Posts Tagged ‘regulars’

Review Evolution

May 17, 2016

There is a four letter website out there that stands for everything that is wrong with social media. This website allows any asshole with a cell phone to spew hate filled reviews attacking people in the service industry because they are upset that there is no Amber Ale on tap. They seem to have no control over what slanderous rhetoric its users post. Anyone who has ever waited or bussed a table, tended bar, been a floor or general manager or worked the door as a security guard will tell you that 90% of what you read on this website is bullshit usually made up by a user under the influence of alcohol. I understand that speech is free in this country but personally attacking an employee of an establishment you patronize, while drunk and recently ejected, does not equate to freedom of speech in my mind.

I have so many negative reviews about me that it is impossible to count. I have been called both racist and sexist on this site. I have been accused of being a pathetic little man drunk with the power of running a restaurant on this site. I have been referred to as a shameless prick who inexcusably backs his staff on this site. One time some schmuck actually posted a picture of a dog taking a shit and had the nerve to compare me to the pile of dung on this site.

Mind you these nasty things have been written about me because I was just trying to do my job. When was the last time something that happened at your job got blasted out on the internet with the express purpose of making you look like a jackass? Think hard. For me it’s much easier to recall because it happens every several months. If you want to pull me aside and say these awful things to my face that’s fine. It most likely won’t end well but one way or another it will end. Don’t be a coward and run to your laptop or tablet and blatantly make shit up that threatens my livelihood. Once it goes up on this site it is there for the public to read and now not just one person thinks I am all these awful things but the entire world is encouraged to make the same rash judgement.

So, you say to me, “It’s just a silly little website. Nobody cares that much about what is written there. Readers are smart enough to decipher the legitimate reviews versus the bullshit ones.”  First of all, the people who use this site are not that smart. Trust me I deal with them on a daily basis. If they were in a spelling bee versus a stack of bricks I’m taking the bricks, big time. Second of all people do care. I have seen people cry after reading a nasty review that was written about them. I’ve met people in this industry who have lost their job because they got too many bad reviews most of which were bullshit. If people didn’t care what was written on this shitbag site then certain restaurants wouldn’t discount customers who write five star reviews about them.

I have been in or around the restaurant business for 20 plus years and have been in the craft beer industry the last ten and what I have found is that people in this industry care about what they do, a lot. This is a career not some summer job motherfucker and every day I go to work I try to be better than I was the day before. When things don’t go well I lose sleep or drink to excess usually both. When my teammates have a bad day I feel it, because I care about them too. We work long hours on our feet trying extremely hard to provide our patrons with stellar product and service.

To do all that and then have some punk ass permanently stoned college hipster or some Quaalude popping soccer mom who have never waited a table in their life tell the internet that I suck at my job is something I am no longer able to just sit here and take. In fact, a very good friend of mine and I are going to open a restaurant for all these expert reviewers of a business they have never been employed in and it’s going to be called “Go Fuck Yourself” (patent pending). That way when they don’t like how things go down in our house they can reference the sign on the front door.

Service industry people unite. They want to write about us then let’s write about them. There is a website called GULPU.com™ coming to you soon. It’s our site to talk about how awful they are. For now, get stress off your chest with us at https://www.facebook.com/GULPU/

That way the next time some redneck with dip spit dribbling down his chin tries to fight you because you wouldn’t serve his pregnant girlfriend alcohol the real story will be heard too. Oh yeah, I almost forgot “Fuck Yelp”.

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Holiday Winter Storm

January 16, 2014

Every year a certain local restaurant has their annual holiday party, and every year they end up at the pub, and every year they treat our staff, our customers and the pub itself with zero respect. It is like feeding time at the raptor cage from the moment they stumble up until the moment they get thrown out. This restaurant shall remain nameless due to the fact that I have the utmost respect for seventy-five percent of their staff who are all important members of the craft beer community. It was that fact that made me hesitate even writing this but the level of douchebaggery the other twenty-five percent displayed this year was far too egregious for me to stay silent.

It’s 4 pm on a Monday afternoon. Our happy hour regulars are settling in to their stools discussing the day’s events over a nice frosty pint of ale. The door opens and in walks a guy with a hat representing the restaurant he works at. He walks to the far side of the bar and sits down. The bartender approaches him to offer him a beer. He mentions where he works and says that he is meeting a party in upwards of 50 people here to celebrate their holiday party.

