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(NYPost)   New York City presents: the douchetender. Coming soon to a bar near you   (nypost.com) divider line 305
    More: Asinine, New York City, Carroll Gardens, Bombay Sapphire  
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17535 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Mar 2013 at 1:09 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-14 04:25:41 PM  
She's lucky it wasn't me, I'd have hit that idiot redhead with the bottle.

She's too stupid to even walk after being served something she didn't like.
 
JVD
2013-03-14 04:29:43 PM  
In the bartender's defense, vodka belongs nowhere near a martini.
 
2013-03-14 04:37:46 PM  

Ebbelwoi: Johnsnownw: Also, if you drink alcohol to get drunk or a buzz, then again...do it at home. Need to drown your sorrows and relax from a stressful day, but do it with Nati Light...do it at Chili's or any other pseudo-sports bar type place. Leave the craft bars/pubs to people who enjoy and respect alcohol. You'll save money, and be one less douchenozzle in my way at the bar.

/Realize what type of place you patron
//Not every place that has a liquor license is tailored to your "style" or lack-thereof

Jeez what is it with you wise crackers.  People frickin travel.  Usually for business.  Travelers tend to end up in BIG CITIES.  We don't have time to farking research every frickin joint in town when we just want a drink after the business day ends.


If you can't tell what type of place you've entered after walking through the front door, there is no help for you.
 
2013-03-14 04:44:16 PM  
since when is vodka soda a "moron drink"... wouldnt a rum and coke be considered a moron drink? i thought vodka sodas were "hip and cool" now, because you can actually "taste the alcohol"
 
2013-03-14 04:51:42 PM  

JVD: In the bartender's defense, vodka belongs nowhere near a martini.


Tell that to this guy.

ramp.ie
 
2013-03-14 04:54:00 PM  

mccallcl: Kahabut: Listen up, everyone that works in a bar, restaurant, service of the public in any way.  YOU farkING WORK FOR ME.  I pay you to bring me what I ask for.  If you aren't really happy with that station in life, I don't farking care.
 They work for the owner of the establishment and in some cases, design the menus, source ingredients, design the interior and do hiring and firing. If making you happy subverts what the establishment is designed to do, it may be more expensive than just letting you leave pissed off. If the employee is extremely talented, it may be more expensive to have him put up with your attitude than just throw you out on your ear.
Also, you shouldn't think of other people this way, it shows in your demeanor and they can tell. No sense in degrading another person, you're not royalty, you still have to respect others and their opinions even if you have managed to accumulate enough money to visit a restaurant.


You know how I can tell you have never run a business of any kind?

I never said I was royalty, that is you projecting your own issues.  I said, people in service jobs, work for the people they are their to serve.  Either they realize that, and do their best to handle any reasonable request, or they are destined to be bitter assholes in the next fark Tip Thread.
 
2013-03-14 04:59:46 PM  

grimlock1972: A bartenders needs to keep his or her opinions on the drink that are ordered to themselves. make the drink and move on to the next order.

if you tell me my choice of drink sucks guess who isn't going to get tipped.


I normally agree with sentiments like this. And I do think that Vodka is part of a well stocked bar. My preferred is Sirius made here in town, but i wouldn't put it in the same category as the usual NGS stuff people drink to just get Hammered. More of a potato liqueur, i guess. Has body and character. Stands on its own. And the only way i would consciously drink a neat vodak martini.

But, I digress.

If a place is putting itself forward as a mixologist type of place. Then yeah, you should be going in there with expectations of going for fancy drinks, not regular drinks, or regular drinks, made with some type of consideration to the cocktail itself

My favorite drink is a capirana, but try to find a bar that knows what the hell cachaca is let alone carry it. If i go into a fancy drinks bar I will expect them to know what the hell I'm talking about and to pull it off.
If i order a whiskey sour, i expect it to be whiskey, simple syrup (heavy please, not sugar water) and lemon juice. Add a couple os teaspoons of egg white before the shake if you are feeling fancy. Not a couple of shots of whiskey topped off with soda gun sour mix and soda water.

I don't care if the whiskey is rail, don't mess up good whiskey by putting it in a cocktail after all, you want something a little rough to stand up under the onslaught of the sweet and sour so you still know you are drinking whiskey.

But at the same time.... if you have a bar of any type, i expect you to be able to make just about any drink request thrown at you, and, of course, if you are ordering a drink you should know what's going into it yourself. If you go into a regular bar that makes its bread and butter on vodka sodas be prepared to explain yourself. And if they can"t pull it off, because they wouldn't know theses ingredients, let alone stock them, don't take it out on them..have fun with them and see what kind of approximation they can pull off. But ONLY if they are not busy.

I've had many a fun time with bar staff trying to pull of an approximation obscure cocktail dealing with available ingredients. Tends to be an adventure and a grand time for all involved.
 
2013-03-14 05:18:05 PM  

Molavian: Mixologist


I'll see that and raise you shiat Bartenders Say
 
2013-03-14 05:32:29 PM  
<i>"The bartender chastised me for ordering a mainstream gin, and then he sold me something that I had never even heard of," recalls Weil, adding, "The whole thing was a degrading experience and makes me never want to go back there again." </i>

You, sir, are not the target clientele.  The target clientele are happy you were degraded

.

hideous: The problem as I see it is this.  When the d-bag bartender 'refused to make the drink',  all the customers in the article just took it.  The woman's father ordered 3 times?  The solution is one of two things.

