Maybe they included it to help with future story lines.
Exactly. No "maybe" at all. It was partly to do something constructive with Deanna Troi. Denise Crosby's Yar was already gone - and suddenly Gates McFadden's contract was not renewed. Troi's character had been in grave danger of being dropped (in fact, she's missing from quite a few latter-Season One eps, as the writers couldn't figure out how to use her effectively). The production having lost the other two established female regulars, Sirtis was suddenly safe. But still not effective.
So the writers brainstormed sets that would help with Troi's character development: a counselor's office, which they never used much (a simple redress) and a bar, since characters might open up more over casual drinks than in an office. (Of course, Troi doesn't need them to be in a bar to know how her patients feel, but we
And then the producers finally believed Whoopi Goldberg that she was serious about joining TNG - in any role - and a character, based on Texas Guinan, was born.
Ironically, when Whoopi made it known she'd be free for an upcoming episode, the writers often hurriedly rewrote Troi counseling scenes into Guinan scenes, much to Marina Sirtis's frustration.