I know what you are thinking, 50 people on a quiet Monday afternoon that will be a great boon for business, and you’re right. However, most people who are part of a party of 50 have enough brain power to call ahead days in advance and I would be happy with even an hour’s heads up. Then you think about this particular group and realize that they work at a restaurant, allegedly. Here’s an idea, pull your fancy diamond bedazzled smart phone out of your ass and apply it to your ear so whatever restaurant you plan on destroying has a chance to make sure the level of ass kicking is a manageable one.

If I’d known that a bunch of drunk restaurant employees were approaching my bar I would have had a dark corner prepared to herd them into so my regular customers wouldn’t have to be bothered with their idiocy. I would have gladly set up a cage on the far side of our patio where they could yell and punch each other in the balls all to their hearts’ desire. When you add in that these people have been at their work drinking free high in alcohol beers all afternoon you understand how potentially damaging this group could be. Who ends a holiday party at 4 in the afternoon on a Monday and releases their shit faced employees like a roving Jager-stinking fifty person zombie apocalypse upon the local community? That doesn’t sound like responsible serving to me.

The regulars were shocked by the sudden influx of younger people. They were intrigued for less than a minute and all motioned to close their tabs out immediately. I would have done the same as I wouldn’t want to get bumped by drunken 22 year olds who are fighting each other to get a drink faster. We went four deep at the bar which is fun but getting string ordered by people who work in the bar industry is frustrating and annoying.

Once the initial rush mellowed we were able to start letting this screaming band of bar amateurs know that they needed to chill the fuck out and start treating this place with a sense of respect. They would listen for a few minutes and then start freaking out uncontrollably again. Things really started going downhill when I found a bottle of spiced Jager sitting over by the pool table. First of all if you are going to sneak liquor into a bar make it some real shit not some water downed bitchafied version of Jager.

Second of all, now people are going to start getting kicked out. I found the first one lying on the ground in front of the pub. This was at about 630. I kicked him in his ribs and he shook to life. He claimed he was waiting on a ride. I told him to leave the property. When he argued I asked him if people were allowed to lie on the ground in front of his restaurant. He shook his head no and stumbled his way down towards Denny’s. An hour and a half later a girl showed up with a baby looking for him.

The second one was already on watch for puffing on her e-cigarette inside even after being warned twice not to do so. As she took a seat at the bar she saw a plate of food. After blurting out that while she didn’t know whose food it was she was going to eat it anyway, she  proceeded to eat it anyway. When I pulled her out she was in tears saying how embarrassed she was and rightly so. I asked her to leave and when she argued I asked her if at her restaurant they allowed customers to randomly eat off other customers’ plates. She looked at me and stuttered out a tear and snot soaked yes.

The third one was most likely the oldest member of the staff left and seemed to be in some sort of management role with the restaurant. When I had first discovered the Jager bottle he had assumed the responsibility of gaining control of the crowd and helping us make sure his people didn’t do anything else stupid. That plan was a bust due to the fact that he might have been one of the more intoxicated people there more so than most of the kids who were ten years younger than him.

He had mentioned something about getting everyone to move to the bowling alley since my staff and I made it clear that is was in everyone’s best interest that they move along. An hour later he said they were going to go bowling. When I looked around and saw that was not the case I referenced about how lucky the bowling alley staff would be to get to serve him and his staff. He then told me to “not be an asshole” and that was the end of his evening and any evenings he ever thought he would be welcome back because he is most certainly not welcome.

At the end of this month it will be our Holiday party and the entire staff including myself will be letting loose and having a hot God damn good time. There will be crying, vomiting and spousal abandonment.  Our debauchery will be behind closed doors where the only people getting offended will be ourselves. One word of advice to any bar or restaurant who is planning a holiday party sometime in the near to distant future and that is open bar at your place and make sure there is no way to get out so that any staff- wide insanity does nothing to bother the rest of humanity.

BUY MY BOOK LOVE LIFE BY CLICKING ON THE LOVE LIFE LINK UP AND TO THE RIGHT FROM HERE!

The Bad Bartender Chronicles V

May 31, 2013

I recently had one of the worst experiences at a bar that I’ve had over my entire drinking career which has been lengthy and highly decorated. It was my first time in San Francisco and as a lover of craft beer everyone I spoke to before embarking on my trip up north told me there was absolutely one bar I had to go to if I was going to be in the city. So, I did and shall forever regret stepping foot there. As a respectful member of the bar community coupled with my blinding hatred for a certain four letter website I am legally not allowed to name, the bar at which I had this terrible experience shall remain nameless.

Another reason the bar shall remain nameless is because it wasn’t the bar that ruined my time there it was the pathetic excuse for a bartender who was clearly twelve years past being past her prime. Even a historically cool bar can be ruined by terrible service and based on the regulars’ acceptance of this common street walker’s behavior I figured her shitty treatment of customers wasn’t an exception but the norm.

