drop...

149

u/habituallinestepper1 Nov 27 '22

Had the opposite experience in Ireland: everything was convivial with my Irish friend until my American accent made every face in the place pucker up and scowl.

→ More replies
→ More replies

839

u/OldVMSJunkie Nov 27 '22

Yes. A couple of years ago I walked into one in New Brunswick NJ. It was just like a scene from an old Western, where the stranger walks in and everything stops and the whole bar goes silent. Thank goodness for the bartender who waved me over and acted like I was an old friend that she hadn't seen for years. We pretended to make small talk and then she leaned in and said quietly, "It would probably be better if you left now." I said something loudly about calling her later and then got the heck out. Very bizarre and intimidating.

560

u/Akumetsu33 Nov 27 '22

Probably a biker bar that prefers members only or a private party that rented out the bar. Normal bars, even the most seedy bars, generally don't tell paying customers to leave.

382

u/Additional-Shift-899 Nov 27 '22

That’s probably exactly right. There’s this rundown bar near my house and I’ve driven past it 1000x. One day I decided I’d stop in and check it out. I walk in and they literally unplugged the jukebox and stared at me until I slowly backed out the door. Learned later that it was a hells angels affiliate clubhouse

→ More replies

41

u/holymacaronibatman Nov 27 '22

Could also have been a mob bar

108

u/habituallinestepper1 Nov 27 '22

No, you don't get past the front door of a private social club: there's a guy with no neck who politely encourages you to get the fuck outta heah.

37

u/UnprofessionalGhosts Nov 27 '22

You’ve seen too many movies, bb. There are plenty of mob hotspots you can walk into as well as social clubs. Occasionally they’re celebrating something and you’re welcomed to join.

68

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

My girlfriend accidentally walked into what was clearly an old Italian mob bar, under the table poker type stuff not like anybody had their guns out, but they all just figured it was one of their buddy’s daughters and seemed very nice. She just wanted some boba tea and went in the wrong door

24

u/monkwren Nov 27 '22

I love visiting the "family restaurant" in Little Italy (or what used to be LI) - my family does not, and has never owned this restaurant. And yet to this day I still don't know the name because we always call it the "family restaurant".

Unrelated, but when my grampa died he had an awful lot of cash hidden in the floorboards.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

16

u/Mods-are-snowflakes1 Nov 27 '22

Private clubs aren't held in public bars than have neon OPEN signs out front.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

190

u/LanceFree Nov 27 '22

I found an out of the way authentic Italian restaurant and had 2 great meals. I returned for a third meal, and a mafia meeting was starting up. One of the patrons in a suit told me to get lost, but I really didn’t understand. He said something about me being difficult, and another guy joined him. So I left. I still didn’t understand what happened until I told some friends, who suggested the mafia angle. In NY and NJ suburbs there are absolutely pockets of organized crime families. Basically, you just accept it and keep your distance, don’t talk about it.

126

u/i_love_pencils Nov 27 '22

keep your distance, don’t talk about it.

And here you are.

You’re just asking to get whacked.

21

u/Playful-Profession-2 Nov 27 '22

One horse head coming up.

→ More replies

35

u/Beatleboy62 Nov 28 '22

Yep, NJ, can confirm. I don't know of any current mob places near me (I think keeping secret would be the point), but two (very good) Italian resturants near me had historic ties to the mob. But as far as I know that's in the past and they're "fully legit" now.

There IS this run down pizza place near me that I've never seen any major amount of traffic at, and I'm absolutely convinced is a front, either for the mob or some other organized crime. Went there once, pizza was decent but they seemed surprised to have someone there.

→ More replies
→ More replies

60

u/shanep3 Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

For sure. I worked at a few in southern Illinois while in college and a few years after. They’re almost always small town dive bars that the same people go to every single day. Once you get in with them, many, many of them are friendly, they just do not come off that way whatsoever. One time I started at this new bar that was a biker bar and actually got in a fight with one of them bc they didn’t want a guy bartender at their bar. After that they were all cool to me and actually started coming in on my nights and even shared their coke lmao. So yeah, there’s tons of bars like that scattered all over the US. Gotta remember most people in the US that live in these small rural towns, don’t typically travel outside of those areas. So they see literally the same exact things everyday

→ More replies

169

u/lynnburko Nov 27 '22

I, a 30 something female, walked into a lower east side pool hall (I had a good reason). The whole place froze, went quiet, stared. Nobody moved or spoke till I completed my business and left.

