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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Drink of the day

Dumptser Baby
10z strawberry vodka- or any flavor
10z strawberry pucker- or any flavor
cran and sprite
serve on the rocks

only exception is the watermelon DB- it is made with cuervo, watermelon pucker, cranberry juice, and sprite.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lifers

There comes a time in every bartender’s life where they feel that they should call it quits. This can happen after a year of working in the madness or twenty years. Working in the bartending industry can be physically wearing on a person. There is only a select group of people who are cut out for it and only a handful of people who can do it for life. In ever bar and or restaurant that I have worked in over the years there has been at least one “lifer” who has worked there.
“Lifers” are a special breed of people and at times I too have questioned my own status in the bartending and serving industry. There have been times where I made conscious decisions to take jobs outside of this industry for less money, in hopes that I would be able to kick the lifer label. I now know some distinct differences between the “lifer” status bartender label and the “I can’t get enough” bartender status. For those bartenders wanting a break or needing an escape from the job due to the fear of the “lifer” status, there is still hope! Here are the differences I have found.

Lifer
Have worked in a place for so long that they could be the boss, but choose not to.
Never stay at a place long enough to get asked to do anything over head bartender or trainer.
If asked to manage, they usually will try their hand at it. Some will manage, some will make excuses as to why the bar or restaurant screwed them. Known for working their way up in a company.
I Can't Get Enough
If asked to manage, they say “Hell No”! I make three times as much as the managers. If they decide to manage a bar or restaurant it would be one where they had not previously bartended.
Lifer
They in the beginning of their career started bartending/serving night shifts where all of the money is. They eventually move to days so that they can have a set schedule, less work, and less customer contact.
I Can't Get Enough
Throughout their time bartending, they take the shifts where the money is. They can handle customers with ease, they don’t mind working, and they love the crazy bar schedules that come with the shifts. It’s what they are used to.
Lifer
They do the majority of the side work duties.
I Can't Get Enough
They scam on side work when they can get away with it. But they always fly under the radar.
Lifer
They bitch about their job most of the time at work.
I Can't Get Enough
They stay too busy to bitch. They only bitch when their money is affected.
Lifer
They can make every drink in the bar perfect to the oz. They make them just like the managers tell them to. They also use the appropriate glass ware.
I Can't Get Enough
They “wing it” sometimes in drink making. They over pour for a better tip. They disregard the manager’s instruction on drink making most of the time. They use any glass ware handy.
Lifer
They have a million stories about how the “Old Days” at their bar were. They have a good collection of stories, but they are usually all about the same handful of people.
I Can't Get Enough
They have the best stories. They have a million stories about different past co-workers and bar regulars. They usually have stories about different states as well as bars they have worked in.
Lifer
They have usually never held any other type of job. They have never worked more than one job at a time.
I Can't Get Enough
They have worked in other job fields, even if just a second part time job.
Lifer
They are usually not educated past the high school level. If they are, it is usually company training or restaurant management degrees.
I Can't Get Enough
They usually obtain the jobs to work their way through college and they cannot get enough of the money. Sometimes they are teachers who still bartend in the summers ect…
Lifer
Bartending is a career and they take it seriously.
I Can't Get Enough
Bartending is fun, they have been fire or quit without notice at least once.

The “Lifer” is a special breed of people who make the bar and restaurant industry world go around. If it weren’t for these people the job wouldn’t be the same. Plus the “can’t get enough” people would have no one to hide from, antagonize, or bitch about at work. I have come across many “lifers” over the years, but like every “can’t get enough” bartender, I have a favorite.

The “lifer” who grew to be my favorite over the years is a lady whom I have worked with in two different establishments. This lady has had a full life cycle in the bar and restaurant industry, and over ten years I have personally gotten to watch most of these cycles take place. I started serving tables at a rib joint/ sports bar in my twenties. This lady was a bartender who was eager to move up in the company. Before long she was an assistant manager or shift leader, this lasted a few months before taking the spot of another manager who had been fired. She was one of our favorite managers because she was pretty much an alcoholic and would let us do whatever we wanted. She moved up the chain quickly in the two years that I worked with her, but she had previously been bartending and serving her whole life. This was her first real management job, and she was really no good at it from an owners view point. This lady would call corporate and bitch about schedules, our GM, and any other cause she deemed fit every week. She would rally her server and bartender troops and try to get people fired all of the time; this is how she was so successful with her job advancement in the company. Weeks before I left this job she was fired for being drunk at work and injuring herself.