It was late when we arrived with a nice buzz from a day long hair of the dog session beating off a circus-sized hangover. My first impression of this allegedly awesome craft beer bar was that it reeked like vomit. Not freshly puked vomit but years of people puking all over the place like the scent of vomit was stained into every surface of the bar.

We found four seats at the bar and waited to order. The bartender was at the other end of the bar leaning on the bar top with her back to us as she talked to other customers. The guys she was talking too had full beers so they clearly were not performing a business transaction. I looked around and saw four other patrons in addition to my three buddies and me anxiously awaiting a frosty beverage. After five minutes of watching the bartender shoot the shit she looked down the bar and made eye contact with me briefly before returning to her conversation for another five minutes.

Finally she slowly sauntered down the bar and helped the four other patrons who needed refills. Five minutes after that she greeted my buddies and I with a disinterested look as she tossed four soggy coasters at us. She wore a small tank top and leaned on the bar to show off her tits which were probably the only two good features this venomous skankbag possessed both physically and mentally.

Her hair was put back in pigtails and her face wore the weathered look of years spent turning tricks behind a puke stained bar. Her shorts were short enough that she needed two different hairdos and my first thought was how proud her father must be that his forty year old daughter still dressed like a whore.

She half listened to our order while twirling one of her pig tails around her finger. She poured our beers and asked us where we were from. When we told her San Diego she laughed at us and walked away. With frosty pints in front of us we thought nothing of it and all tipped the venomous skankbag a couple of bucks as we are all seasoned bar folk.

Less than halfway through our beers two of my buddies and I stepped out front for a quick smoke. We returned five minutes later and upon sitting down saw that our almost full beers were no longer where we left them. Now I know your first instinct would be to ask your non-smoker friend what the hell happened, but that is another blog for another day and honestly our freshly bought beers being taken was probably the last thing on his mind since at any other bar in the world that wouldn’t be a concern.

It took us ten minutes to get the venomous skankbag back down to our end of the bar because she was at a table sitting on some guys lap as she sipped out of their pitcher. When she finally returned to us we asked her what had happened to our beers.

“What beers?” she responded with a dip of her shoulder to expose more of her breasts and a flirtatious smile.

We all laughed uncomfortably thinking she was fucking with us and that our beers would reappear shortly. When they didn’t we asked her again what had happened to our beers.

“What beers?” she responded in a much more serious tone.

“The fucking beers we just bought from you and tipped you for!” said one of my buddies.

“I don’t know what beers you are talking about,” she said.

“Seriously we just ordered those beers ten minutes ago,” I said.

“Listen, do you really want to debate me on this or do you want to tell me what the fuck you want to order?” she yelled at me.

At that point I walked out with plans never to return because at this point I had been purposely ignored, stolen from and laughed at. After smoking a cigarette with no sign of my buddies, I reentered the bar only to find out that one of them had paid for another round of beers from the venomous skankbag and also tipped her fat in the process. I know you are thinking why the hell any sane person would be foolish enough to give more money to such a thieving bitch but once again that is another blog for another day.

Sipping the frosty pint in front of me calmed me for the moment. This calm lasted briefly as I noticed that amongst the dirty glassware the venomous skankbag was too lazy to wash were my buddies and my three near full beers. When we pointed this fact out to the venomous skankbag she ignored us at first.

“Those aren’t your fucking beers so just stop fucking crying like a bunch of pussies and drink what the fuck is in front of you,” she said after further questioning.

I have never finished a pint faster in my life. I was done with being disrespected and out the door in less than two minutes. Someone that bad at their job should be not just be fired but marched in front of a firing squad. At the very least she should be forced to seek an occupation more suited to her skill set like returning to the corner she was hatched at to commonly walk the street.  

I’m No Thief

December 16, 2012

A man in his late thirties approaches my bar in the midst of a busy Friday Happy Hour. He is wearing a skin tight white tee shirt that matches his sparkly white belt that matches his 42 inch wide white watch which matches his white I Phone. Every bone in my body went on immediate douche bag alert, but being the patient man I am I fought the urge to ignore this schmuck while ridiculing him to my regulars sitting close by, and actually decided to serve him.

He orders a dirty vodka martini. After crafting a delicious cocktail for this cockbag I inform him that during Happy Hour his drink costs just four dollars and fifty cents. He gives me a five and I give him his two quarters back which he proceeds to leave on the bar for my tip. While not the desired tip of a dollar it was a tip none the less so my douche bag threat level lowered from a red to an orange (for clarification of color levels for douche bag threat levels please see George W. Bush).

