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In Praise Of Bartenders


brendanc
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It seems a bit odd that I never gave as much consideration to who is behind that two and a half feet of mahogany before and what it takes to remain there. Sure I've had friends behind the bar, sending freebies of guiness and I always tipped well, even for mediocre service. Tonight I have resolved to tip better. After 120 covers, 60 odd tasting menus, a fistfight between busser and frontwaiter, I had to jump behind the bar for New Year's late night. Angry, pleading throngs of postgraduate flotsam and jetsam fighting to get my attention and a drink, a computer system I've never seen and a desire to really start slugging it out when someone keeps pestering me to put their, "super-awesome new years cd in the system". It was fun, and f-ing hard work. I did a poor job I'm sure, really, all I did was say we were out of everything except stella on tap, I can do that. I've come away with a renewed respect for the good bartender and probably won't ever enter a bar with more than twenty poeple in it again.

Charcuterie is a lot more up my alley than a cosmo is....

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Ahh, yes, the shoe and the other foot...I came up as a barback, then a bar tender, I used to say that it was the last honest profession, or, conversely, being on the other side, as a regular, it is cheaper than therapy. Behind the bar, there is nowhere to hide...a trained observer can tell in 5 min if you know your a#* from your elbow. If you are an honest barkeep, you certainly earn every cent, on the other hand, you do sleep well... :)

Been there, done that, might do it again...

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Allow me to announce my upcoming new book, "All I ever really needed to know I learned behind the bar". It's a real education in human nature.

My favorite bartender lives about 250 miles from here. He owns the bar and is behind it every night. He knows more about his patrons they do about themselves. One night he'll follow in the footsteps of his father by having a heart attack and dying behind the bar. Like his father, his funeral portrait will hang on the wall so that all the old timers can raise a toast to him as his son pours them beer.

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Arrity Dreisbach from that place near the zoo.

Is that "place near the zoo" you refer to Palena? If so, I have to say she's pretty great.

I've got a serious weakness for the bartenders at Tunnicliffs, but that's because they've transcended the bartender/friend barrier.

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Know why the Capitol Lounge caught fire? Because that blonde bartender who used to work the back bar was so unbelieveably freaking hot! I used to throw drinks over my shoulder so she'd come round to refill me more often. Actually, that's not true. But it totally would have been if I drank slower. Uh, I'm gonna go now.

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Know why the Capitol Lounge caught fire? Because that blonde bartender who used to work the back bar was so unbelieveably freaking hot! I used to throw drinks over my shoulder so she'd come round to refill me more often. Actually, that's not true. But it totally would have been if I drank slower. Uh, I'm gonna go now.

Um, Andrew: are you going to let us know when Whopper, Jr.'s sibling arrives? Please. Thanks.
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[Name some names on this thread. These great people are worthy of our attention, and deserve to be lauded and held under a benevolent spotlight. Cheers, Rocks]

Tony Allen at Equinox

Jawad and Salvatore and Yee-Hwa at Citronelle

I love these guys, and would do anything for them, and there are so many more:

Jayne at Circle Bistro

Manolo at Taberna del Alabardero

Jamie at Buck's Fishing and Camping

Chris at Dino

Ken and Tami at Restaurant Eve

Keep 'em coming. They deserve recognition.

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From the way back machine, Mike from the Back Bar at the Ebbit. Post-service friend to the old 'Nox crew, the champagne and oyster rounds helped the mood as well

Of course my boy Mounir at the 'Nox

and Tony Allen, even thouygh he is a Dallas Fan

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the bartenders that made my christmas list...

mark and sonja - capital grille

billy and george - cashion's

krishna and billy - aroma

daryl aka durty, kevin, song, laura - bedrock billiards

dirty sarah - felix

anna - the reef

schmitty - childe harold

tracy - charlie palmer's

margaret ann - old ebbitt

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the bartenders that made my christmas list...

mark and sonja - capital grille

billy and george - cashion's

krishna and billy - aroma

daryl aka durty, kevin, song, laura - bedrock billiards

dirty sarah - felix

anna - the reef

schmitty - childe harold

tracy - charlie palmer's

margaret ann - old ebbitt

You really get around!

I think Billy from Cashion's is a gem, as well.

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Mark, Tom, Patrick, Sonya, Rachel and Sue all at Capital Grille. They're all phenomenal and so great to spend time with. Plus, they put up with all of my antics (and those of my friends)

John at DC Coast (used to be at Signatures)

Nick (used to be at Signatures, not sure where he landed...if you ever find him, ask him for "The Nick"...makes you feel like you're on a beach with waves and warm sun)

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Terry at Mr. Henry's on the Hill. I come in only a few times a year but he always knows what I'm drinking and looks after me late at night if I have that I-know-your-kitchen-is-about-to-close-but-I'm-hungry look on my face.

Mick at Sonoma. On a very cold day before Christmas he searched the place up and down for a bottle of Hendrick's (unfortunately to no avail). He didn't go into the cellar, though, saying, "You think I'm gonna freeze my ass for you?" :)

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[ducking] Kevin at the Palm [\ducking]. Waitman took my SIL there for a cocktail and Kevin gave him the evil eye and upon W-man's departure suggested in no uncertain terms that his (Kevin's) regards be extended to me - as in "say hello to your wife" (you scum I have your number) :) .