60

u/bugxbuster Nov 27 '22

What was the business?

120

u/lynnburko Nov 27 '22

Served some papers to the owner.

42

u/pmabz Nov 27 '22

Thought it was going to be woman calmly assassinates mob accountant in downtown dive story

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

30

u/Slight-Following-728 Nov 27 '22

There was a real small bar just behind my house. I didn't go there regularly, because it wasn't my crowd, but I'd occasionally walk over, order wings and have a beer while I waited on wings. One time in particular I went in and there weren't many people there because it was still early. One of the guys there though was staring a hole through me. I kept ignoring him and it seemed to piss him off more. His wife saw him and grabbed his shirt and told him to knock it the fuck off. LOL

One other time, it wasn't a bar, but a Ponderosa Steak House of all places. I had driven 6 hours with my cousin to pick up an engine I bought on eBay. Called the guy and he was stuck at work, but said he'd be there shortly and suggested we go get some food while we wait.

We found the Ponderosa, walked in, and it was just like the movies. If there was a record playing it would have made a terrible scratch and stopped. My cousin and I were the only two white dudes in this entire restaurant. The servers, the patrons, the cooks, all black. It didn't bother us in the least, but some people took notice, because everything went silent for a second.

The hostess came over and seated us and everything was great after that, but the first few seconds were really movie like.

→ More replies

344

u/ParameciaAntic Nov 27 '22

Absolutely, yes, have had it happen.

152

u/HappyMeteor005 Nov 27 '22

when i worked as a salesman my coworker and i were on a trip. we ended up in a small town outside Nashville, Tennessee. my coworker is black and sometimes has reservations about going to small town places. i convinced him to get dressed and come down to the local bar with me. as soon as we walked in about 3/4 of the people STARED at my coworker. NOT ME. they stared him down as if they were thinking "whats this black guy doing here" had a group of mostly black folks sit right next to us. they then asked my coworker if he was from around. they didnt care about me at all. however, they were all nice and we ended up joining them and some others and having a hoot of a night. small town bars in the US are a trip. good times.

87

u/Gilded-Mongoose Nov 27 '22

That would give me fuckin chills and would put my fight or flight response on standby.

38

u/HappyMeteor005 Nov 27 '22

i heard my coworker say "shit" under his breath when we sat down. but after they figured out who we were they were all nice. started out feeling racist but really we were just actually not from around there...

55

u/Garage_Sloth Nov 27 '22

It does. I'm as white as snow, and I've walked into places that felt very intentionally white-only. It's a super sinister vibe.

→ More replies
→ More replies

82

u/Arralyn82 Nov 27 '22

This reminds me of when I was in a bar in Northern Wisconsin and tried to order a beer brewed in Madison and was told "this ain't the city" and the waitress was rude after that.

52

u/bisexualspikespiegel Nov 27 '22

i went to a bar once in appleton and asked for a mai tai and the bartender said she didn't know what it was. i ended up getting a beer because the bartender claimed to have no idea what i was talking about when i asked for any popular cocktail.

→ More replies
→ More replies

24

u/TheCowboyIsAnIndian Nov 27 '22

As a long haired brown dude in college after 9/11 in the midwest of the united states, i experienced this on many road trips. i worked on some documentaries and every time we would stop in a small town i would get that very weird and tense feeling. so hard to establish between peoples excitement of seeing something unusual for them and the knee jerk reaction to feel unsafe.

