I never knew what it took to be a bartender. I mean, it looks to be so glamorous and fun. Several summers ago, a friend asked if I’d be interested in helping out behind her bar for a little bit since she was short on a bartender. Wow. I was thrilled. After all, this is glamorous and easy fun. Right? Boy was I wrong.
It’s what you don’t see that goes on before and after the patrons arrive. It’s a tough job. And as I continued to this over the summer, and walk in the shoes of other bartenders, it occurred to me that bar tenders do not get enough recognition. Hence I started Best Bartender 2016. And now again, this year. We hope that this will become an annual tradition to recognize these great employees; and, the hard job that they do so very well, day in and day out.
This week I had the opportunity to see each of the Top 10 voted Best Bartenders in this issue. And while all the other 44 nominated bartenders deserve just as much attention, there is only one of me and not enough time to visit them all. But it is on my “to-do list”. Each one made me their specialty drink if they had one. Each took the time to sit and talk to me about what it’s like to work behind the bar. Their trials and their tribulations. Bartenders are serving people. It takes the right kind of personality to tend bar. Nobody wants an Oscar the Grouch to take their order (and I know I have seen an Oscar or two in my lifetime. Not fun.)
I hope you’ll take the time to reach each profile that we have provided for you. And take the time to stop in, and say “Hi” to them all. All 54 nominated bar tenders.
Nominations were open to ANY bartender by the readers of The Loafer who wanted to nominate their local favorite. We compiled all the nominations into a voting system, and off we went. Each bartender I sat and spoke with expressed their gratitude to be nominated, and mentioned how honored they were. Why? Because they work all day or night just to make you happy. It’s not a glamorous job at all. The hard work before the bar opens to the work after the bar closes. You may go home after the Last Call; but, these bartenders are still hard at work, hours later, getting ready for another great night tomorrow.
If you didn’t get nominated, that’s ok. There is always 2018. Watch for us again sometime next July. Until then, keep reading The Loafer. You never know what we will be up to next. After all, it’s what you do with your free time that counts.