I had heard that she had gone back to serving tables and bartending at a different restaurant, but I had lost contact with her when I moved out of the state. When I relocated back to my home town years later she was still at it, serving tables at the restaurant she had went to after being fired from the sports bar. I would go in and see her occasionally listening to the same complaints I had heard from her at our previous job. Seven years into this job, she decided she could no longer take management and ask me to get her a job at the bar I was currently working at. I did, and I did not warn the managers because I hated that job. She came into that job serving tables at night, and then she moved relatively quickly through the other cycles. First she was a night server, bartender, trainer, day bartender, and then back to day server. She never quite made it to manager status at this bar.

She has worked at that establishment now for six years. She has botched her way from promotion to demotion of all positions available. She cannot be fired though; it has been tried by all managers who have worked there. One of the keys to her success is that she stays after work and drinks with the management, so she always has something on them. She is my favorite “lifer” though, because she somehow manages to get job opportunities and she takes advantage of them. She usually fucks it up and is demoted, but she has only been fired once.

The Full Cycle of Life in a Bar: host, busser, or bar-back/ day server/ cocktail server/ night server/ day or service well bartender/ night bartender/ assistant manager or shift leader/ manager/ general manager/ corporate-if they have skills/---bartender/day bartender/server/day server/retirement.
I guess ever bar needs a “lifer” to keep the memories of old times pasts, to keep the managers in check, and to motivate the “non-lifers’ into doing their side work. Every “lifer” serves a purpose in the bar, but as the older they get the purpose becomes less clear. So remember when you are at work bartenders, be kind to your “lifer”. They deserve respect, they have been at this job their whole life and for most of their life they were probably better at it than you. They are also; old, tired, and have seen it all so when they are grouchy or slow at their jobs, cut them some slack

Drink of the day

Incredible Hulk
10z of Hennesey
10z of Hypnotic
served chilled on the rocks

Saturday, July 17, 2010

T-shirts

T-shirt’s
Every day walking down the streets of San Diego I am surprised at what young girls are wearing these days. Apparently it is now in style to wear tights as pants, underwear as shorts, and T-shirts as dresses. I guess we have the retired Mickey Mouse cast to thank for all of these fashion trends.
When I lived back in the Mid-west the girls were a little behind the times when it came to fashion. Then I started running a dance club. Even the girls in this small town mid-west dance club came out dressed like fashionista's. I feel a little bad in hind sight making fun of all of those girls who wore T-shirts as dresses; because it appears that it is in style.
From a bartender’s sober perspective, here are some things that are wrong with wearing a T-shit as a dress especially when going out to dance.
First, only a handful of rail thin girls can wear this and still look good. I am a small individual myself, and I could not pull off this look. In order to wear a T-shirt as a dress one must have no cellulite, perky boobs, and long legs. I promise the girls in the magazines have all been airbrushed. So unless you are sixteen years old with the perfect body, the T-shirt dress should be left at home. If your girlfriends tell you that this is a good look for you, they are more than likely eliminating their competition for the evening. Don’t trust any friend who tells you that you look good wearing a T-shirt as a dress, especially accompanied by UGG boots.
The second reason for not wearing a T-shirt as a dress is because no one wants to see your beef curtains flapping to the “Cupid Shuffle”. While working behind the bar, my fellow bartenders and I would make a game out of how many we could spot. We even had our own sign language to alert one another if we had seen one, if the music was too loud to yell over. If you are even considering doing the “Stanky Leg” at a dance club; wearing a T-shirt as a dress, please stop and think about whom you really want seeing your vagina. If the answer is an entire dance club, then more power to you. But please keep in mind and be considerate to the poor sober bartenders getting you liquored up, and face it away from the bar.
The third reason one should not wear a T-shirt as a dress is because it attracts the ever dreaded “backpackers”. If you have chosen to go ahead wear the T-shirt to the dance club, beware. There are a multitude of guys lurking the dance clubs looking for the girls who wear these T-shirts. It is like wearing a sign on your back that says, “I have my vagina out, so please come hump dance my back”. Keep in mind that “backpackers” are a special breed of unattractive men who try and dry hump you from behind, in a locked and loaded position. So if you do not want attention from the “love dungeon” old men (we all know some) and or the “backpackers”, once again, leave the T-shirts at home.
I will give my final reason for not wearing the T-shirt as a dress through a story about a fellow bartender of mine; take from it what you will. When I moved back from Detroit I held a job at a chain restaurant for a short period of time, the transition job, if you will. I bartended with a girl who was an amazing person, she was skinny, cute, and nice. She was one of the only people who were nice to me at that job, hence the short period of employment. Years later when opening up my own bar, she was one of the first people I hired. This girl was still attractive and nice, but definitely not twenty-one years old anymore.
Shortly after the bar took off she decided that she would push the envelope with her outfits. We let the girls pretty much wear whatever they wanted as long as it was night club attire. She was one of the first to break out the T-shirt as a dress outfits in that town. Keep in mind she qualified for all three of the reasons “not to” in the previous paragraphs. And as expected other people followed her new fashion trend.
Eventually the T-shirts got shorter and she would even sometimes break out the tank tops. The shorter the T-shirt the more people would talk shit about her. I do not know how many of the rumors were true, but there were a lot to pick from. This brought out the worst in her; she started hating the customers and her fellow bartenders. She began fighting with female bar guests over their boyfriends. Then she began fighting with the bartenders, which eventually led to her stealing their money, and her termination with our company. Although there were girls that followed her fashion trend, they never dared to take it as far as she did. No one knows what rumors were true and false about this girl, but we all know the stemmed from wearing those damn T-shirts. So girls beware; the guys at the dance club might enjoy seeing you in the T-shirts, but their girlfriends never will.
So ladies if you want to start a trend and look sexy when out at the dance clubs, please take into consideration that there are other people that have to look at you. If you are confident enough with yourself to wear a T-shirt for a dress, then do it. Just take these paragraphs as a warning; I have seen no good come from the T-shit in place of a dress at a dance club. Also please keep in mind when you wake up the next day and take your “jager-bomb goggles” off, I told you so… “Backpackers” are ugly as shit!

