Making small talk at a bar is simple, though that's easily stated if one's not shy. It is important to find a bar that is of your particular taste whether that be an Irish pub, rock-n-roll bar, a trendy bottle service club, a country dive, or any other classification. Find a place that you're comfortable hanging out, therefore you'll be more likely to find people that you're interested in making small talk with. There's nothing worse than having menial small talk with someone who you find completely uninteresting.
Sitting at the bar is a great place to make small talk, introductions, and to meet people in general. Sitting at a side table in a cozy, quiet, and isolated corner is not a welcoming spot for strangers to approach you so be sure not to exclude yourself by sitting in such an area. The bar itself is a perfect area for people who are there alone or in small groups to sit and mingle.
Engaging in conversation with the bartender or cocktail server is a great way to initiate conversation as other people at the bar will take the initiative to join the conversation by adding their input, opinions or ideas to the spoken topic(s) of conversations. Engaging in small talk while sitting at the bar is a very easy and natural thing. Many people traveling alone, often on business, or who are just grabbing a quick drink after a long day at work will be at the bar alone and are probably interested in making small talk also.
Listen to conversations other people are having with each other, particularly ones involving strangers or who those who have just met, as well as conversations between the patrons and the bartender and add your input when you have a comment to make or have knowledge of a given conversation that's taking place.
There are two solid rules of bar small talk that should be followed to avoid disagreement, hostility, or argument. And those two rules are as follows: no politics and no religion. These two topics of conversation can lead to many heated discussions that leave people feeling insulted, and judged, as they disagree with those who feel other than they do. Keep the small talk simple, light-hearted, and humorous. Those are all simple and basic commonalities that humans share and are sure to encourage others to join your conversations at the bar.