Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This Is Why Your Bartender Hates You

Posted By on Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Michael Procopio's hotly debated piece on restaurant patrons' "breaches of dining behavior" got us thinking about pet peeves among San Francisco's drink slingers. To find out, I queried some of the city's best bartenders about what drives them crazy, expecting to hear stories of alcohol-fueled stupidity, or about offenses like blocking the server's window.

Amazingly, those things never came up (nor, thankfully, did any stories specifically about me). The top complaint had to do with how patrons order, as seen in this viral video making the rounds in the bar community. Contrary to popular belief, bartenders don't really care WHAT you order (they know you love vodka and soda, and they're okay with it, even if it is the tofu of the cocktail world). It's all the other crap you do that drives mixologists to drink.

You get uppity when a bar doesn't stock the brand you ask for.

A quality establishment typically devotes its back bar space to smaller, artisanal brands of spirits, and might not carry the megabrands that take out glossy ads in Details. A good bartender is happy to tell you what he does carry. Relax and enjoy the many great spirits out there you've never heard of.

You're impatient.

Waving money, snapping your fingers, or shouting, "Hey, hey, hey!" at a crowded bar won't get you a drink any faster ― it only pegs you as annoying and aggressive. Leave your paranoia at work: No bartender is singling you out to be ignored.


You order a drink while you're on the phone.

Extra scorn points for wearing a Bluetooth earpiece ― no one knows who you're talking to.

You order a drink, then wander off.

Stay put and be ready to pay.

You ask a bartender what's good, or what her favorite drink is.

If you can't decide what to drink, tell the bartender what spirits you like. A good one will make suggestions, and probably introduce you to your next favorite drink. Remember, you're the one doing the drinking, not your bartender.

You don't know what the hell you're ordering.

If you order "cranberry and vodka" you'll receive two drinks: a glass of cranberry juice and one of vodka. If you order "vodka and cranberry," you'll get one glass containing both.

You help yourself from a bottle you didn't buy.

Believe it or not, this happens. You will get thrown out.

You order your drink "strong."

If you want less mixer, say so, but unless you're ordering a double, you're implying that your bartender makes weak drinks. If that is what you mean to imply, order a beer instead, or go to a different bar.

You make out with somebody.

Dude: Get a room. No one wants to see that.

You whip out drugs at the bar.

Just because it's okay to get shit-faced at an establishment doesn't mean it's okay to get high there. Openly.

Prior rants:

This Is Why Your Whole Foods Cashier Hates You

This Is Why Your Waiter Hates You

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"