Drink recipe of the day

Choclate -cherry martini
1oz three olives chocolate vodka
1oz three olive cherry vodka
splash grenadine
splash chocolate syrup

serve chilled in a martini glass

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Drink of the day

Vegas Bomb
1/2oz of crown royal
1/2oz of amaretto
Drop into redbull and shoot away

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Drink of the day

Roofie
1oz of Bacardi 151
10z of strawberry pucker
splash cranberry juice
shake over ice
serve straight up

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Drink of the day

The Bluberry crush
1.25oz Blueberry stoli vodka
sprite
Blueberries

serve on the rocks

Don't fruit the beer

Don’t Fruit the Beer.
The saying don’t fruit the beer has been made popular in the last few years because of the ever so popular super bowl commercials produced by a certain beer company. If asked, almost any bartender in the world will tell you that breaking a man law is not the only reason that one shouldn’t fruit their beer. Working in the bar and restaurant industry for the past 15 years I could give a dozen reasons on why a person should not order fruit in their beer at a bar. In fact I would never order fruit in any drink ordered at a bar, not even the Mohijto.
One should know that in most bars and restaurants, and in every bar and restaurant that I have had the pleasure of working in over the last decade, the day bartender is the person responsible for cutting the fruit that is served with drinks in a bar. The only exception to this rule is when the night bartenders run out of fruit they then cut more fruit to replenish the stock. The fruit cut by the night bartender is much worse for the customer than the fruit that is cut during the day. The fruit is usually cut on a cutting board behind the bar while the bartender is doing the rest of their cleaning and stocking duties for the day. The day bartenders are watched more closely than the night bartenders, they are usually required to wear gloves and have a clean fruit cutting environment. Night bartenders however cut the fruit on the “fly”, and most of the time they cut the fruit with dirty bar hands.
A dirty bartender hand is not the only reason fruit should not be ordered with a beverage at the bar, here are a few more:
1. The fruit is usually only changed out every couple of days.
2. The fruit is not always rotated leaving the fruit in the bottom of the tray for sometimes as long as a week.
3. Bartenders cut their hands all of the time when cut fruit... while this is usually cleaned up, I have experienced first hand that it is not always the case.
4. Olives, cherries, oranges, limes, and lemons are usually stored together cross contaminating one another. There is always olive juice in the cherry container.
5. When the fruit is stored at night it is stored in the fruit tray, not in separate containers or covered well.
6. Fruit flies breed in the fruit trays in any hot, humid, or outdoor bar.
7. The bartenders/servers handling the fruit use their hands to put it on the drink… no gloves or pokers.
I once worked in a bar where a bartender cut the tip of her finger off and had to leave and get stitches in the middle of a Saturday night. In all of the madness with trying to get her off to the hospital we forgot to change the fruit out.
I once worked with a server who handled the fruit after cutting incident and a few months later we found out that she had hepatitis. We all went and got vaccinated, the customers never knew.
I have seen fruit get dropped on a dirty bar mat, picked up and put in the drink. It was the last orange and the customer really wanted it. So it was covered in the entire overspill from drinks served that night.
I once worked with a girl who had a skin disease on her hands; she usually had us put the fruit in her drinks for her. When in a hurry this server would dip her fleshy hands right in the lemons and serve em' up to the customers.
I personally have cut over 5,000 (guess-ta-ment) lemons and limes while bartending, I have only worn gloves maybe 3 times.
I have worked in bars where I have served fruit all evening, at close cleaned out the tray to discover bugs and/or mold in the containers.
Some bars do not have dishwashers and sink wash all glassware and fruit trays. The fruit trays are never fully clean.
I have also worked with some very dirty bartender… need I say more.
I will say that while for the most part I would never order fruit with an alcoholic beverage at the bar. I have eaten my share of fruit from the trays. I am not a germaphobe and I take my chances all of the time. However, I do know the risks that I am taking when I eat a fruit cocktail concoction from the tray. So before ordering a drink: buyer beware, the fruit is not always as refreshing as it appears to be

