Being a “bar regular” has been a badge of honor for a long time. From the first knight that was handed a goblet of mead without having to request it (because it was the only kind of alcohol that existed), to a young professional being slid a G&T and a knowing wink from the bartender at a downtown happy hour spot, being a regular is always cool. It says, “I’m one of the gang,” or possibly “my burgeoning alcoholism is, at the very least, consistent.” One of the common misconceptions, however, is that the bar staff love all their regulars. That is not always the case. The regulars at my bar range from “beloved,” to “weird,” to “I’m hiding in the back until he’s gone,” and what better way to show that than to rate them? Let’s break it down.
Drink of choice: Beer of the month
Keith is the most versatile of our regulars. He usually comes in on weekend nights, but he ain’t scared to stop by on a Taco Tuesday every once in a while. I’ve seen him there alone, like most regulars, but occasionally also with his buddies. He’s polite, doesn’t creep on the waitresses, and even helps me out collecting glassware when it gets busy. When he comes in on a slow night, he’s fun to talk to, but never gets too serious (I don’t know what does for a living, or anything about his love life, but I do know he’s an Eagles fan). Keith is what every regular should aspire to be.
Rating: 9/10. Nearly perfect, but lacks any intangibles that would make him a 10/10.
Drink of choice: Jagermeister neat
All you need to know about Steve can be gleaned from his drink order. Who the fuck drinks Jager neat? I don’t even think it’s a drink that’s in our POS system. He declines it chilled, declines a chaser, and just sits there sipping on a glass of black sludge that’s getting progressively warmer. Clearly a psycho. On my first ever encounter with him, he gestured towards one of our bartenders, and murmured, “she’s got legs like a goddamn gazelle” while holding eye contact with me. I smoothly replied “Haha. Uhh yeah..she..she walks pretty fast,” and left to “grab something from the back.” He comes in every Saturday morning, drinks six warm-ish Jagers, and then announces to the bar that he’s gonna go get high on his porch and anyone is welcome to come. No one has ever taken him up on his offer.
Rating: 4/10. Super creepy, but overall harmless. Has never actually put his hands on anyone or done anything to warrant him getting kicked out.
Drink of choice: Water
When this guy first walked in the door on my third shift, there was an immediate scream of excitement from the staff. People flocked to him, dapping him up, and generally just loving his presence. Since he was an unassuming 50-year-old man, I assumed he was a big spender and we were all about to be rich. I was proven wrong seconds later when he perched at the bar and ordered just a glass of water. It wasn’t until five minutes later was his true gift revealed. He opened up his bag and laid out about 100 truffle balls from his bakery, categorized by flavor. And holy fuck, were they tasty. Strawberry Shortcake? Spectacular. Tiramisu? Divine. Red Velvet? Not gonna lie, I came back for seconds. I’ve had pastries in Paris that don’t hold a candle to Rondo’s truffle balls. The best part is, he does it all out of the kindness of his heart. He never accepts payment, and he never drinks. Just enjoys coming in and spreading his delicious gifts with us all. Or maybe he likes being surrounded by attractive girls in revealing outfits. Either way, it’s totally worth it.
Rating: 10/10. I love this man more than I do my own brothers. I would lie to a judge for this guy. If he becomes a regular at a different bar, I’m changing jobs on the spot.
Drink of choice: White wine with ice cubes in it
No one is more of a regular than Marissa. She gets to the bar at 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays, orders a glass of house white, and watches a soap opera on her iPad that she’s propped up on the bar. At noon on the dot, she orders a salad, eats until 12:30, and then leaves. And all of that would be fine, if she didn’t complain and nitpick her way through that entire two-hour period. Things she’s complained about include:
Her salad being too cold, the ice “tasting funny,” me not giving her enough attention (said with a wink), and of course, the bar being too loud for her to hear her show.
I like to watch Netflix as much as the next person, but there’s a time and a place. On your couch on a lazy Saturday? Great time and place. At a Wisconsin bar during a Wisconsin game? Not the right time or place, unless you want to be lynched by 100 angry fans for turning the game down.
Rating: 5/10. It would have been a four, but a wink from an obese 60-year-old woman is still a wink.
Drink of choice: Whatever’s free
Kyle is the ultimate mooch. He buys shots for himself and the bar staff and then “forgets to pay.” He walks out on tabs. He bugs the bartenders for “just one free beer.” I once saw him eat a plate of nachos that had been abandoned by another guest. At any given moment, one of my coworkers is bitching about his antics. He is also the weed, adderall, and molly connection for the entire bar staff.
Rating: 8/10. You know why.
Being a regular is a two way street. The more you offer the bar, the more the bar will offer you in return. Go out and a find a bar to call home..