If you read this blog with any regularity you will have discerned by now that I am a big fan of bars. Not that I am given to over-imbibing, but I feel at home when sitting at a bar. Not being a terribly young man anymore, I tend to spend most of my bar time during the mid- to late-afternoon.
This puts me smack in front of the afternoon bartender. The good daytime bartender (DTBT) is a rarity; this person must realize that they make up part of the afternoon drinking experience. Unlike the night barkeep, whose main function is to dispense drinks, collect payment and repeat, the DTBT has fewer clients and must play more of a cruise director role with them.
Like any slinger of drinks, the DTBT is responsible for taking orders, preparing drinks, and serving same. But also for remembering names, birthdays, preferred drinks, and generally making conversation. The occasional round of whisky shots from the DTBT never fails to lead to more of the same, bought by customers; priming the pump if you will.
My research has shown that some of the best DTBTs are found in what are often called Dive Bars. Unlike the old days when referring to an establishment as a dive was a derogatory moniker, today many such watering holes are proud to be defined as dives. Dive in this sense could be replaced with character.
On my recent travels I have undertaken a personal journey of dive bars, proving my presence with a photograph of me behind the bar. It’s difficult work, but I’ll do my best to keep on!