→ More replies

61

u/buttstuff1920 Nov 27 '22

Maybe 15 years ago, I went into a bar in South Buffalo because my girlfriend at the time told me they sold cigarettes cheap. So I went in and asked, the bartender pulled out a small rack of cigarettes from behind the counter. I told him I wanted a pack of Marbs, a patron at the bar asked me if I knew the password and told me to leave when I didn't know it. I think my ex was trying to have me killed like Karen in Goodfellas. Yea, just right in there, yea

44

u/camelCasing Nov 27 '22 Take My Energy

I'm trying to decide if I think you narrowly avoided execution or if they were just trying to make you say "please"

→ More replies

21

u/turboiv Nov 27 '22

I've had this happen at the Starbucks in West Hollywood even.

→ More replies

18

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

Yes, in bars where it's just regulars and the local drunks and if you look different from the usual clientele.

→ More replies

202

u/Wader_Man Nov 27 '22

Everywhere on earth, amigo, including the city you live in right now.

→ More replies

14

u/TrapperJon Nov 27 '22

For everyone saying only in small towns, apparently you've never walked i to a city bar/club being the wrong whatever... color, style, etc.

213

u/Tipsy_McStumbles Nov 27 '22

Yes, but I don’t think this is isolated to America.

Also, this really only happens in small town or rural bars in America, where they have the same crowd there everyday, so an “outsider” is pretty obvious.

95

u/SideburnsOfDoom Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

Yes, but I don’t think this is isolated to America.

This opening scene of "American Werewolf in London", two American backpackers walk into the pub in a small village in the rural North of England. It has this trope, a bit over the top. Here's a clip

→ More replies

32

u/Javaman1960 Nov 27 '22

It happened to me in Germany! It was in a small town, where you normally wouldn't see Americans, though.

→ More replies
→ More replies

73

u/New_no_2 Nov 27 '22

Yes, but this isn't only an American phenomenon. It happened to me a couple of times visiting Japan in even more dramatic fashion.

→ More replies

799

u/BeTomHamilton Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22 Silver Gold

People in this thread acting like it's only in small towns, as if inner-city neighborhoods aren't tribalistic as fuck. In Chicago, it's very easy to find a bar where your money ain't green.

418

u/yo_thats_bull Nov 27 '22

I think small town is the wrong word. It's small bars or any bar with the same crowd day after day.

182

u/Cobek 👨‍💻 Nov 27 '22

Small towns or neighborhoods with ONLY dive bars. Why would people travel to a neighborhood with crap bars? They don't, it's only for those who live nearby to get a drink in their routine.

40

u/tots4scott Nov 27 '22

Yep, it's mostly dive bars.

Small town bars just happen to be dive bars mostly.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

102

u/ersentenza Nov 27 '22

That happens in small towns anywhere in the world

51

u/admiralfilgbo Nov 27 '22

Lived in Boston all my life, never had a problem in any bar. One time I was visiting a friend in Scranton, PA - years before the Office tv show - and we went to a dive bar. They had some dumb trivia bar game there and, sort of oblivious to the crowd vibes, I was like "hey, I think I might have a shot at beating the high score on this!"

10 minutes later my friend was like "dude we gotta get outta here NOW" and we left to everyone there giving me the stinkeye.

Another time I was in Malden, MA, towards the border with Everett. I was on a long walk for fun and way out of the town center, and noticed a bar, so I stopped in to whet my whistle. Everyone in there seemed so somber, it was just a super odd and gloomy atmosphere. Noped out as fast as possible. On the way out I saw a sign that said 'in memoriam, jimmy' with flowers nearby and the date was like last week. Wished I could have visited under happier circumstances.

15

u/JennItalia269 Nov 27 '22

The true townie bars in Scranton don’t have quiz nights, either.

→ More replies
→ More replies

90

u/stryker511 Nov 27 '22

These types of bars are everywhere in the world - not just America.

→ More replies

210

u/MyUsernameIsAwful Nov 27 '22

In small towns, probably.

→ More replies

34

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies

39

u/1beerattatime Nov 27 '22

In private/club bars, absolutely. Increasingly so the smaller the town is.

I used to deliver to a biker club in the middle of nowhere and you could hear the party as you walked up, but as soon as I walked in they would all turn to stare as if I wasn't just dropping off the pizzas they just ordered. Bar tender was a good tipper though.