Some time passes before he comes back up to the bar. He orders a dirty vodka martini again which I gladly make. I knew it had to be getting close to seven which is what time Happy Hour is over so I punched his drink into the computer and it rang up as six dollars signifying that it was actually past seven and that any Happy Hour discounts were no longer available.

I returned to captain cock knocker and placed his dirty vodka martini in front of him. He tossed five dollars on the bar. I collected his money and counted it before informing him that Happy Hour was now over and that his dirty vodka martini was actually six dollars. He gasped and gave me a disgusted look.

“Well now I have to use my credit card.”

“That’s fine sir we have no minimum on credit cards,” I replied as I placed his money back on the bar in front of him.

He let his money sit on the bar without pulling out his wallet. I looked around the bar and saw at least three customers ready to order drinks who were waiting on me to finish with this fucktard.

“What time is Happy Hour over?” he asked still not pulling out his wallet.

“7 pm sir,” I replied.

He looked at his giant white watch that was bigger than my flat screen at home.

“That’s bullshit man. Its 7:02 and I ordered at 7.”

“Happy Hour is over at 7 pm sir.”

My douche bag threat level flared back up to a red.

“Really dude?” he said.

“Really what?”

“I ordered at 7 bro.”

“As I have stated before Happy Hour is over at 7 sir.”

“Really dude?”

I scanned the bar. There were now six people waiting to order as I interacted with this asshole.

“Really what sir?”

“You’re going to do this over a dollar dude?”

Astonished at the irony of that statement I could do nothing other than just stare at him. He got the point, eventually and in between a “whatever bro” and not leaving a tip he signed his tab and carried his dirty martini away.

This sort of interaction happens all the time. It’s as if because I serve alcohol which at times makes people do shady things people just naturally assume that my intentions are always shady. Like the girl who had just turned twenty-one a couple of days earlier who wanted to complain about her two dollar and fifty cent vodka cranberry not being strong enough.

She sent her boyfriend up first who sheepishly said that his girlfriend thought her drink was weak. He was quick to say that his whiskey coke was perfect. It was clear that all he wanted was to get laid which with a grumpy and sober girlfriend wasn’t going to happen. I offered to make him a double for five dollars. He quickly accepted.

Twenty minutes passed before he returned this time with his girl on his shoulder. I finished helping another customer before approaching them.

“What can I get for you folks?”

“Uh yeah, I would like a vodka cranberry except this time could you put some vodka in it,” she said.

I was shocked; she didn’t want more vodka she truly believed that I was pouring her straight cranberry juice.

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“Well my first couple of drinks didn’t have any vodka in them. Last time my boyfriend came up and someone else poured him a drink that was perfect.”

I looked around. I was the only bartender there.

“Actually that was me and it was a double,” I said

“Oh, then like that.”

“You want a double then?”

“No I want a single with vodka in it like the last one you poured.”

“So you want me to pour you a double but charge you for a single.”

The boyfriend leaned in at this point.

“If you hook us up we’ll hook you up bro (shady),” he said.

“A single it is,” I said.

I walked to my well. Normally I pour about a shot and a half per mixed drink but this girl had lost that privilege. I pulled out a shot glass measured the vodka to the line and filled the glass with cranberry. I slid it to her charged her two dollars and fifty cents and she walked away without leaving a tip all because she believed that I wasn’t just short pouring her but that I wasn’t pouring any vodka in her glass at all.

Believe me when I say I have not made a living off charging people for drinks that don’t have any alcohol in them. Not putting any liquor in your drink doesn’t benefit me. Doing so would be shady and would be the equivalent of being a thief.

A thief walks into a bar hovers amongst the crowd and then snatches someone else’s property right off the bar top. Then when said thief is caught red handed and confronted about the theft they look you dead in the eye and lie saying they have never stolen anything in their life. I am not a thief, I am a bartender and a guy who thinks I’m out to rip him off for a dollar or a girl who thinks I am shady enough not to pour a product I am charging for, well, they are just morons.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND BUY MY BOOK LOVE LIFE FOR CHRISTMAS BY CLICKING ON THE LOVE LIFE LINK UP AND TO THE RIGHT FROM HERE!

Thanks Given

November 24, 2012

Ever since I was a young boy Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Hanging out with the people you love the most plus turkey plus football equals the greatest day of the year. Now as a grownup I appreciate it even more as I realize that there are many people and places and things that I am very thankful for. When I was younger I used to think it was stupid when my mother would make everyone at the table take a moment to talk about what they were thankful for, but nowadays I think that is an important part of my favorite holiday so I figured why not share mine with you, the general drunken public.

