View Full Version : Barroom etiquette to keep in mind

05-17-2004, 06:08 PM

Posted on Fri, May. 14, 2004

Night Moves

Barroom etiquette to keep in mind

Herald Staff Writer

It's tough enough to maintain when you're numbering five or six deep. Problem is, too many people enter the bar clueless and just digress with each drink. Here are some rules of etiquette to keep in mind the next time you hit the local drunkery - for the benefit of yourself and those around you.

1. Ordering: When ordering a drink, don't be a jerk. Be patient. "Hey, you" or "Hey, bartender" is rude. Refrain from pet names such as "dear," "baby," "honey," "sweet cakes." When seeking the bartender's attention, don't whistle, flash money, wave your hand like a second grader or smack your empty mug on the counter like a spoiled brat.

Know what you want and have a backup in mind. Wait until the bartender comes by and make eye contact. Say something like, "Hello, may I have . . ." When you receive you're drink, ask the bartender for his or her name - use it to get their attention the next time.

2. Identification: Never give a bartender a hard time when he/she asks for identification. It'll make you look like a punk right off the bat. If you forget your ID, smiling will get you farther than screaming. Many bartenders check IDs regardless of age just so nobody is offended or feels left out.

The barkeeps are just doing their job. Fines for serving underagers are steep. Telling a 20-year-old from a 30-year-old is getting more difficult every day.

3. Gambling: Most bars have pool tables, dart boards video games, etc. Use them for recreation. Don't use them to gamble. If you want to gamble at pool, go to a billiards hall or stay home. Betting begs for heated arguments about rules and such that can put a damper on any evening. And nobody likes to lose. In fact, some men get touchy about losing their hard-earned cash and have been known to go to drastic and violent measures to get it back.

4: Jukebox: Most bars have a jukebox. Don't be a jukebox jerk. Just because your wife left you for your best friend doesn't give you the right to play "The End" by The Doors eight times in a row. In fact, never play any song, no matter how "hot" you think it is, more than once.

5. Hush: Keep the locker room banter to a minimum. Women don't want to overhear a conversation that involves slang words for feminine body parts and bragging about conquests. Never discuss religion. Never discuss politics. Let's repeat that one, never discuss religion, never discuss politics. Even the tamest words can prove incendiary if overheard by a drunken zealot or a hot-headed ideologue.

6. Gratuity: If you're only having a couple of drinks, tip a dollar for each one. Yep. Even it's a $2 beer, you should leave $3. Want to be a tight wad? Sit at home and drink. If you plan on tying one on, offer the bartender some plastic and start a tab.

Unless the bartender is a complete nimrod, drop a minimum 20 percent when it's time to settle up. If you want them to remember you, better unload something closer to 40 percent to 50 percent.

Fat tippers are almost always rewarded with stronger drinks, preferential treatment and the occasional freebie. When you do get a drink comped and/or notice your tab is lighter than it should be, juice your tip to correspond with the hook up.

7. Flirting: Flirt with intelligence and take rejection in stride. Scope out the person before introducing yourself. Make sure his or her spouse didn't just run off to the bathroom.

Offer to buy your interest a drink. Pay that special him or her a compliment - hopefully one that is rather original. Avoid cliches such as the infamous "Do you come here often?" - even if you think you're being cute and ironic. In fact, don't ever be "ironic" when meeting someone at a bar. If you get rejected, smile, perhaps make a lighthearted comment or friendly joke, and walk away. If you catch him or her checking you out, you are allowed one more try an hour or so later.

8. Affection: No matter how sexy you think you're date is your going to look like a fool groping and making out with him or her at the bar. It's tacky, folks. A little peck on the lips, fine. A little footsie under the table, fine. But if the two of you are ready to kiss the taste out of each other's mouth, "Get a room." Or at least go out to the parking lot.

9. Fighting: The vast majority of barroom brawls can be avoided and should be avoided. Ask yourself, is it really worth it? If you "win," you could be looking at assault charges and, at the very least, you're kicked out of the bar. If you "lose" the fight - let's say you get whacked upside the head with a whiskey bottle - how's a night in the ER sound?

10. Cab: If you find yourself feeling real good, chances are, you don't need to be driving. If somebody tells you that you don't need to be driving, you really don't need to be driving. Put your drunk butt in a cab. So it costs you a couple bucks? It sure beats a DUI or slamming into some poor innocent . . . you get the picture.

Now that we got our guidelines straight, who's ready to go out and knock some back?

Wade Tatangelo, features writer/music critic, can be reached at 745-7051 or wtatangelo@bradentonherald.com.


2004 Bradenton Herald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

05-17-2004, 09:15 PM
I expected humor. There are words of wisdom here folks....sid~~~can't promise to tell the lady she can't grope me when she feels the urge though ;-)