Friday, July 9, 2010

Drink of the day

Scooby Snack:

.75oz of malibu rum
.75 oz midori
pineapple juice
whipped cream
shake over ice and serve straight up

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Drink of the Day

Ghost Buster
.75 oz jager
.75oz malibu rum
oj
Shake over ice and serve straight up

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Smile is Worth a Thousand Words, or $500.00

It still amazes me everyday how affective a smile or a kind word is when it comes to changing someone’s day. I have learned through my years of bartending that sometimes the best way to receive a tip is to put on a smile. I ran a bar for over 18 months and everyday when I started my shift I would say to all of the bartenders, smile even if you don’t mean it. We as bartenders hide behind this smile most every day. There are some bartenders who have not or cannot achieve this simple gesture while slinging drinks for the masses. But the ones who have will tell you, that their smile could have easily been what has put them through college or paid their mortgage. The smile for me though is not only about getting good tips, although it does help significantly. I have learned over the years that my smile has helped me form connections and relationships with bar regulars that have lasted a life time.

In the monetary since my smile has truly paid my bills, put me through college, and paid for almost any great thing I have accomplished. I have been offered because of my smile cars, clothes, credit cards, and trips around the world. In fact this past weekend I was offered a trip to Tokyo. I have for the most part declined these types of gifts throughout the years because I feel that I would have been taking advantage of a kind and drunken person. I have accepted smaller gifts throughout the years like a crystal necklace from an old lady who wanted me to have it. Or I have received CD’s and other gifts that were made for me. I feel like bartenders have plenty of opportunity to take advantage of their bar regulars when it comes to filling in the tip slot on the credit card at the end of the night, no need to take more. Although sometimes I look back and think how nice it would be if I had that Jeep Wrangler or apartment in NY.

My smile has gotten me more than just money and gifts while bartending. I believe that because of my lack of willingness to take advantage of my bar regulars I have received a wonderful collection of people, whom have become my surrogate family. One of the best relationships that was spawn from my smile was with two bar regulars named Granny and Sid. I worked at a sports bar for a 2 ½ year stint while going to school. I worked at this bar an upwards of 60 hours a week at some points. We had a game unit at this bar that allowed the bar regulars to play free poker and trivia while they drank. Granny and Sid were an old lesbian couple who were lesbians before it was even heard of, and who loved to play some trivia and poker. They were a little on the bitter side and did not like just anyone. After smiling at them and serving them margaritas for a couple of months Sid said to me, “I have never met someone who has smiled so much that they have smile wrinkles at the age of 25”. It broke the ice, from that day on they smiled back, and not just at me. These ladies became family to all of the bartenders at the sports bar. Fortunately I worked with a few other bartenders who were just like me, so Granny and Sid became family to them as well. Sid eventually grew extremely sick and Granny was distraught. I and some of my fellow bartenders helped take care of their animals and apartment while Sid was in the hospital. We got a phone call from Granny hours before Sid died; she wanted us to be there with her because we were the only ones who could make her feel better. The bartenders were not only included in the funeral ceremony but also asked to carry the casket for Sid. After her death we each received a small gift from Granny of something that had belonged to Sid. I still have that gift and I will always keep it. These ladies changed my life and I took part in changing theirs.

So for the bartenders, please remember to smile even if you don’t mean it. Not just for the tips, do it because it just might change someone’s life, even your own. For the bar guests, please keep in mind that it sometimes can be the hardest task a bartender has to achieve in a bad days work, the smile. So if they are smiling, let them know how much you appreciate it. For the bar regulars I have served over the years, I knew you liked smile, Can’t get enough! :) P.S. I have enjoyed all of yours as well.

The largest tip I have ever received and was told it was because of my smile was $500.00. A business man in Detroit had had a rough day, I made him laugh and he tipped me for it… Keep that in mind!