1. I'd like a rum and coke.
(sigh) no I wouldn't lower myself blablabla
Ok (customer walks out, goes somewhere else, does not reward this behavior)
and/or
2. I'd like a run and coke
(Sigh) no I wouldn't lower myself blablabla
Great.  Go get your manager. (manager sees money.  Let him know yours is walking out the door, and why,  and watch that bullshiat stop right there.)


No.  It wouldn't.  The scene cocktail bars that cater to drink snobs want this as part of their "charm."  Much like how some beer bars sell bottled Bud Light for $6 but good craft draughts for $5 - to punish your ignorance.
 
2013-03-14 05:38:36 PM  

gibbon1: A bartender that won't make a simple drink off menu is basically a turd. And probably still lives at home.


A bartender with a printed resume that says "mixologist" on it and a headshot isn't a bartender.  He's an overpaid Steward of Neat Booze or something. I've been a bartender, even a high end bartender. Unflappability is a requirement.

Then again, I would never expect to run into a bartender at a Lower East Side 19th century apothecary gimmick pit for dweebs, so the onus is sort of on the customer in this case.

Man, I miss Hudson Bar & Books.  Those were bartenders.
 
2013-03-14 05:46:28 PM  
Shut up, give me my captain and coke which takes you all of 30 seconds to put together, and mind your own damn business.  If I wanted a unique drinking experience, I wouldn't be out at some loud-ass bar where I cant even hear myself think.

farking corksoakers.
 
2013-03-14 05:48:03 PM  

sycraft: Alcohol snobs are always some of the funniest people to me. I've never got why it matters so much to them if people's taste in booze differs from theirs. To me, it seems like they really aren't all that secure in their tastes. Any time someone brings something different from what they want they perceive it as a challenge to what they like. They worry that they might be having the "wrong" drink.


You're way off. It's not snobbery...this chick went to a serious cocktail bar -- the article says they make their own tinctures and brine their own onions -- and ordered something tacky and stupid. It's like, you don't go to a Neopolitan brick-oven pizza joint and complain about slices of buffala mozz on the thing because it's not all gooey cheesy like Papa John's.

There are bars that make all their ingredients -- syrups, tinctures, bitters, juice blends, soda water, tonic water, grow their own produce for garnish/muddling, etc. -- and if you go in one and ask for a Cosmo they're gonna say no. Not all bars are the same: it's not who they are.
 
2013-03-14 05:56:39 PM  

Mechdemon: If I wanted a unique drinking experience, I wouldn't be out at some loud-ass bar where I cant even hear myself think.


To be fair, in this instance a guy who works at a "unique drinking experience" is telling people who aren't looking for that to go find a loud-ass bar where they can't even hear themselves think.
 
2013-03-14 06:11:21 PM  
There is a limited amount of things we actually need or can use, so every so often, some dick scratcher has to try and come up with a way to make it all look new. Once you have lived long enough to not only accept the fact the daily trappings of existence - food, liquids, shelter, entertainment - are inherently limited and, as far as quality, subjective and that you are very happy with the things that you know you like, marketing stops working on you.  That's why the ostentatiously hip and pissy are all young.  It not only still works on them but they are very worried about liking things that others don't approve of, plus - bonus - they have no idea what they like yet.  This is a constant source of amusement to those of us who can find their ass with both hands. Thank you and keep up the good work
 
2013-03-14 06:11:40 PM  

Subliterati: alienated:Not all vodka lacks flavour. I brought a bottle from Poland to a fark party that has a single stalk of bison grass. It is... unique. Some folks like it, some did not.

It's called  Żubrówka and it's really nice mixed with pressed apple juice. The only vodka in my house.


I recently read about this and was excited to try it, but then saw that the real stuff is banned in the US.
 
2013-03-14 06:43:45 PM  
Even after reading most of this thread, I still think the headline is about alternative butt chugging.
 
2013-03-14 06:57:58 PM  

Cork on Fork: Subliterati: alienated:Not all vodka lacks flavour. I brought a bottle from Poland to a fark party that has a single stalk of bison grass. It is... unique. Some folks like it, some did not.

It's called  Żubrówka and it's really nice mixed with pressed apple juice. The only vodka in my house.

I recently read about this and was excited to try it, but then saw that the real stuff is banned in the US.


It's delicious.  I have a friend originally from Poland who brings the stuff back here all the time.
 
2013-03-14 08:12:18 PM  

Kahabut: Listen up, everyone that works in a bar, restaurant, service of the public in any way.  YOU farkING WORK FOR ME.  I pay you to bring me what I ask for.  If you aren't really happy with that station in life, I don't farking care.


Yeah... until it's time to leave a tip, and then they work for the owner of the restaurant all of a sudden, amirite?

/just teasing
//I'm sure you're not one of douchebags I see in the tipping threads
 
2013-03-14 08:20:34 PM  

Cerebral Knievel: Z-clipped: cptjeff: Boy do I have a place for you. If you're ever in DC...

Nice! It's good to see someone in the thread who understands what mixology is.

I was involved with restaurants that took this approach to food and drink for quite a long time, and had to work out lots of ways to curb the frustration people would experience when they were forced to try something new because I just didn't have the ingredients they were expecting.  Most of the time people were willing to come along for the ride, and they usually left knowing a lot more about spirits (or bitters, or vegetables, or cured meat, or whatever) then they did when they came in.  But there were always a few jackasses that just couldn't accept the idea of a bar refusing to cater to the lowest common denominator.  ("You don't have Stoli OR Goose?... OR pineapple juice??  This place sucks!")

