Bartenders beat baristas: 6 reasons working from the bar is underrated

Bartender Coworking from Home Calgary

The inspiration behind HustleCo Workspace was one to create a place where entrepreneurs, freelancers, solopreneurs, mompreneurs, gig economists and employees can work effectively. Husam and I at one point were operating our inbound marketing and digital media company out of our home office in the Northwest. Facing the huge disadvantages of working from home, we began to look at the coworking and shared office spaces the city has to offer. While many places are great, we couldn’t find one that would fit our work culture and would provide the sort of environment that inspires creativity, productivity and relationship building while being super convenient and affordable as well. Of course, it also has to be hella fun and motivating too, much like a spin class which I will elaborate on further in another article. You see, work has to be a place where you want to go to as opposed to have to go. That’s the case with a group fitness class like spin, it kicks the shit out of running on a treadmill at home with no community support. This key parameter was part of the inspiration behind launching HustleCo Workspace.

As Husam and I were formulating the business plan for HustleCo, one place that became a very effective workspace outside the home office was, believe it or not, the bar. We we’re avoiding the home office for many reasons, some of which are outlined in this previous article. If you’re still working from home or a coffee shop and haven’t taken the plunge into coworking at HustleCo yet, we encourage you to consider working from a place that has a liquor license instead of the cliche and typical coffee shop. Destroy the norms, and here are some big reasons why.

Internet Speed

I kid you not, the internet speed at bars is typically faster than at a coffee shop with the main reason being supply and demand. Most small establishments like coffee shops or a bar/restaurant, purchase a business internet plan. It is not the mack daddy of managed gateway internet like HustleCo has with blazing fast upload/download speeds, but it is still suitable for a small amount of users doing a light amount of work. However, at the coffee shop, there are many more users using the internet connection! At the bar/restaurant, most people are socializing instead and not really concerned about uploading content to their websites and whatnot. The result, you can upload huge (gigabyte sized) video files like we have with our HustleCo radio show when we uploaded it from Browns Social House in Britannia. Whereas when we tried Phil & Sebastian’s in the Simmons building, we couldn’t even properly load our social media feeds. Never again.


Depending on the work involved, I believe in working with a bit of background noise and music, as most people do. The music at a coffee shop is chill whereas the bar plays top 40 or more energizing tunes. Why does this matter? Upbeat music drives you to work harder and motivates you. Hearing Lose Yourself at the bar is a bit more motivating than the folky bands or solo artists you’re going to hear at the coffee shop that are better suited for an evening affair in front of a fireplace.


This point is self explanatory, because there’s nothing quite like a midday beer. It’s not necessary, and I don’t condone drinking more than 2 when you are working, but it’s quite enjoyable, sexy, and very European.

Off-peak times

Most people don’t go to the bar during the day. Drinking alcohol is generally reserved as an evening activity. However, if you work from the bar during the day, you can find that not only will you have super fast internet, but because you are there during off peak times you will get access to phenomenal deals. For example, you can feed yourself with the best tacos in town for $2.24 and $2.24 sleeves of Parallel 49 during happy hour at LOCAL on 8th Ave. What’s not to love about that? It’s actually cheaper than a coffee shop and the food is 10x better and it’s hot! You also will ALWAYS find a dope seat at the bar or a table during the day. Coffee shops are known to be packed with tiny tables and finding power outlets can be a serious challenge.


A big reason many people leave their home to work at a coffee shop is to be surrounded by people and change up their environment. We know how lonely the home office can get. At the bar, on average, you will get a superior level of service as opposed to the coffee shop. Servers and bartenders work seriously hard for their tips as they are paid less than people at Starbucks or McD’s for example. You are much more likely to strike up a conversation with the server or bartender than you are the barista, especially since you’re the weirdo working on your laptop at the bar. You’ll get attention.

Support service and taxation is theft

Ok let’s say your budget is $7 for working from home. You can go to Starbucks and spend $7 on a lovely Frappucino loaded with calories and most of that profit is going to Starbucks corporate or the franchise owner. In the situation of ordering a coffee at the bar, it’s usually relatively cheap 2-3 dollars and it should be bottomless (house rules apply!). The best part is that you can spend the rest of that $7 budget tipping for service and you’ll feel like a true boss being able to say, hey, I tipped 150% today and still kept it within my budget and wasn’t that demanding of a consumer and I drank healthier coffee than a fatty frappy. As a result, a greater portion of your working budget is going directly to the server or bartender supporting the individual rather than the fat cat corporation. Tips usually circumvent the government too for taxes which excited me, so take that Trudeau, get your greedy hands out of our pockets!

This written piece was just to offer my opinion on why the bar is kinda underrated and seriously forgotten as a workspace whereas the coffee shop is placed on this pedestal. Do Husam and I a favour, next time you need to get shit done and feel like getting out of the house, try the bar. I should mention here, one thing the bar and coffee shop both fail at having is that consistent culture and proximity to the community of a coworking space that is optimized for freelancers and entrepreneurs which is what HustleCo fixes! Come try coworking at HustleCo Workspace here in Calgary. Our intro offer truly is irresistible.

P.S. This article was written at Browns Social House in Brittania, thanks for the kickass service, cheap beer, awesome environment, and good internet.

P.P.S. Thanks to the Riverstone Pub in the NW for providing a serious sanctuary and happy place for business plan writing.