Sunday, January 4, 2015


The time has come kids.
I’m ending The Bartender Knows in four weeks.
100 blogs total. 4 years. Lots of drinks. We've had many a happy hours together.
It’s true. As a dutiful bartender, I’m walking around to all the windows, making sure they are locked. I’m pulling out the dusty broom from behind the bar, straightening out the bottles by the back glass, and laced the chains through the door handles.
We got word from our landlord. The building is for sale, the block is up for grabs, and it was the money that took us down.
We’ve only got four weeks left together. I’m working every shift still, just so I can answer every question in the world. Isn’t that what we advertised on our banner?
Each week, a question is posed to the bartender at large that will shed light on all of the worlds most perplexing mysteries. The Bartender Knows.”
I can only think of that scene from “Gladiator” when Russell Crowe killed the other gladiators in the center of the arena and turned, bloody but victorious, screaming to Caesar:
“Are you not entertained?!?”
I’ve battled lions, ex-girlfriends, foreign countries, drug abuse, haters, the Fates, sobriety, doubt, New Orleans noise policies, other bartenders, local businesses, becoming Frank Harris, Tinder, and every other kind of topic under the sun—all in a blog. Wow. Search engines, people.
100 blogs. Jesus. Don’t I have better things to do with my time?
Well, this bar is still open, and let me tell you guys, as my regulars, y’all get discount drinks until we close this fucker down. Four weeks from now.
Then, after we’re good and drunk, we’ll gather all the gasoline we can, pour it along the crevasses and corners of this bar, and spend the rest of the night smiling and throwing matches.
Doesn’t that sound fun? Watching all the walls of this place go up in flames?
But wait…we still have four weeks. I’m not done answering all of the questions asked of me in these final weeks. Let’s start a new subtitle ‘title’ to The Bartender Knows this week (speed dating style):
“Your Guide To Everything In Life, Parts 1-6”.
So without further adieu:



Okay. Don’t do it. Don’t try to do it. Don’t look for it. Don’t text for it. Turn off the computer for it. Open your mouth (in a nice way) and speak for it. But don't go looking for it.
You will get this wrong. Most people they do. It’s like that famous quote:
“Marriage is like a war. It starts for the noblest of reasons and ends in unwanted casualties.”
Love is a great and grand thing. Like heroin, should only be doled out in small doses. Or with some version of the drug, a Methadone of late nights and a lack of questions.
That’s my favorite version of love: the lack of questions. I’m not talking about not learning about each other or trying to achieve some lusty intimacy. Trust me. Intimacy is always sexy, especially when its not feigned. That’s what makes one meal different from the next, right?
Where you’re eating it and when?
Sound familiar?
That’s all I have to say about LOVE in the capital sense.

Don’t do it. Don’t try to do it. Don’t look for it. Don’t text for it.
Do what is inscribed on Charles Bukowski’s grave:
“Don’t try.”

            MIXED DRINKS

            Look. Let me say this on the record for every bartender in the world.
            Making drinks is the easiest thing to do in the world. The easiest.
            Any bartender that complains/snides/huffs/talks shit on cocktails is a lazy piece of shit. Seriously, folks. It’s true. Maybe it's the customer. They are not always right. But if you bitch about making cocktail, you're just a shitty bartender.
            I can make a Bloody Mary, Mint Julep, and Cadillac Margerita in less than 2 minutes each if the proper supplements are close at hand. So don’t hate on an irritated bartender. He/She probably doesn’t have the right materials to make said cocktails or dealing with a shitty customer and therefore is pissed. It’s like trying to play football without arms. Not cool. And irritating as fuck.
            It’s probably the fault of the owners. It’s always the fault of the owners. Every problem at a bar, as opposed to shitty bartenders (see shitty bartenders here), is directly and absolutely because of the owners. Hence our next topic:

            BAR OWNERS

            The Bar Backs are the chorus players of a bar. The Bartenders the conductors. The Owners of the bar are the ‘Mozarts’ of the bar world; they are the music sheets we play from. And if the music is shit—the bar will be shit.
            Bar Owners set the tone. You can be rest assured: if the bartenders are prissy because nothing is stocked, it’s the bar owners. But remember:
            They just might be shitty bartenders.
            Let’s talk about Craig’s List.
If the Bar Owners go to Craig’s List for employees, they are shitty owners. All bar staff is hired either from knowing the owner or knowing someone who works for the owner. If they are using Craig’s List to get employees, it means either the bar is new (so you won’t make any money), or the bar owner sucks and ruins everything (which means you won’t be making any money).
            It is a total waste of everyone’s time.
            9 times out of 10, the Bar Owner comes from a different world than the world of service. They are the money people. They come from Business Management Degrees. They come from Administration (schools, the police, investments, I’ve seen all kinds).
            They come from every place other than The Service Industry. Service Industry people know how things have to go, even if they are the ones flustered most easily. Bar Owners never know how to run a successful bar unless they have been in the Service Industry for a long time. 
            You know that favorite bar you love? The super local, easy, cheap, friendly and fine one that shouts your name when you walk into it?
            That’s your local bar. Don’t have one yet?

            This ones open for the next four weeks.
            Welcome. Take a seat.

            Can I buy you a drink?




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