I actually know a lot of the best in the business in your city and the surrounding area.  Do you ever get up to Baltimore?  I have some friends up there who make pretty slammin' cocktails.  A lot of professional and semi-professional brewers and distillers.  One of them runs a semi-secret pop-up speakeasy that specializes in throwback cocktails.  We'll be neighbors when I get back from SE Asia next month.  If you ever want to check it out and can't find it on your own, shoot me an email and I'll hook you up.

Also, my wife just opened a pretty amazing ramen bar in DC's Chinatown.  Go stuff your face with some noodles if you get the chance. ; )

I'm going to be up the road in DC for the Craft Brewers Conference next week, ill try to hit that Ramen joint.

Of course, i live just down the road in Richmond, so i really don't need an excuse for a day trip. Hopefully the beer I make will be available in DC proper this year. Right now we're in northern Va, and Baltimore and Baltimore county


Nice! I'm ashamed to say that I'm unfamiliar with your brewery. When I get back to the states, I'll make a point of tasting your beer. I know some people in the business who are always interested in expanding their list of local product. Maybe I can help make a connection.
 
2013-03-14 08:41:39 PM  
no need to be ashamed., It's Legend Brewing Company, our marketing budget was for the longest time, mak a good beer, and it speaks for itself.. well... with the new explosion of craft beer, we'vve suddenly have had to start learning how to shout!

we've been in business for 20 years now, and we've always been up on NorVa, but limited. putting out 15kbbls a year now, so much more available.

I try not to talk directly of the brewery here on Fark to avoid sounding Spamy but booze is my biz, along with everything that goes along with that, But If ever asked directly... there ya go.

when you get back to the states, come on down to Richmond town and take the Saturday free tour of the beer mines, I'm the tour guide.
 
2013-03-14 08:44:06 PM  
Sounds like the assholes here at Fark are bartenders too.
 
2013-03-14 10:46:18 PM  

bunner: There is a limited amount of things we actually need or can use, so every so often, some dick scratcher has to try and come up with a way to make it all look new. Once you have lived long enough to not only accept the fact the daily trappings of existence - food, liquids, shelter, entertainment - are inherently limited and, as far as quality, subjective and that you are very happy with the things that you know you like, marketing stops working on you.  That's why the ostentatiously hip and pissy are all young.  It not only still works on them but they are very worried about liking things that others don't approve of, plus - bonus - they have no idea what they like yet.  This is a constant source of amusement to those of us who can find their ass with both hands. Thank you and keep up the good work


I know this is Fark and all, where snobbery is treason, but I'm going to risk derision and say that quality and workmanship are NOT 100% subjective attributes.

Education is part of appreciation. The reason you see a lot of younger people getting into high-end craft-related things like these cocktails isn't because of marketing. (People drink Grey Goose Bloody Marys because of marketing). It's because young people are more willing to leave their comfort zone and learn new things than older people are.

Sure, there are some idiots who just need a "thing" to have some social agency, but the bar owners and bartenders who are doing this stuff aren't in it for that reason. They're trying to perfect a craft, and there's nothing wrong with that.
 
2013-03-14 10:55:17 PM  

Cerebral Knievel: no need to be ashamed., It's Legend Brewing Company, our marketing budget was for the longest time, mak a good beer, and it speaks for itself.. well... with the new explosion of craft beer, we'vve suddenly have had to start learning how to shout!

we've been in business for 20 years now, and we've always been up on NorVa, but limited. putting out 15kbbls a year now, so much more available.

I try not to talk directly of the brewery here on Fark to avoid sounding Spamy but booze is my biz, along with everything that goes along with that, But If ever asked directly... there ya go.

when you get back to the states, come on down to Richmond town and take the Saturday free tour of the beer mines, I'm the tour guide.


You're on! Thanks for the invitation.
 
2013-03-14 11:16:39 PM  

WhiskeyBoy: cptjeff:Seriously folks, they have the cheaper sling whatever crappy drinks you want places in NYC too- these are the equivalent of fine dining. You order something nice, not tasteless shiat to get hammered. If that's not your scene, fine. But going into a craft cocktail bar and ordering a vodka tonic is like going into Chez Paul in Jorts and trying to order pop tarts. Don't.

I don't get why this is so hard to understand.  The gourmet concept travels across all manner of food and drink.  The entire gourmet industry has basically set itself up on one-upping the next guy.  Any restaurant or bar has the right to deny you service, and you have the right to refuse to be a patron of any establishment you dislike.  It's that simple.  Granted, it sounds like the douchey bartender could at least be a little more considerate in explaining the concept of a "gourmet" bar to their confused patrons.


Except that's not a good comparison.

It's like going to Chez Paul and ordering a steak well done.  Or with A1.  Whatever, it's their meal/money.  They may be making a tasteless order and are a moron for it, but you can fulfill their order and are a bigger moron for not doing so.
 
2013-03-14 11:19:22 PM  
I just want some fresh wine. None of that old stuff. Maybe a nice muscatel.
 
2013-03-14 11:42:58 PM  

Z-clipped: Education is part of appreciation. The reason you see a lot of younger people getting into high-end craft-related things like these cocktails isn't because of marketing. (People drink Grey Goose Bloody Marys because of marketing). It's because young people are more willing to leave their comfort zone and learn new things than older people are.

Sure, there are some idiots who just need a "thing" to have some social agency, but the bar owners and bartenders who are doing this stuff aren't in it for that reason. They're trying to perfect a craft, and there's nothing wrong with that.