First and foremost I am thankful for my family, friends and beautiful fiancé. Without these loved ones I would not be the man that I am today. I am thankful to work at Churchill’s Pub and Grille the greatest craft food/beer pub with the best staff in the entire world. While our competitors choose to serve suspect mac and cheese or promote club night with DJ Glowstick or offer drink specials where when you buy a pint you get a $2 shot of 151 and a free match we at Churchill’s do what we have always done, offer great service and freshly prepared food served alongside delicious beer.

I am thankful to Stone Brewery who honored me with the right of being the first person to break the news of their special San Diego Beer Week beer release. Sales on Stone Lite, Stone Hef and Stone Original have been through the roof but the top seller has been Stone Bro of which they have sold so much they are running out of donkey piss to fill the bottles with.

I am thankful to Human Female Hyenas who prowl the night with a hint of flavored vodka and semen on their breath. Without these pack hunting skanks men in bars all across the country would be lost at last call left only with the option of going home alone and whacking off to internet porn. A word of advice to all you lonesome losers getting laid by women older than your mother wrap that shit up B.

I am thankful for hipsters. Without them homeless people would have no one dressed the same as them. I love to watch a group of hipsters sip on poor man’s PBR while wearing two hundred dollar cardigans as they bitch over the infection their cock ring gave them.

I am thankful to reality television for keeping backwoods rednecks, teenage whores and rich white housewives current in our modern society. Without it how else would any of those people make a living that didn’t involve ditch digging, dick sucking or spending other people’s money.

I am thankful to Tim Tebow for being the most talked about backup quarterback/punt protector in the history of football. Without him ESPN would go out of business. I am also very thankful for Robert Griffin III for being the best player in the league, being highly attractive but mainly because he is not Tim Tebow.

I am thankful to bad parents especially when they display their bad parenting in public. While their misbehaving kids are obnoxious and the parents disinterested they act as one of the strongest forms of birth control on the market, and it’s free. I believe high school kids should be trapped in a room with bad parents as a way to deter teen pregnancy which is rampant in this country. Bad parents also make those women who are in long term relationships and can’t wait to have a kid think twice about poking holes in their boyfriend’s condoms.

I am thankful to bad tippers, bros, whistlers and people who believe they know everything about the bar business because they bartended their frat’s homo erotic initiation all male mixer one night. While at times these schmucks make my life a living hell they also put my job into perspective. For every coked up whore who accuses me of not pouring any vodka in her eighteenth vodka red bull there is a regular who is friendly, polite, funny and tips well. Without the customers who make me tell them to go fuck themselves I might fail to appreciate the importance of all the regulars who make this world wonderful.

Lastly I would like to thank the twenty-two year old skank from last night who told me I was going to die of a heart attack because I wouldn’t serve her or her boyfriend who was dressed like Brandon Lee from The Crow. I guess I’m not thankful to her personally but more to the fact that a whore of her caliber will someday die a painful death from one of the many STD’s she has contracted from her years of trolling street corners and that fact brings a thankful smile to my face.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND BUY MY BOOK LOVE LIFE FOR CHRISTMAS BY CLICKING ON THE LOVE LIFE LINK UP AND TO THE RIGHT FROM HERE!

You’re 86ed!

June 17, 2012

It takes a special kind of dirt bag to get 86ed from a bar. It is the highest level of bar discipline there is. First you get cut off, then you get kicked out, but to be 86ed means you went below and beyond the worst of human behavior. Getting 86ed requires more than simply falling out of a stool or vomiting in a plant. You have to reach an extreme level of douchebaggery to receive a lifetime ban. With 81 unassisted 86ing’s on my stat sheet I would like to share my expertise on the subject so that you can avoid ever being banned from a bar for life.

First of all never swing first. What that means is if you don’t instigate a fight a fight usually won’t find you. I have found that people who get into bar fights go out looking for them. There are guys out there who believe that fighting is a way to solve simple bar disagreements. They suck down countless vodka red bulls and then have two options; have a heart attack or start a fight. I prefer they choose the first option but they never seem to.

Fights are bad for business and are a serious buzzkill. People get hurt; girls start screaming and most of the time the cops show up. Pain, female screaming and the police aren’t exactly my idea of a party. If they are yours you won’t last long at my bar. Starting a fight is an automatic 86ing and if you happen to hit my door guy he is likely to break your fucking legs so that you have to crawl to whatever bar you plan on starting shit at next.

