My thoughts on that are that Western society largely equates "fun" adult activities with at least having alcohol available and the economics of a lot of "fun" things don't work too well without alcohol sales. A lot of my interest is in making it possible for more places to offer the other types of experiences bars can offer rather than having to solely profit-maximize.Supporting all of that, I still think that the "fun=alcohol" mindset is both narrow and revealing.
- Barcades. The good ones (The Archives in Burlington might be a regional example) are pretty fun to visit and play some games even if you're not drinking, and the alcohol sales make running an arcade in an expensive downtown in 2019 financially viable. And without charging $5/game.
- A place to gather to watch sports, trivia with friends, or even play some board games are all the sorts of things I do find value in.
- It hurts the arts as well. All the illegal basement shows in deathtraps in Allston exist because there's not anywhere near enough of the basic affordable establishments for them to play at that you see in a lot of other places. The city would have a far more vibrant (and safer) music scene if all the college kids who put together a band actually had legal venues to play to and attract those small audiences.
Off the alcohol train:
For lack of a better way to describe it, I'd like to see more "community boating" for different hobbies/activities, especially outdoor ones. Affordable introductory points and instruction on getting started.