I am sure there are a few bars still like that out there, but not the bar in the story (and there are many more examples of a bar like this in NYC and other towns and cities with a significant Hipster population). A good bar that could name themselves "mixologists" would have a selection of drinks available on a menu, maybe even an inexpensive sample selection so you may enjoy the various differences between separately mixed drinks at the bartender's *recommendation*.  *THIS* bar on the other hand has name brand liquors on the counter to take up space (probably makes the bar selection look good to lure in people with Facebook pictures), with the bartender actively insulting you because you want a product that he clearly has available yet won't sell you because "That person is an idiot and doesn't understand how 'better' artisanal alcohol is, I shall not waste my time with this customer" in the bartender's mind and vocally disparage the customer to that point.  If the bartender doesn't want to sell a product he has in the bar, don't stock it, and don't act like a Hipster douche because you want people to follow your way instead of them following their own individual choice. (Apparently the "alternative" Hipster bartender wants everyone to conform to his way of doing things. How ironic!)

A salesman makes suggestions to the customer in order to broaden their horizons, show them something that they might not think about trying and/or purchasing on their own, to increase sales. A salesman does not refuse to sell to a customer on the basis that the customer is willing to purchase something but not the exact thing that the salesman wanted the customer to purchase.
 
2013-03-14 11:53:07 PM  
i22.photobucket.com
 
2013-03-15 01:30:54 AM  

Eddie Ate Dynamite: Shut up and give me my Everclear and red Gatorade, asshole.

/Because I want to get drunk RIGHT NOW
//And I may have to do some running later
///Electrolytes!


had to add you as a favorite after this comment... that was my favorite drink in college, but I used red Powerade instead... called it Powerclear.
 
2013-03-15 01:31:37 AM  

DarkSoulNoHope: *THIS* bar on the other hand has name brand liquors on the counter to take up space (probably makes the bar selection look good to lure in people with Facebook pictures),


By "THIS bar" do you mean  Apothéke?  I've never been, but photos of the bar don't show a large array of the usual suspects, and I don't see any vodka at all.  Looking at their website, my professional experience gives me the impression that they're doing it right, not trying to lure people in with promises of Stoli Vanil and Coke, and then pulling a switcheroo and trying to force them to drink a French 75.

As for a cocktail menu, yes, what you describe is how many good mixology bars do it.  Tonique in New Orleans has a 10-page menu with extensive historical background on most of their cocktails (and probably the gruffest bartender I've ever met, but I don't blame him considering the idiots who come walking into the place off of Bourbon St.).

Apothéke OTOH seems to have built themselves on a theme of "prescriptions", where the bartender gets a feel for what you like, and then creates something unique off-the-cuff to fit your personal tastes.  I think that sounds like a lot of fun, and would definitely go to check out their chops.  But if I was in the mood to drink a beer (or a vodka soda), I'd have the sense to go somewhere else, for the same reason that I wouldn't go to Alinea or Minibar if I were in the mood for comfort food.

If you're talking about the bar at Prime Meats, I don't know what to tell you.  Never been there.  They may very well be a bunch of douchebags.  They DO have a decent looking cocktail menu though.

Death + Company practically founded the cocktail revival movement in this area. If you walk into that bar without knowing where you are, you deserve whatever you get.  Those guys don't screw around, and they've been doing craft cocktails for long enough that people should know better.

I don't know... for every really cutting edge place that's trying to hone an honest craft, there are 5 money-grab operations around the corner trying to rip off their theme with minimal substance.  It's the nature of the business.  The only point I'm trying to make is that there's nothing inherently "hipster" about the craft cocktail thing.  It's really worth learning about if you like booze and have (or want to have) a discerning palette.
 
2013-03-15 01:55:05 AM  

DarkSoulNoHope: A salesman makes suggestions to the customer in order to broaden their horizons, show them something that they might not think about trying and/or purchasing on their own, to increase sales. A salesman does not refuse to sell to a customer on the basis that the customer is willing to purchase something but not the exact thing that the salesman wanted the customer to purchase.


Oh, and a couple of things on this subject:

Good bartenders aren't just salesmen.  They're craftsmen and tradesmen.  A salesman who's only concern is selling as much as possible makes suggestions to increase sales.  A better salesman educates people about what they make, allowing the customer to understand the quality of what they're being offered, and make an informed purchase that they'll be happier with in the long run.  It's called "having professional integrity".  And a craftsman/tradesman should be allowed to look out for his reputation and cultivate the clientele he wants.

Think about what would happen if you walked into a salon with 4 feet of beautiful flowing hair and said "cut it all off, shave my head".  The stylist would certainly put up a fight, probably try to talk you down to taking off 6 inches, and might even refuse to do it at all in the end.  They don't want to be responsible for you being unhappy, or someone seeing that kind of thing go on in their place, because it hurts their credibility.  Sure, they're there to provide a service, but that doesn't obligate them to comply with every request they get.

I know it's hard for some people to understand, but these bars aren't operating with the intention to just move as much product as possible...  They're providing a service and a product that they feel meets their standard of integrity.  It's not the customer's place to insist that they lower their standards or conform to a particular concept just because, as someone else in the thread said, they have $20.
 
2013-03-15 02:09:28 AM  

Z-clipped: DarkSoulNoHope: *THIS* bar on the other hand has name brand liquors on the counter to take up space (probably makes the bar selection look good to lure in people with Facebook pictures),

By "THIS bar" do you mean  Apothéke?  I've never been, but photos of the bar don't show a large array of the usual suspects, and I don't see any vodka at all.  Looking at their website, my professional experience gives me the impression that they're doing it right, not trying to lure people in with promises of Stoli Vanil and Coke, and then pulling a switcheroo and trying to force them to drink a French 75.