In some cases where fights are involved the instigator isn’t the only one to be 86ed. If you get in the way or ignore our attempts at breaking up a fight you will be 86ed. If you escalate the fight to a higher level of violence, like say cracking a pool cue over a guy’s head, not only will you be 86ed, you will also be billed for a new pool cue.

In order to be welcomed back to a bar you must respect that bar and its policies. The most important policy a bar must uphold is to not sell alcohol to minors. If a bar or one of its employees get caught doing so they can be fined, lose their liquor license or can even be arrested.  That’s why if you come into my bar with a minor and try to sneak them drinks you will be 86ed.

I work with an elite staff that take their jobs very seriously and are damn good at them. No matter how sneaky you think you are being we will always catch you. We are smart enough to know that those two shots you claimed are “both for me bro” aren’t, and as soon as you walk away you are on immediate watch. At that point it is only a matter of time before we bounce both you and the sixteen year-old girl you passed that second shot off to. If you want to get a minor wasted do it at home like a normal parent or older brother or statutory rapist.

In addition to respecting bar policies it is important to treat the bar staff with that same level of respect. We are here to help you have a good time so don’t fuck with us. Bar employees have to put up with a lot of shit but crossing certain lines will absolutely get you 86ed. The second you throw a shot glass or a handful of fruit at me you will be 86ed. If you decide to talk shit about me or one of my fellow bar employees or even the bar at which I work you will be 86ed. If you threaten to break a bar stool over my head because I cut you off you will be 86ed.

Sexually harassing bar employees is the easiest way to get yourself banned from a bar for life. Whether it’s a hungry pack of Human Female Hyenas molesting a defenseless bar back or a group of frat boys hounding an innocent hostess any unwanted and aggressive come on that crosses the line will get you 86ed. That means no touching us, ever. This rule mainly applies to female employees. The second your hand grabs the ass or breast of a female employee you will be lucky to leave with that limb still attached to your body.

There doesn’t necessarily need to be a specific reason for 86ing someone. Over time the accumulation of minor infractions can add up to getting a repeat offender of bar policy 86ed for no reason at all. If you are repeatedly rude, disrespectful, don’t tip, and are hated by regulars and employees then you will be banned from every decent bar you ever frequent. It eventually gets to the point where it is so evident what a dickbag a certain individual is that I may 86 them simply for saying hello.

People who get 86ed always seem to try to come back. Not just once, but multiple times. No matter how many times you try to explain to someone they are 86ed they never seem to grasp that it is for life. There is no getting un-86ed once the final verdict has been handed down. All appeals will fall on deaf ears. Making excuses or apologizing or begging is not going to undo what ever asinine act got you 86ed in the first place. My advice to anyone I’ve ever 86ed is to save your time and your breath and find some other bar to act like an asshole at.

Tony D., East Vista, CA. GULPU

April 28, 2012

A husband and wife walk into the bar. He is a fifty year old wearing a Hawaiian shirt half buttoned and she is homely and half his age. She is pushing a stroller with their child inside it. Most bars aren’t kid friendly, but since our establishment is both a restaurant and a pub we encourage families to be comfortable there. In fact a lot of our regulars bring in their sweet, well-mannered and well-behaved children all the time and not only do we as employees embrace them but other customers do as well.

This is why when this man strolled up with his kid and his darts no one really thought much of it. He approaches the bar. After waiting less than a minute he grows impatient and begins waving his cash in the air. I walk over to him.

“Jack and Coke. And whatever she wants,” he says.

He points over his shoulder at the woman he walked in with who is frantically trying to find a safer place than a crowded dart room in a busy pub for her to store her child. As she does she dodges darts until she finally finds a safe corner for her kid and her to sit. She begins to order, but does so in what sounded like German. She spoke as if she expected me to understand her. I stopped her finally and began to respond in English. She held up her finger and waved it in my face before turning and calling for the man in the Hawaiian shirt. He was playing darts so it took a minute to get his attention. She waved him over. He leaned on the bar, annoyed.

“I said a Jack and Coke.”

“Right, what is she having?” I asked pointing at his wife.

He nodded.

“Vodka Tonic. Make it the cheap stuff.”

I made their drinks and by the time I returned he was back to playing darts. I placed the drinks in front of the foreigner and told her it was nine dollars. She stared blankly at me. I motioned money with my fingers and she finally got it pulling out a twenty. I gave her some change which she pocketed.

Then the crying began. It started out quietly and brief, but slowly transformed into the sound of a constant scream. It was the kid. I scanned the bar and received annoyed looks from my happy hour regulars. The screaming stopped but continued to ring in my ears for several seconds longer. The guy returns with an empty glass.

