After a couple of days of burning the midnight oil at work I peeled my eyes away from the two work lap tops glued to my desk and decided it was time for a night out to relax and unwind. My recently legal little cousin requested margaritas – okay not whiskey but then again I am always up for trying something new! Dotted with restaurants and bars we headed out to the West Village and settled on Agave, an elegantly casual Mexican restaurant with a stellar tequila selection.
I chose to go with a traditional margarita, rocks with a salt rim. Sitting back against the stucco walls in the midst of New Yorkers giddy with tequila I had to admit I was feeling pretty great. That is until I hear the screen door of the restaurant swing back and forth rattling the delicate decorations followed by a long sentence of what seems to be every foul word in the English language. A girl with wide brown eyes, her hair in a blunt bob and a thick New York Accent smiles and waves towards my direction. Confused and a bit alarmed I look across the table to see my cousins boyfriend summoning her over to us. So much for my relaxing evening!
After choosing the seat to my right, she cups her hands and shouts “Hey You!” in hopes of gaining the waiters attention. Uncomfortable, I politely ask her what she would like to drink. “I’m a f*cking bartender, I know what I’m doing!” Now I am not only embarrassed but scared of what this girl might do to me if I say something wrong! The waiter approaches our table and she places an order for some foreign concoction of berry vodka with a splash of grenadine. Out pops an electric blue potion. My stomach begins to churn just looking at this “cocktail” and I long for a Scotch in the worst way. She sucks it down in three sips, smacks the table with the glass and turns to me “Hi, I’m Allie”.
We often hear about the lack of civility but rarely do we experience it firsthand! Allie single handedly picked me up and placed me far outside my comfort zone. She made me realize the lack of respect people have for bar establishments, even those who claim themselves as mavens of the industry. For the bartenders, bar backs, waiters, bussers and all others that serve us we should uphold a code of revere, especially when ordering a bright blue liquid!
The Rules of Engagement
Under no circumstance is yelling at the bartender ok. Get their attention with eye contact and a smile. I know you know how to flirt so show off your skills!
Do not grab the attention of the bartender if you do not know what you want to order. Make a decision or STAND BACK – hovering will only annoying everyone in your surrounding area.
If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to drink in a bar. No exceptions.
Never complain about the quality or brand of a free drink. It’s free, you are not obligated to accept if you are picky!
If there is a line for drinks, get your drink and step away from the bar. No matter how cute you think you are, the bartender wants to make money and you will only annoy him or her by occupying prime real estate.
Do not engage in PDA against the bar. If you and your boozy make-out can’t keep your hands off each other it is time to leave!
Consider NOT getting on top of the bar. It might have been cute in college, but you probably do not want to continue your Coyote Ugly days into your mid to late twenties.
Most importantly enjoy yourself. People who smile and have fun are infectious. It doesn’t matter if you order a fine Scotch or a glass of neon blue liquid – your attitude will determine the night you have and the respect you deserve from any bartender!