As for a cocktail menu, yes, what you describe is how many good mixology bars do it.  Tonique in New Orleans has a 10-page menu with extensive historical background on most of their cocktails (and probably the gruffest bartender I've ever met, but I don't blame him considering the idiots who come walking into the place off of Bourbon St.).

Apothéke OTOH seems to have built themselves on a theme of "prescriptions", where the bartender gets a feel for what you like, and then creates something unique off-the-cuff to fit your personal tastes.  I think that sounds like a lot of fun, and would definitely go to check out their chops.  But if I was in the mood to drink a beer (or a vodka soda), I'd have the sense to go somewhere else, for the same reason that I wouldn't go to Alinea or Minibar if I were in the mood for comfort food.

If you're talking about the bar at Prime Meats, I don't know what to tell you.  Never been there.  They may very well be a bunch of douchebags.  They DO have a decent looking cocktail menu though.

Death + Company practically founded the cocktail revival movement in this area. If you walk into that bar without knowing where you are, you deserve whatever you get.  Those guys don't screw around, and they've been doing craft cocktails for long enough that people should know better.

I don't know... for every really cutting edge place that's trying to hone an ...


Mainly Prime Meats by the story, since that seems to be what occurred (plus I checked their menu, that better be damn good meat for the prices they're spewing!), but my point is more that customer service should come a little bit ahead of being "unique" "hip" and/or "edgy" in attitudes towards patrons. If I go into a place that I have never been before (experimenting a little with random adventures), I usually search for something familiar on the menu saying to myself "Well, if this tastes good, maybe I'll try something a little different later in the meal later on", and I wouldn't expect someone to go "Well yeah, we could serve you *that* but you would be stupid for trying that! No, I shall be ordering something I know you shall enjoy" without that person receiving either an angry retort or me just walking out.

As for Death + Company, I don't know who would really want to go to a place called Death + Company other than morbid people like me! (Joking of course, I am sure it's quite popular among the mixed drink crowds as you claim) Maybe they should change the name to Brain Cell Destruction + Company? :-D
 
2013-03-15 02:31:28 AM  

Z-clipped: I know it's hard for some people to understand, but these bars aren't operating with the intention to just move as much product as possible... They're providing a service and a product that they feel meets their standard of integrity. It's not the customer's place to insist that they lower their standards or conform to a particular concept just because, as someone else in the thread said, they have $20.


Yes, but many of these places don't extol that in any sort of warning to the customer. Maybe a sign over the bar and/or on the menu stating that, "We reject customer requests for boring liquor orders at the bartender's (or "mixologist's" if you want to use that stupid term, IMHO) discretion."  Without a warning in the open to customers that this "Isn't that kind of bar", they get peeved if they're new to the venue. A place of business should be welcoming as much clientele as possible while informing people who might not want that kind of attitude/service to avoid the place. It may be an internet world, but not everyone is going to jump on the internet to view the reviews while they are hungry and/or thirsty and see a place they think they might enjoy that's close by.

As for your argument about hair, it would be my hair, not the stylist's choice to make at the end if I decided to shave mine off. They could refuse to do the job and lose the business if they so choose to, but they would be warning that customer in advance, not insulting the customer directly for making a "stupid choice" in the stylist's mind  and forcing another style on them because "that's not what we do here, but I'll do a style I know you want, now sit back and relax till I'm done" (again, without the employee knowing anything about the customer and after getting a direct request to do something differently). They keep it to themselves and maybe joke about it to their co-workers after the customer has left, but the customer's feelings are angered as much, that's a better way to handle it.

It's not the customer requesting that the bar conforms to a particular concept, it is the customer's request that the bar be flexible when that bar clearly has the product available but doesn't want to provide it because they're Hipster douches! I have a feeling that some of these Hipster bars will yell at you for a "rum and coke" or a Budweiser and attempt push some sort of elaborate and expensive "artisanal" mixed drink on the customer, but will be happy to sell you the Papst Blue Ribbon that's on tap if you request it!
 
2013-03-15 02:33:30 AM  
customer's feelings aren't angered as much, that's a better way to handle it.

Fixed
 
2013-03-15 02:36:28 AM  

DarkSoulNoHope: As for Death + Company, I don't know who would really want to go to a place called Death + Company other than morbid people like me! (Joking of course, I am sure it's quite popular among the mixed drink crowds as you claim) Maybe they should change the name to Brain Cell Destruction + Company? :-D


Why "Death & Co."?  It's an allusion to the portrayal of alcohol by Temperance movement:

www.fasttrackteaching.com

ncpedia.org


From their website:

In 1919 the Volstead Act brought a swift end to nightlife, and the refined craft of the American bartender was outlawed. It was thought that to drink alcohol was to live a life shadowed by death.  It was thought by some that these were death and company.  It's taken us nearly a century for us to restore flavor to the drink and class to specialty cocktails.  In our time, a night to celebrate life's simple pleasures with fine wine, exquisitely crafted cocktails, beautifully prepared food and impeccable sipping spirits is a rare gift.  To those who shun the night, we tip our hat.  To those who shine after dusk, we offer a warm embrace.  Welcome to the new golden age.  Welcome to Death & Co.
 