“I don’t think there was any whiskey in that drink so make this one a double,” he says as he waves his money in my face.

I pull out a glass and a shot glass. I measure the drink to exactly two ounces and top it off with coke. He pays without tipping.

“Do you guys have any snacks? She’s hungry,” he says as he nods to his mail order bride.

I slide him a menu. He slides it back.

“No, no, I meant like peanuts or crackers or something.”

“No we do not, sir.”

“What kind of restaurant is this?”

He goes back to playing darts. I serve some other people when out of the corner of my eye I see him standing halfway in the doorway to the kitchen. I rush over and find him harassing the kitchen staff for soup crackers which unfortunately they give to him. I inform the man he is not to be bothering the kitchen and he walks away without acknowledging me.

I return to the bar and see that his wife is dousing the soup crackers in Tabasco sauce and shoving them down her throat. The screaming begins again shortly after that. The mother tries to console the child but to no avail. The father keeps playing darts not even looking over at her or the child. He returns to the bar and orders another double. I inform him that it would be appreciated if he could get the kid to stop screaming. He shrugs me off and returns to the dart board again without leaving a tip.

The screaming stops and everyone sitting at the bar and those sitting in the section of tables to the left of the dartboard release a collective sigh of relief to be free from the piercing sound of an angry child. He orders another double without tipping. Five minutes later the screaming starts right back up. The mother has since given up and stares blankly off into space while the father never acknowledges either one of them.

This happened every Friday for a month straight. It was to the point that customers were complaining about the noise. Both parents had been warned every week, but finally it became too much to bare. I was forced to walk out from behind the bar, pull the man to the side and inform him that his five year old child was 86ed from the establishment. He looked shocked. He glanced over at his screaming child briefly before turning back to me.

“If they wait out front can I stay?”

After fighting off the urge to call Child Protective Services I sent the whole fucked up family packing and thankfully have not seen them since.

St. Patty’s Day 2012

March 16, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish culture. To Americans that means let’s get wasted. Apparently in this country we believe getting shitfaced while being all decked out in green is a great way to celebrate Irish tradition. I am not saying that all Irish people are a bunch of drunks, but I believe that is what most Americans think. My theory is that Americans use Irish culture as an excuse to get wasted because we as a people are a bunch of drunks.

Amongst bar employees and regulars St. Patty’s Day is also known as Amateur Night. Everyone who never goes out drinking at a bar decides to come out that day. It is New Year’s Eve on crack and instead of people starting to get wasted at 8pm most people begin lining their livers with liquor around noon. It is Mardi Gras except the beads are replaced with funny green hats, shirts with dirty limericks and green skinny jeans. Guinness is consumed at an alarming rate and the shot of the day is the shillelagh which is normally dropped into a half pint of Guinness. The name of this is an Irish Car Bomb and it is yet another example of misguided Americans thinking that they are honoring the Irish.

The combination of amateurs chugging pints of Guinness topped with Jameson and Bailey’s means anything can happen. There will be vomit, and a lot of it. Beware and get ready to duck and cover the second you see a curdled shillelagh floating in the beard of a man who has just shot his fourth car bomb all the while that cottage pie he just scarfed down is quickly working its way to returning itself to this world. Our bar backs will be wearing rain slickers that day so any unwanted fluids flying at them will rinse off with a quick hosing.

When faced with a bar full of people who go out so little that they don’t understand the rules of the bar, as employees we have no rules. That means there is zero tolerance on everything. Since it is impossible to properly enforce a zero tolerance policy upon 500 drunken people I will be personally monitoring the crowd myself. I will be dressed as a leprechaun and in my hand I will hold a real shillelagh which is a wooden walking stick with a large knob at the top. My shillelagh will be encrusted in gold. If I observe anyone getting out of line I will be tapping them on the shoulder with my golden cane to inform them that they have to leave. That means anyone puking, fighting, calling me bro, string ordering, groping other guy’s girlfriends, pissing on the side of the porta potty,  and honestly anyone who rubs me or my staff the wrong way will be getting shoulder tapped by my golden shillelagh.

There is a repeated crime against humanity found on every St. Patty’s day. That is the ordering of a green beer. Beer isn’t green. It’s not supposed to be green. To make beer green you have to put green food coloring or some other liquid in there. There’s no better way to ruin a tasty beer other than sticking random green liquids into it. Not only is it nasty, it’s messy. Any bartender degraded and disrespected enough to be forced to do such a thing suffers both the public humiliation of such an asinine act, but will also be forced to scrub their hands, as well as other body parts depending on individual personal practices clean of the green for days to come.

