Throwing up some reps recently and getting dialed in on some easy ways to work a bar.
Picture. Low-key spot, few people milling around, not much music.
Post up at the bar. Chat the bar staff. Get some energy going. Keep the bar tender around you, and anyone else coming up for a drink is going to need to come in next door. Chop it up a bit off any random thing, and then you can move on to the next as it suits you.
Medium-level-busy spot and you’ve got some options. Posting up is still a good move. Just get somewhere in the middle of the bar, or off a corner. You want people to be cycling by as they get their drinks and bounce out. Always stay talking. You want your section to be jumping with you as the center of things (not necessarily the center of attention, just the center of the action). Bonus to leave some basic space for people to come grab a drink. This kind of situation will get you a bunch of new people to talk to and you can add to your little group when someone is chill enough to warrant it.
Super-packed spot with the music blasting out, just move down the bar. I’ll usually throw out some basic question like “are you still waiting for your drink” and use that to kick something off. Move off from the bar if things are moving nicely.
Regardless, you’re going to want a constant cycle of ins and outs. Posted at the bar and using the natural flow of the spot to bring you new folks to chat up is a money move.