2013-03-15 02:41:15 AM  

Z-clipped: DarkSoulNoHope: As for Death + Company, I don't know who would really want to go to a place called Death + Company other than morbid people like me! (Joking of course, I am sure it's quite popular among the mixed drink crowds as you claim) Maybe they should change the name to Brain Cell Destruction + Company? :-D

Why "Death & Co."?  It's an allusion to the portrayal of alcohol by Temperance movement:

[www.fasttrackteaching.com image 446x630]

[ncpedia.org image 384x360]


From their website:

In 1919 the Volstead Act brought a swift end to nightlife, and the refined craft of the American bartender was outlawed. It was thought that to drink alcohol was to live a life shadowed by death.  It was thought by some that these were death and company.  It's taken us nearly a century for us to restore flavor to the drink and class to specialty cocktails.  In our time, a night to celebrate life's simple pleasures with fine wine, exquisitely crafted cocktails, beautifully prepared food and impeccable sipping spirits is a rare gift.  To those who shun the night, we tip our hat.  To those who shine after dusk, we offer a warm embrace.  Welcome to the new golden age.  Welcome to Death & Co.


Gives nice meaning to the bar, I hope they have Death in June ready on the Jukebox!  Or Siouxise and the Banshees, or Christian Death, or London After Midnight, or some other band I would enjoy if I went there. :-P
 
2013-03-15 03:27:30 AM  

DarkSoulNoHope: Maybe a sign over the bar and/or on the menu stating that, "We reject customer requests for boring liquor orders at the bartender's (or "mixologist's" if you want to use that stupid term, IMHO) discretion."


They could do that, I suppose.  Or maybe they just figure that the ignorant ones will figure it out on their own, eventually.  After all, they're looking to cater to the crowd that does know what they're doing.  Not the random people who don't take the trouble to find out.  Personally, I think a sign like that would be tacky.

DarkSoulNoHope: It's not the customer requesting that the bar conforms to a particular concept,


The concept of a rye Manhattan made with a carefully chosen whiskey, 3 kinds of homemade bitters, and orange syrup that was cooked down in-house from fresh fruit, is MUCH different from the concept of a Stoli and Coke.  They're made in completely different ways.  They serve completely different purposes.  You drink them for completely different reasons.

You wouldn't pay $100 to go to a Broadway show and chat with your friends through the entire thing...  These guys don't want to serve their $16 masterpiece cocktails to people who aren't going to pay attention to what they're drinking.  That's their choice; they're the ones with the bar, and the booze, and the skills.

it is the customer's request that the bar be flexible when that bar clearly has the product available but doesn't want to provide it because they're Hipster douches!

You're missing the point.  The liquor isn't the product they're selling.  The craft and the experience of that craft are the product.  Liquor stores sell liquor.  Grocers sell food.  Bars and restaurants (the good ones, anyway) sell a drinking/dining experience that involves every part of the place from the ice cubes to the glassware to the skill of the bartender or chef, to the presentation of the food/drink, to the service, to the decorations on the walls.

DarkSoulNoHope: As for your argument about hair, it would be my hair, not the stylist's choice to make at the end if I decided to shave mine off. They could refuse to do the job and lose the business if they so choose to, but they would be warning that customer in advance


No, you'd be asking for a service, and they would be telling you that they don't want to perform it.   It's your hair, but it's their scissors and chair.  They wouldn't be "losing" your business, they'd be refusing your business.  This is no different from a bartender telling you he won't make you a vodka tonic because it's not one of the drinks he feels comfortable serving in his establishment.

I don't know where you get the idea that you're entitled to dictate what product a bar sells (and again by "product" I don't mean what brand of liquor).  I know you have your own preconceptions about what a bar is, but bucking those preconceptions is pretty much exactly the point of what these guys are trying to do.  That's why a place like Apothéke goes to such trouble to make the atmosphere and decor speak to a theme that's thought-inspiring.

The only agreement you'll get from me is that they should try to be as polite as they can manage about sticking to their guns, because that's just good business and common decency.

DarkSoulNoHope: but will be happy to sell you the Papst Blue Ribbon that's on tap if you request it!


This is just a silly assumption on your part.  You've already labeled this entire situation a "hipster" thing, and that's going to color all of your assumptions, apparently.  Nothing I can do about that.
 
2013-03-15 04:27:59 AM  

Z-clipped: Sure, there are some idiots who just need a "thing" to have some social agency, but the bar owners and bartenders who are doing this stuff aren't in it for that reason. They're trying to perfect a craft, and there's nothing wrong with that.


No, it's wonderful.  However, at the end of the day, yes the value of that craft is still reasonably subjective and if you stock old panther piss and somebody orders old panther piss, you pour it and make sure they have a bevnap.  I have found that most truly artistic or artisan efforts are seldom indexed to something else.  Precedent is a valid aspect of any craft, but it's seldom the point to the product.
 
2013-03-15 04:57:21 AM  

bunner: Z-clipped: Sure, there are some idiots who just need a "thing" to have some social agency, but the bar owners and bartenders who are doing this stuff aren't in it for that reason. They're trying to perfect a craft, and there's nothing wrong with that.

No, it's wonderful.  However, at the end of the day, yes the value of that craft is still reasonably subjective and if you stock old panther piss and somebody orders old panther piss, you pour it and make sure they have a bevnap.  I have found that most truly artistic or artisan efforts are seldom indexed to something else.  Precedent is a valid aspect of any craft, but it's seldom the point to the product.


I hear you.  I think my point ultimately goes back to professional integrity, and the fact that a lot of people apparently think it's something that doesn't or shouldn't exist in the service industry.