Drink of the Day

Dirty Bull
1oz hornitos teguila
1oz of khalua

serve on the rocks

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Holiday Patrons

Holiday Patrons:
Every bartender who works in a restaurant and or bar always dreads the holidays. Why? Because, there are always just enough people who are willing to go out on a holiday and drink to make it worth the owners while to stay open. It depends on the holiday, but for the most part bartending on a holiday sucks. Sometimes it is a good excuse to get away from the family celebration early and not have to deal with the clean up. But sometimes I’m not sure what would be worse, drunk family or drunken bar regulars. Either way there are some holidays that are fun to work and holidays that are horrible. So; when deciding where to go and drink on a holiday keep your favorite bartender in mind and decide whether it is worth it or not to torture them.

Holidays we love:

The day before thanksgiving: biggest drinking night of the year- love the money hate the college kids that come home. The only downfall to this holiday is that we always show up to thanksgiving lunch tired. Remember most bartenders do not get home from work on this night until 5am.

New Years Eve: Good money. Never had one off… get to watch everyone else party and count down the New Year while we pour Champaign. The money makes this night worth it. Plus usually this is a holiday where the bartender gets to dress up night and gets a bunch of free stuff from the reps.

Halloween: Love this holiday, gives you an excuse as an adult to spend money on a costume and act like a fool. Plus most people have Halloween parties on a different night because of their kids so you can still attend.

Saint Patty’s day: Best holiday to work in a bar. You can join in on the partying without getting drunk. Everyone usually tips well. Everyone is there to get shit faced and spend their pay checks. You don’t go home with the hang-over, but you do go home with pockets full of cash. Everyone dresses up in costumes and green shit. You go home with green hands from the food coloring in the tap beer. There is usually good music. It is the bouncers’ least favorite holiday.

Holidays we hate:

Easter: The church people/ if working in a restaurant the bartender makes no money and has to pour wine drinks and virgin frozen daiquiris all day long. If working in a regular bar business is slow and everyone is bitter.

Christmas Eve: Because we would rather be out last minute shopping and no one tips because they have spent all of their money last minute shopping. Plus usually you have to miss out on at least on family dinner or event for three customers to come in and bitch about their families.

Mothers/ Fathers day: Need I say more.

Fourth of July: Unless you are working at a tourist location or a patio bar, there is no money to be made. If you work the night shift at a bar you miss out on the fireworks. Everyone is having a BBQ and you have to sling drinks to the few people who have no porch or patio to party on.

Thanksgiving: Because bar patrons come in late, if at all and you have eaten too much to give a shit about the bar regulars problems. All the football games are over with before you get to work, so there is nothing to watch on the TV. Everyone is hung-over from the night before.

Memorial and Labor Day: Sometimes you make money, sometimes you don’t. Both holidays are usually a nice hot day you don’t want to spend inside. Either way, everyone is barbequing without you.
.
The best Holiday story I have for you is a story from when I worked in Detroit. I was working in a blues bar on Easter Sunday. We decided to have our own little Easter egg hunt and small dinner before we opened to start all of the bartenders and servers off in a good mood. It was working, everyone was having a great time and in high spirits before the doors opened, (even the Jewish and Atheist servers who I made help me hide the eggs were having fun). Then the doors opened!
I was serving tables and I had an 18 top of church ladies all dressed up in their Sunday best. The table ordered 18 glasses of different types of wine, they couldn’t just settle on a couple of bottles. I was trying to cash out another table at the same time I was delivering the wine to the large party. The guy was ready to get the hell out of the restaurant apparently and saw that I had his check with his credit card in it under my armpit. So instead of waiting for me to finish passing out the wine to the large party, he grabbed the book out from under my arm. This caused the whole tray full of red and white wine to go flying. The wine landed on top of about ten of the eighteen ladies and their new church clothes. I freaked out on the guy and proceeded to call him every foal mouthed thing I could come up with. The ladies were in shock; they had wine all over them and had just heard the f-bomb at least 6 times. Needless to say, their tab was upwards of $500.00 and my tip definitely reflected my sailor mouth. I walked away from the table with a twenty dollar bill. It was one of the worst tips I have ever received on a holiday. I also had to tip out the bartender and busser on the table, so I walked away with a five dollar tip. So, take notes bartenders and servers, even church people who drink do not like to hear the word fuck with their Easter dinner.

Pecker Wrecker

This is a nice 21st birthday shot

Pecker wrecker
.5 oz jager
.5 oz patron
.5 oz Jack Daniels
layer and serve straight up