The bar car is no different than any other standalone bar. The people that tend to sit there want to drink and socialize. The people that pass by the bar car wonder what life is like in it. The people that get stranded in the bar car because all other seats are taken keep their earbuds in.
Occasionally, the morning and afternoon trains include the bar car. It’s no surprise that the people that fill it up at the earlier hours use it to enjoy the silence without the beer and without the raucous. During these hours, the bar car might as well be a library car. It’s probably a good idea to offer coffee during this time to create a caffeinated bar experience. A bit of background noise keeps people inspired and more productive.
The roundtable couch-seating arrangement in the bar car contrasts the front facing and backward facing seats of all the other cars. It’s designed to promote relaxation and conversation with people looking face to face as opposed to the back of their chairs. There’s even a community drink holder which typically goes unused, mostly because people feel more talkative when they have a beverage in hand.
The “bar car” name and design ultimately set expectations and dictates behavior. But it can also morph into other uses depending on the time of day. Every place, thing in life shares elasticity and permanence. It is what it isn’t.