Bear in mind, this thread isn't really about the choices bartenders are making.  It's about the choices business owners are making.
 
2013-03-15 05:29:25 AM  

Z-clipped: Bear in mind, this thread isn't really about the choices bartenders are making.  It's about the choices business owners are making.


And there has e'er lain the disconnect between art and commerce and twas ever thus.   :  \
 
2013-03-15 06:22:19 AM  

Z-clipped: I hear you. I think my point ultimately goes back to professional integrity, and the fact that a lot of people apparently think it's something that doesn't or shouldn't exist in the service industry.


Any bartender who is prejudiced about goddamn beverage choices has every right to be snooty.  Just as the meathead outside with the exact facial hair has every right to pretend he is Judge Dredd.  Just as the record store guy has the only musical taste of note and it is always contrary to yours, even if it means contradicting his own.  It isn't about craftsmanship at that point, it's about dominance.  It's hostility.

People who think other people's service jobs are inferior and that therefore they are inferior people are undoubtedly assholes.  But then again, so are service industry workers who talk about their "craft" as if they are actors (same goes for "actors" who talk about their "craft").


www.commonsensewithmoney.com

My kraft.  It is honed.
 
2013-03-15 07:48:54 AM  

thamike: It isn't about craftsmanship at that point, it's about dominance.  It's hostility.


Have you actually spent any time with the kind of people you're talking about?  Because I have, and I can assure you that while there are certainly people who have social dominance issues, most bartenders that I know who are any good do the job because on some level, they just enjoy making people happy.

thamike: People who think other people's service jobs are inferior and that therefore they are inferior people are undoubtedly assholes.  But then again, so are service industry workers who talk about their "craft" as if they are actors (same goes for "actors" who talk about their "craft").


What a silly thing to say.  "Both sides are bad, because 'craft'"?  What do you have against the word "craft"?  It just means "using skill make something that wasn't there before".  Bartenders make cocktails.  Carpenters make chairs.  Potters make bowls.  Chefs make food. Actors?... well you might have a point there, but it's an irrelevant one at best.

You don't think what these guys make is important?  That's cool.  A lot of people spend time and energy on a lot of things that I don't find important too.  I don't usually call them "assholes" for it, though.

24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-03-15 11:41:46 AM  
intoxicologist.net

Buffalo Trace neat.  Don't put ice in it, don't water it down, don't squeeze any goddamned lemon into it.  If I wanted to drink Pledge, well I know where to get that.

Oh, and please, don't serve it in a cognac snifter.  Bourbon = tumbler.  Always.

Oh and BTW, yer not a "mixologist" when the drink involves one ingredient poured from a bottle into a correct clean glass.  Now you're a server.
 
2013-03-15 12:02:16 PM  
Repeat after me:

"I'm sorry, we don't have all the ingredients for that.  If you're looking for something with (attribute of the drink that was ordered), may I suggest a (menu drink that shares that attribute)?"
 
2013-03-15 12:26:05 PM  

Fano: I just want some fresh wine. None of that old stuff. Maybe a nice muscatel.


weimax.com

How about a nice fortified tokay?
 
2013-03-15 12:35:10 PM  

NaziKamikaze: Except that's not a good comparison.

It's like going to Chez Paul and ordering a steak well done.  Or with A1.  Whatever, it's their meal/money.  They may be making a tasteless order and are a moron for it, but you can fulfill their order and are a bigger moron for not doing so.


It may be worse in the long run for their business to just suck it up and make that order to please a bad customer. So you go into a high end steakhouse and order their 60 day aged prime ny strip well done and smothered in A1... You've just pretty much destroyed all the hard work that went into that piece of meat, the time and care that the farmer put into raising the cow, the payroll investment of the restaurant for their skilled butcher, the money they spent on their special climate and humidity controlled beef aging locker, the well payed highly skilled and trained grillardine who just wasted a bunch of time watching this piece of meat on his grill. And then you go and cover it in some sauce that came out of a bottle that the restaurant had no hand in and does nothing to differenciate them from anywhere else with A1... Yeah you're a paying customer, but I think they have a right to be pisses at someone destroying their hard work.

Lets say you make your living restoring cars, some guy brings you something to work on and you spend weeks beautifully restoring it. Then the guy picks it up, shrugs and says he's using it in a demolition derby the next week. I think you have every right to be pissed at this guy for wasting your time when you could have been working on something for someone who will actually appreciate it, money be damned.

And as for the restaurants bottom line and why this may be worse? So you're at a high end steak house, order your well done A1 smothered steak, you enjoy it well enough, the bill comes... "Why am I being charged $50 for this steak, it tasted just like the well done and A1 smothered steak I ha at Applebee's last week and that was only $8.99! This place is a ripoff!" Then you go and tell your friends that the place served you a mediocre steak and charged you through the nose for it an tell them never to go there, or worse, go on yelp and post a review stating as such. That is going to hurt the restaurants reputation (which can be everything in many crowded markets) than pissing off one possibly unreasonable customer.
 
2013-03-15 04:33:59 PM  

Z-clipped: Have you actually spent any time with the kind of people you're talking about?


You obviously have read nothing else I've written in this thread.  Which is even more evident in everything that followed the above rhetorical question.

Having a craft is one thing.  Referring to "my craft" in mixed company is obnoxious. Trust me, I have actually spent a lot of time with the kind of people I'm talking about. Still, pointing out obnoxiousness can be done lightheartedly, which is what I'm doing here--for "both sides" (there are no two sides, just the assholes I am referring to).  Take a breath and remember where you are.
 
