Thursday’s Thoughts From a Bartender: Hitting on the Bartender?

  • Posted on: January 27th, 2011 by

By Jack Elliot

Inside the bar you see the live band full of attractive musicians. You see the crowd dancing, enjoying themselves. You see couples throughout the bar, having drinks and relishing in each other’s company. You see the numerous singles throughout the bar talking, joking, trying to make something happen. You see the poor busboys desperately trying to clean up empty glasses and restock the bar. Everyone’s quite attractive. But, no one seems to really strike your eye, no one you really desire, no one with that je-nais-sais-quos.

That is, until you turn your eyes behind the bar and you see the bartenders rushing left and right in a sort of organized, brilliant burst of artistic chaos as they work through the night hours. And then one in particular really takes all your attention. You can tell that he is incredibly busy- but you can’t help thinking about hitting on him. So, what do you do? Do you just order your drinks, check him out while he gets it ready, and leave a nice tip- forever wondering about maybe, just maybe, what could have been. Or do you decide to be bold and try to get him to pause for a bit, try to talk him up, and see what happens? Hence this weeks topic: to hit on the bartender or not?

This is not an easy question and there are innumerable factors to consider. A lot depends on the time of day. If it’s during happy hour and the bar is just getting going and you’re really into one of the bartenders, then hell yeah, go for it. But if it’s a busy Friday night, the bartender could be so slammed that he really doesn’t have any time to think about anything but the 15 drinks and the corresponding tabs/last names running through his head and any attempt at hitting on him would just be annoying. But then again, it all really depends on the bartender.

Also, I’d also say that the bartender’s gender plays a pretty big role. Female bartenders are constantly, perpetually being hit on by guys- it’s almost as if it’s a part of their job description. And I know the one’s that I work with have more or less developed an immunity to the passes made by males (and are also in committed relationships). If you’re going to hit on a female bartender, chances are you’ll just be another number. I’d say that, overall, the better shot lies with going for a male bartender.

And then there’s the whole aspect of a bartender’s role to consider. You have to remember that at the end of the day, most bartenders are just trying to make as many tips as possible. And what’s the best way for them to make those tips? For them to provide you with good conversation, humor, strong drinks, and even a bit of flirtation. So although you may think that they’re into you, they really could just be sweet-talking you. But who knows, I can only tell you so much. I mean, it never hurts to try.

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  • Adrianna Kotowska

    I’ve been having a crush on a bartender lately… He’s working at a gay club, but I know he’s straight. I’m in the minority of straight girls who come there with their gay friends. There are three bars in this club, and a week ago I went to the one in the karaoke room, and He was there, alone behind the bar. I was with a friend of mine and I ordered a round of kamikaze for us. The bartender smiled at me in a way that I almost fainted, and while shaking our drink he was looking at me with this smile, so I gave him a tip (I usually didn’t do this because other bartenders in this club aren’t so nice and flirtatious, and besides I ususally have money prepared only for particular amount of drinks). I returned to him once again and ordered the same, and then I complimented him on his job (that the drink was delicious). Later I was hanging around there, even sang a few songs on karaoke (the bartender was listening). A week later I went there again, and he was there too, but in different room with 3 other bartenders, so I walked up to the bar when he wasn’t busy and I could get his attention. I did, and ordered the same thing as last time, also gave him a tip. He greeted me with the same, seductive smile, and later I was back there, ordering again (I always order with one of my friends, cause of course I can’t drink that much alone, so we split our drinks). We (me and my gay friend) sat at the bar, where there was fewer people. The bartender I like took our next 3 orders. But to the point: this is a place where bartenders can drink alcohol after a particular hour, and so did he. He was sipping beer, so I proposed a little toast. He winked at me and I melted to the ground. And after that he was raising his glass towards me without me asking, always in the same flirtatious way. Once he asked (when I was sitting alone at the bar) if I wanted something and I almost replied “Yes, I want you”, but fortunately I didn’t. Then I ordered a bottle of water, and he asked “not kamikaze?” and I replied “You want to make me drunk” and he said “yes” with his gorgeous smile. Then me and my friends changed the rooms and were about to head home but I’ve had a glass with me so I decided to return it to the bar where HE was. When I appeared he immediately approached me and was about to ask what I want, but I handed him the glass and said “Thank you, but good night”. I was surprised when he reached his hand to shake mine in an elegant manner, no bartender had done this before (maybe that’s because I wasn’t really accustomed to any of them). And now my problem begins, although I think I know the answer to my questions. Was he some kind of interested in me, or just doing his job, trying to get more tips or make a good impression so I tip him next time? I don’t know if he tends a bar somewhere else, but in that particular club I’m a “unicorn” as few straight girls go there, and I haven’t seen him flirting with any, so maybe he saw his opportunity to flirt, as he noticed I was definitely into him? All I can think about is that he’s nice only because of the money, and I am a naive idiot who falls for it… Besides, he’s super handsome, definitely my type, so he can use it counsciously. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to flirt back with him, or just act as an ordinary customer and maybe stop tipping him, or maybe even buy drinks from other bartenders… I must add that I look ordinarily, I mean, I always dress up when I go there, do make up and hair, and all that stuff, I’m easy-going and lovely and smiling all the time when I’m not tired. But I’m insecure because I’m a little bit overweight, that’s why I think it;s impossible for him to like me and hit on me on purpose, not just for tips. But his smile and looks he’s been giving me are so irresistable. I know that dating a bartender isn’t simple, but being aware of all pitfalls it brings, I’d go for it anyway. I don’t know if I should give him my number after a few more visits if they;re gonna look like that. Wouldn’t it be desperate or something? Please someone read this and answer me.

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Jennifer Kelton

Jennifer Kelton CEO / founder LLC is a Los Angeles native and a pioneer in the worldwide dating industry, investigating the game of love while providing encouragement and support since 2007, starting with the acclaimed dating book Don’t Use My Sweater like a Towel. An accomplished CEO, visionary and entrepreneur, Kelton’s work in the […]

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