Special/Signature Issues » The Bar Guide

Barhopper Donƒ?~ts (and a Do)

Advice from a Richmond bartender.



• Don't dawdle in a crowded bar. I know you're waiting and I will get to you promptly. Do me a favor and have your drink order ready to fire. Don't turn around and start asking everyone what they want when I get to you.

• Don't have me turn around four times for another drink “you just remembered.” This goes along with the last one: If you want four Bud Lights, four Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes and four vodka tonics, order them all at the same time!Aÿ Spit it all out at once. I will remember and the process will be expedited much more efficiently.

• Don't order four different shots that all require a different shaker tin. “Umm, I'll have a Red-Headed Slut, a Buttery Nipple, a chilled shot of Jose Cuervo and a Washington Apple.” I won't ever say no, but if the bar is crowded you might end up getting a Washington Apple that's been south of the border, with a hint of butterscotch. Get with your friends and agree on one shot. It's not that much of a compromise.

• Don't call me “chief,” “boss,” “big guy” or any other ridiculous nicknames. I'm fine with “barman” or “bartender.” I'd prefer “Jack” though. Take the time to ask the bartender's name and we'll take the time to learn yours.

• Don't get in fights. If you want to get in a fight I know of some great biker bars in Fredericksburg where you can get your drunken ass kicked any day of the week. We're adults now. Plus, if you've ever seen the bouncers at my bar you'd probably come to your senses. Let's just say that our front door has gotten knocked completely off its hinges by people's heads. Multiple times. Let's just say that. …

• Do tip well. This is the only “do” I can give you. How to pick up that girl at the end of the bar is all on you pal.

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