2013-03-15 04:40:27 PM  

Z-clipped: Bartenders make cocktails. Carpenters make chairs. Potters make bowls. Chefs make food.


Two of these are service industry workers, the other two are craftsmen.  And while I think that the preparation food and drink employs craftsmanship, I'll guarantee you (as someone who has been all of these) that waiters, bartenders, and cooks don't openly refer to their jobs as "crafts" without meeting peals of laughter from their colleagues.
 
2013-03-15 06:57:21 PM  

thamike: Z-clipped: Bartenders make cocktails. Carpenters make chairs. Potters make bowls. Chefs make food.

Two of these are service industry workers, the other two are craftsmen.  And while I think that the preparation food and drink employs craftsmanship, I'll guarantee you (as someone who has been all of these) that waiters, bartenders, and cooks don't openly refer to their jobs as "crafts" without meeting peals of laughter from their colleagues.


Wait, you've been a potter? I don't believe you.

And yes, if you're very good at something, the art of it matters to you, and you find an audience that appreciates the art. All chefs are not equal, just as, say, Jimi Hendrix and that goofball on the subway platform or the douche in the band that played your wedding are not equal guitar players.  Do you really think that proper chefs and fine carpenters are merely "service industry," right there alongside Wal-Mart greeters and gas pumpers? You want to lump Ferran Adria and Alain Ducasse or whoever alongside the guy in a white jacket at Bennigan's, well, that's your mistake.

I was a line cook in a three-star joint for many years...best line I ever heard the chef say? He stopped a plate that was about to go out, took it to the cook that plated it, and made him recook it, stating, "we serve the food here, we don't schlep it." And that's the difference.
 
2013-03-15 08:49:27 PM  

Scrotastic Method: Wait, you've been a potter? I don't believe you.

And yes, if you're very good at something, the art of it matters to you, and you find an audience that appreciates the art. All chefs are not equal, just as, say, Jimi Hendrix and that goofball on the subway platform or the douche in the band that played your wedding are not equal guitar players. Do you really think that proper chefs and fine carpenters are merely "service industry," right there alongside Wal-Mart greeters and gas pumpers? You want to lump Ferran Adria and Alain Ducasse or whoever alongside the guy in a white jacket at Bennigan's, well, that's your mistake.


Somewhere out there is the point you missed.

I was a line cook in a three-star joint for many years...

Then you know precisely what I'm talking about. Pretense and self congratulatory jargon is for non-professionals.

best line I ever heard the chef say?

"That one's yours.  Those two lines are for me."  But that was a line cook, not the chef.  Best line I ever heard a chef say was, around 8:30 on a Friday night, "Gwyneth Paltrow wants to see me?  I want to come on her face."
 
2013-03-16 03:24:17 AM  

thamike: Referring to "my craft" in mixed company is obnoxious.

thamike: Take a breath and remember where you are.


I don't mean to be rude, but given that you're in a thread where no one has done what you're complaining about, perhaps you should take your own advice?

thamike: Two of these are service industry workers, the other two are craftsmen.


A baseless distinction. You even go on to tacitly admit that it's baseless in you next post.

thamike: I'll guarantee you (as someone who has been all of these) that waiters, bartenders, and cooks don't openly refer to their jobs as "crafts" without meeting peals of laughter from their colleagues.


So? That doesn't make it not the case. I'm submitting that some bartenders (like the ones mentioned in the article) are in fact craftsmen, despite the social stigma placed on service jobs. Pointing out that people (even ones inside the industry) have a skewed view of restaurant work doesn't refute my point, it supports it. (And I don't know why you're bringing waiters into the discussion. I didn't, and wouldn't, label them craftsmen.)

thamike: Pretense and self congratulatory jargon is for non-professionals.


And I reiterate that you're borrowing trouble with this tack, and you're doing it because you're hung up on a word that happens to be completely accurate. I'm saying that not enough people understand that what the guys at Death and Co. are doing is a craft worthy of respect, and you're countering with "Well, most people don't think of it as a craft, therefore they're being pretentious, even though they're not the ones using the term in this discussion."

Most people don't even think of FOH restaurant work as a trade in the US. People assume that it's not a worthy or lucrative profession to the point that they'll come right out and ask you what it is that you "really" do while you're serving them. ("Fark you, I do THIS asshole, and if it wasn't valuable, you wouldn't have just waited 45 minutes for a seat at my bar!") That's been going on for so long that the business is now half-full of people who have bought into the idea themselves. There's no reason to shiat on a few elite bartenders who are just trying to reclaim a tiny bit of dignity for their profession and have some pride in what they make. They're no less craftsmen than cabinet makers, or metal smiths, or jewelers.

thamike: Best line I ever heard a chef say was, around 8:30 on a Friday night, "Gwyneth Paltrow wants to see me? I want to come on her face."


Well, you may be fibbing about being a potter, but this at least proves that you've worked in a kitchen before. I'll give you that.

Scrotastic Method: And yes, if you're very good at something, the art of it matters to you, and you find an audience that appreciates the art. All chefs are not equal, just as, say, Jimi Hendrix and that goofball on the subway platform or the douche in the band that played your wedding are not equal guitar players. Do you really think that proper chefs and fine carpenters are merely "service industry," right there alongside Wal-Mart greeters and gas pumpers? You want to lump Ferran Adria and Alain Ducasse or whoever alongside the guy in a white jacket at Bennigan's, well, that's your mistake.


Yes, exactly.
 
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