Sitting at the bar is what I do. It’s my thing. Whether it’s at a podunk bar called Whisky River or at a sit-down restaurant like Fridays, at the bar. Not just in the establishment. At the actual bar. It’s better service, better people watching, and everyone respects someone who can maintain good posture while sitting on a bar stool.
In sitting at the bar, there is a level of tact. If you have a bad waiter or waitress, you can talk shit about them after they walk away. It’s a different story when they’re always within an earshot. This means you’re going to have a relationship with your bartender. They might do some things that make you uneasy, unhappy, or straight up enraged, but you still have to keep your cool because you’re not a barbarian.
These are a few things that I look for to tell if I’m going to have a good relationship with my bartender.
I don’t want a bartender to actually be sympathetic, but I want them to give the illusion of sympathy. If they are actually sympathetic, then they’re sympathetic to everyone. The last thing I want someone to do is to show compassion to both me and the cracked out dude complaining about chemtrails, pizzagate, and the New World Order.
That’s because my problems are real and simple. Like that one time I got a bad haircut. That was shit and people needed to know.
Grit is greatly undervalued in our society. Being gritty means you’ve been through the shit. Life has cut you up, chewed you up, and spit you out. This bartending job is the only thing they can do to appease their demons. I love it.
I want to see that grit. If my bartender isn’t gritty I’m going to doubt their ability. Let’s say I just order a Bud on draft — if my bartender looks like an Abercrombie cologne model, I’ll complain about the head. Even if it’s perfect, I’ll think this little twerp is trying to skimp on me. Fuck you, Logan.
I need more grit in my life. I’ve been trying to be more gritty, but that’s hard to do when you don’t skip Katy Perry songs when they come up on Spotify. Goddamn, “Roar” gets me going.
I’m not talking about when I should be cut off, I’m talking about not starting a conversation.
I had a dude ask me, “Do you shop online?”
Do I give off the vibe that I don’t?
Not only is that a bad bait question, but yeah, dude. It’s 2018. I’ve got Amazon in every single one of my app folders. It’s actually kind of a problem. Don’t bring it up.
How my bartender dresses him or herself changes what I order and, furthermore, it changes my night.
If I’m looking at a dude who takes great pride in his mustache, I’m not going to order as much from him. My logic there is the same as giving money to homeless people on exit ramps. My hesitation with the homeless is that they spend the money on something that I don’t want them to spend their money on. My hesitation with mustache guy is that he’ll spend his money on mustache oil, some kind of small comb, or like, some weird wax.
Decency is a delicate one. I need my bartender to have a good understanding of social cues.
Excessive use of foul language is a big no-no in my book. I don’t need to know how your brother-in-law is using your sister as a beard, but if you do have to bring it up, phrase it the way I just did.
Good Taste In Food
A good taste in food is absolutely key.
Another reason I sit at the bar is that I’ve been burned too many times by too many shady waiters and waitresses. If I’m asking for your recommendation for a meal, don’t tell me a salad that you like, don’t tell me the most expensive thing on the menu, and certainly don’t tell me that you just started working there and that you, “Don’t really know the menu yet, but the table over there seemed to really like their fried green beans.” That’s a goddamn appetizer, you mud-brained idiot. I ought to slap your teeth out for assuming I was talking about apps.
That doesn’t happen at the bar. If your bartender is real, they’ll know the menu. If you ask for what they recommend, they’ll ask two or three questions and be able to pinpoint what will satiate your palate with surgical accuracy.
A bad bartender will suggest, “A lot of people have ordered wings tonight.” If I wanted wings, I’ll order wings. That’s an easy crave to identify. But if you do suggest the wings, you better say they will change my life, and they better change my life. Otherwise, I’m going to ask for something that’s difficult to make, like a Kentucky Mule or a Mojito. You don’t have the patience to make that, and quite frankly, I don’t even want it.
Don’t suggest that I order wings. .