When the pandemic struck, the owners of Maverick, a small bar in Monterrey, Mexico, learned their establishment was abandoned. As a result, Oscar Romo and René Cárdenas adapted to a new concept that many bars have adopted to sustain their struggling staff: delivery cocktails. But that is not the point of the establishment. Oscar came up with a line when he first opened the bar. Cárdenas, the bar’s marketing partner, said that it was called Maverick, a meeting place in Spanish. It is a spot where you can meet new people. That was how the two came up with the notion for I Miss My Bar, a free, interactive website that launched in June 2020 to bring the atmosphere of Maverick’s locked-down delivery customers into their homes. What is the secret to these tactics? Sound.

I Miss My Bar’s landing page offers users many auditory choices to re-create the experience of going out for a drink, including “bartender working,” “people chatting,” and “street ambience.” Some of the sounds are only familiar to Monterrey residents, such as the voice of a particular man selling bread on the street. However, the site has fascinated a global audience, with 2 million unique visitors in February alone. Other sites, such as Poolside FM and The Sound of Colleagues, have attempted to fill the void left at home by Covid-19, which has driven people away from their beloved communal spaces over the past year. Sound, according to the creators of the various pages, has a special way of welcoming pre-pandemic life and post-pandemic hope, as well as making people feel less lonely. Experts, on the other hand, believe that the science behind the popularity of these tools is more complicated.