My advice to bartenders all across the nation on this upcoming St. Patty’s Day is as follows: when that thirty-two year old man wearing a fake afro wig sprouting out from underneath a green top hat with his cheeks painted green, wearing hippie glasses, a green tee-shirt that says “Kiss me I’m Irish”, finished off with green skinny jeans and green converse, approaches your bar and orders a green beer slam a Heineken down, double charge him and as soon as he pays point him out to the leprechaun with the golden shillelagh and trust that swift bar justice will served.

Churchill’s Renaissance III Revisited

March 10, 2012

We survived Renaissance, barely, and once again Churchill’s Pub and Grille proved to have the best selection of craft beer and food served by the finest restaurant/bar staff in the world. That’s right, I said THE WORLD. Feel free to further expand our egos at the pub by showering us with over exaggerated compliments in regards to our exceptional skills. That being said I reiterate that some of us barely survived and that’s not even in regards to the staff. Sure we worked our asses off but you, the general drunken public, drank and ate your asses off and for that we love you.

The line to enter the pub allegedly started at 3:30 Saturday morning. We have since confirmed this to be true by consulting one of the many secret cameras we have hidden in and around the pub. By 6:30 it was already leaking out of our parking lot. When I walked up at ten it had grown to a thousand according to the crack head at the halfway house who repeatedly cursed at me to stay off his porch.

At 10:55 the staff shared one last moment of meditation followed up by a group hug. Then, the doors flung open and the madness began. People bum rushed the bar in a frenzied attempt at being the first to order Churchill’s Finest Hour. Waves and waves of customers slowly marched in and filled the entire bar, restaurant and patio. Ninety-Nine percent of the crowd was polite and patient as they realized that amongst the insanity the entire staff was doing everything in their power to keep people drunk, fat and happy. Those who were rude or impatient usually only got served once.

The vomit level was low much to the relief of our bar backs who were forced to bring their own puke buckets from home. The one glaring upheaval did unfortunately happen in the fire pit which was thankfully not on. Anyone who has ever caught a whiff of a flaming pool of vomit knows how horrible it can be and that it often leads to a ferocious cycle of group puking.

While most customers ordered efficiently so we could help them as quickly as possible there were those who decided that they were more important than all the other customers waiting for food and drink. That’s right string order boy, I am talking to you. At a quiet bar where it’s just you and your buddies making the bartender or server make multiple back to back trips for you is accepted, although still frowned upon. At a bar filled to max capacity with rabid beer aficionados foaming at the mouth to be served a drink this sort of behavior is unacceptable. If you can’t order all your drinks at once you are making others suffer. Even at my most busy and scatter brained I can handle up to eighty-one drinks in my mind at once, so please don ‘t be scared to try to overwhelm me. The quicker I move on from you the quicker I can help the cute girl in the corner, who if I keep serving in a speedy fashion may get drunk enough for you to get lucky.

Other than string orders the only other glaring ordering offense was found in those people not ready to be waited upon. As I pour beers I scan the bar and have a pecking order in mind of who I am going to serve first. It goes regulars first and then it switches to first come first serve. I generally plan out the next five people I am going to help even before I have approached any of them. If I ask you what you want and you look away to consult a friend or beer list then by the time you face the bar again all you will see is the back of my head. I will return, eventually, but that pecking order I just talked about, you’re now at the bottom.

The ultimate asshole award for the day goes to that idiot I personally had kicked out myself. While I doubt he lacks the ability to read I hope he gets a hold of this because I have a message for him.

“No, bro, I didn’t think you were drunk enough to be cut off, I just plain didn’t like you. Your constant groping and sexual harassment of every woman who walked up to bar coupled with your loud and obnoxious voice/laugh/personality/presence/face/existence was what did you in. Had I not been stuck behind the bar I would have grabbed that cell phone you were shit talking me on and shoved it so far up your ass your tongue would be text messaging every time you spoke.”

Despite these minor complaints Churchill’s Renaissance III, The Revenge of Ivan, proved to be the greatest day in the history of beer just as some brilliant writer predicted a week ago. What made it so great was the food, the beer and most importantly the people, both staff and clientele. For that I thank and applaud everyone involved in such a wonderful event. The next big pub event will be St. Patrick’s Day, which compared to the distinguished esteem of Churchill’s Renaissance will be a bro-infested slop fest filled with strewn jello shots and people’s wives being left for dead on bathroom floors. Can’t wait!


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