Bar Maintenance 101 – Store-n-Pour Edition

Store and Pour Tops

Know what these are? They’re Store-n-Pour tops and they’re disgustingly dirty. This particular photograph is from a bar I worked at many years ago. Store-n-Pours are plastic containers juice containers that can be found at practically every bar on the planet. The idea is that you can “pour” when they’re in use, and you can “store” unused juices by swapping the spout for a plastic screw-on lid at the end of the evening. Outside of juices provisioned to come out of the WunderBar (soda gun), there is no more efficient access to commonly used juices, mixes, and other liquid preparations in a commercial bar environment.

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Douchebag Columnist of the Day Award: NY Post’s Kyle Smith

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This is Kyle Smith. Within New York City’s server circles (which is practically everywhere), he’s now privileged to have become Enemy #1 – the dude you never want to see as you roll up to your table or bar. This clown has single-handedly managed to elevate himself into the posterchild victim of all kinds of classic restaurant shenanigans  from hawking some loogie action in his French Onion Soup, to “marinating” his T-Bone in murky floor water (not that I’ve ever partaken in, nor advocating any of that, mind you).

Yes, this is the “Enjoy my 11% tip” dude; the one who Rupert Murdoch’s [not] all-too-bright editors saw fit to allow all kinds of unnecessary writing latitude. He had the wherewithal to venture slightly outside of his Film Critic comfort zone into the dining/tipping zone. A couple of weeks ago, he penned what is likely the most idiotic article on serving/tipping ever written in the history of the InterToobs. It’s ever so lovingly followed up with an blurb about how France, and it’s restaurant/serving setup, is far superior to the bullshit he has to “endure” here in The New World. 

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Bartender and Server Blog Misconceptions Explained

Trolls, haters, malcontents, ignoramuses, and dummies. They’re out there in InterToobs land in shocking abundance. Do anything on the public Net – like express a viewpoint, post an opinionated article, or “leak” a steamy sex video (not admitting or denying I did that) – and you can easily expect hoards of braincell-deficient zombies to spew a shit-ton vitriolic messages in your general direction. Most often, those appear as “anonymous” article comments.

…which brings us to Service Industry bloggers. In my case, I’ve been bestowed with a significant increase in blog traffic the last few months. In parallel, I’ve also seen an uptick in (1) media requests (2) questions from fellow and aspiring bartenders and lastly, (3) hate mail and utterly stupid comments.

So lets take a moment to set the record straight once and for all.

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Drink This Not That – Beer Edition

Cheap Beer Collage

Today, I start a new series “Drink This Not That.” As the title implies, I unleash a world of hurt and knowledge upon the sheeple of the drinking world. It’s come to my attention that throngs of imbibers and borderline alcoholics are not necessarily stupid, but ignorant. They’ve been mis-educated, not educated at all, or have simply grown accustomed to drinking junk. Well, this bartender is here to turn their misfortunes around.

We start with what I call Pisswater. Quit drinking it. You probably know most of the folks who guzzle this stuff. At least, the bartenders among us do. These are the clowns who, given a breadth of other options, still choose to quench their penchant for suds with cheap, pedestrian, mass-produced, nearly flavorless Lagers (mostly) like: Bud, Coors Light, MGD, Stella Artois, Rolling Rock, Michelob Ultra, Heineken, Amstel Light, and Becks. I can hear the scoffing… :”Stella? Heineken?” Yeah, those beers are utter crap. I said it.

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NYC Department of Health Bartender Checklist

How many times have you seen this lovely picture? Bartenders are notorious for this practice. We like to keep our personal sodas cold, our energy bars fresh, and our ice scoops on the ready. What you’re witnessing above is drinking ice contaminated with objects which have zero business being stored as such. The major rub (aside from the obvious health issues)? The Health Department smackdown.

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Can Drinking Cure Your Cold?

It’s that time of year again… aching, wheezing, coughing up loogies – the shakes, fevers and sore throats. For the first time in several years, I neglected to get a Flu shot and sure enough, I got hit with it badly. Nursing a two day old 103 degree temperature, my doc was kind enough to save me a trip to the E.R. and phone in a prescription for Tamiflu. He rocks. Keep in mind though, there is no such thing as a sick day in this business.

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Huff Po Calls Out Cranky Bartenders – Yours Truly Steps Up

I started this blog as a goof, an outlet for a few pent-up frustrations, and for self-psychotherapy. I held no other expectations. The unexpected however, has a way of creeping up on your ass when you least expect it. Having a [public] social media presence has a way of attracting attention – sometimes wanted, other times – not so much. So it’s been with this blog as the year and a half has crept by.

On the good side, I’ve met all kinds of Hospitality blogger geeks and established some pretty cool relationships. I’ve had the good fortune of being contacted by, and participating in several articles, interviews, and now videos, from major and minor publications. It’s all good I guess.

So it was the other day when Huffington Post reached out to me. They highlighted an article from BroBible.com, “Confessions of  Bartender” and reached out to a few folks (myself included) to add a little colored commentary. The article is pretty well written and accurately conveys many issues and concerns I’ve mentioned previously.

Gotta love the InterToobs and Google Hangouts I must say.