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Greg at Southside 815 - he's a real sweetheart! (along with most of the other guys behind the bar there)

(WAY) Back in the day.... Norm at Garrett's - he moved from there to Angles(?) the bar upstairs from Little Fountain, no idea if he's still there, but wherever he is now, he was very good (ah, those days of 'yewt' :) ).

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and Tony Allen, even though he is a Dallas Fan

 
Bartender: "I need a new car."

Drunken Patron: "Want a BMW?"

Bartender: "Sure!"

Next time you go to Equinox on a Monday or Wednesday, ask Tony (a personal trainer by day) about the time he swapped fitness-training sessions for a car.

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After 28 years tending to the inmates of Darwin's Waiting Room -- aka the basement of the Childe Harold -- Roland Desonnier is drawing his last beer, relinquishing his bar rag and hanging up his apron this Wednesday afternoon, October 25. Those of us who have benefitted from Roland's good humor, generous pours and wise counsel over the years plan to gather at some point in the late afternoon to wish him well as he leaves the Childe to take up a full time Assistant Coaching position for U of MD's track team.

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After 28 years tending to the inmates of Darwin's Waiting Room -- aka the basement of the Childe Harold -- Roland Desonnier is drawing his last beer, relinquishing his bar rag and hanging up his apron this Wednesday afternoon, October 26.
Whoa. Scott and I might have to stop by.

I still miss Rodney from the Childe. My favorite bartender ever.

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Wow. As someone who hasn't been on the DC bar/Irish pub circuit since the early 90's, even I remember hearing stories about the legendary Rodney
Rodney was the best. He talked me through my divorce & subsequent rebound relationship and made sure I was left alone at the bar. Scott (my hub) was only allowed to sit next to me because Rodney knew him and thought he was OK. :) And he mixed a mean drink. :) I probably bought him a drink every time I was in there.
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Ladies and Gents of the board,

Please make sure to tip you bartender an extra buck and drink an extra pint on December 5th in celebration of the repeal of the stupidest and most backward legislation to every be inacted in these great States, Prohibition.

Thank God we came to our senses, or I'd be mixing avocado and balsamico in an attempt to make the perfect aperitif--yuck! Check out mixiologist JeffreyMorgenthaler's post on his blog: http://www.jeffreymorgenthaler.com.

Cheers!

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:) Just thought I would add my two cents to this string.

Susan at Landini's in Old Town,

Ken, Jake, Tammy, and, at one time Dustin at Restaurant Eve, some can also be found at Eammons in Old Town,

George at Cashions,

Dave at La La Land in Rehoboth Beach,

Tara, formerly at 219,

and many more to numerous to name.

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Ladies and Gents of the board,

Please make sure to tip you bartender an extra buck and drink an extra pint on December 5th in celebration of the repeal of the stupidest and most backward legislation to every be inacted in these great States, Prohibition.

Thank God we came to our senses, or I'd be mixing avocado and balsamico in an attempt to make the perfect aperitif--yuck! Check out mixiologist JeffreyMorgenthaler's post on his blog: http://www.jeffreymorgenthaler.com.

Cheers!

I agree :)

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Ladies and Gents of the board,

Please make sure to tip you bartender an extra buck and drink an extra pint on December 5th in celebration of the repeal of the stupidest and most backward legislation to every be inacted in these great States, Prohibition.

Thank God we came to our senses, or I'd be mixing avocado and balsamico in an attempt to make the perfect aperitif--yuck! Check out mixiologist JeffreyMorgenthaler's post on his blog: http://www.jeffreymorgenthaler.com.

Cheers!

Bump. Tuesday approacheth. The DCDrinks guys, and others, will be celebrating at Billy Martin's Tavern that evening.
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I had the privilege of sitting with a veritable “Murderers Row” of DC bartenders last night – I will not name them as it is not my place to disclose the affairs of others. At one point, one of the members of our happy band of drink makers quipped “of the ten bartenders in DC that know how to make a proper sazerac, six are in this room and four of us aren’t behind a bar any more.” While there was certainly a touch of hyperbole in his statement, it wasn’t that far from the truth. We then set about lamenting the state of the bartending profession in DC.

Next time you come across a truly great bartender, please give him or her a knowing smile when you thank them for a job well done. There certainly aren’t enough of them.

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I had the privilege of sitting with a veritable “Murderers Row” of DC bartenders last night – I will not name them as it is not my place to disclose the affairs of others. At one point, one of the members of our happy band of drink makers quipped “of the ten bartenders in DC that know how to make a proper sazerac, six are in this room and four of us aren’t behind a bar any more.” While there was certainly a touch of hyperbole in his statement, it wasn’t that far from the truth. We then set about lamenting the state of the bartending profession in DC.

Next time you come across a truly great bartender, please give him or her a knowing smile when you thank them for a job well done. There certainly aren’t enough of them.

Forget making a proper Sazerac, there are plenty of bartenders in this town who can't even pour a pint. Since moving to DC I've basically given up on going to bars.

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