Salty beat me to it. The bar is the communal table. One of my fondest dining memories was when we did an impromptu early drop in dinner at Keller's Bouchon and sat at the bar. We dined with locals and a few fellow travellers. Before we even had wine in front of us, we were chatting with the folks around us and as our meals progressed, we were all passing tastes of our respective dishes around. Generally, I find that when I dine at the bar, it's a decidedly social experience.