Good Service, Bad Service: WTF is Up With the Bar Troll at S4?

Categories: Last Night

s4.jpg
caven.com
This is the glory that awaits if you can avoid paying the troll toll at S4.
Normally, I sing Station 4's praises to the high heavens. It's not a place I frequent all that often, but now and again everyone could benefit from the catharsis of a night spent jumping awkwardly in place to Ke$ha with a sloshing plastic cup of nondescript vodka substance. But on Saturday night we hit the Round-Up (I tip my stetson, fellas) and then Station 4 where a bartender twice spat unprovoked hateful shit at me before twice turning his back, walking away and refusing to serve me.

My offense? I merely inquired about a drink that he found too unsophisticated for his lofty skill-set. (Didn't even order it; just asked a question.)

Now don't get me wrong. If offered the choice, I probably wouldn't eschew a glass of Macallan 50 for a shot of Apple Pucker or Hot Damn. But I wasn't at the S4 to swill fine spirits on an oxblood red leather sofa while pursuing the Wall Street Journal in my smoking jacket. The nasty attitude is an embarrassment to the profession that this particular bartender claimed to take so seriously. And, in general, it's not cool to treat others -- paying customers, or otherwise -- with senseless derision.

But apparently Dallas has a bit of a reputation for such. I've talked to most of the city's best barmen and women -- those who take their work as seriously as any chef and who've earned my highest respect -- and many of them have told me, unprompted, that the "I refuse to serve your pedestrian request" attitude is not only a serious problem here, but a phenomenon that shames the entire industry.

On the other side of the table are guys like Matt Tobin and Josh Yingling who will meet you on the couches at Goodfriend with a hug and a can of Highlife. You'll recall that, among the two of them, these guys own two wildly beloved bars and have plans to open a craft beer store with specialty imports. They know beer. But at the end of the day, these guys have said, "We're big on 'Do you like it? Does it make you smile when you drink it? Then cool, drink it!' We think it's cool to try new things and good to branch out, but if you end up and Bud's what you like, drink it."

These thoughts have been echoed in similar remarks from the bartender's bartender Charlie Papaceno, Gabe Sanchez and Máté Hartai (among a few of the city's very best).

So on Saturday night, I walked 15 steps to another bar and was immediately acknowledged by three other S4 bartenders who were friendly, fun and attentive. And since the best way to deal with a troll is to ignore it, let's talk folks we love. Here are some hardcore service winners who got pretty damned decent tips from me this weekend (and who deserved more):

Misty at Vickery Park
Aaron at Spiral Diner
Joe E. at The Round-Up Saloon

Have you had some good service, bad service lately? Praise your favs in the comments.


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15 comments
ceepee
ceepee

How can anyone be snotty about any concoction that ends up in a plastic cup???

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

i don't think Charlie Papaceno would be very friendly either if he was working at S4

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

As I have told people before, I'm a beer aficionado, but not a beer snob.  I'll never order a miller light, but if someone genuinely hands me one (as in, "hey, have a beer" not, "ha ha, I bet you won't drink this") I'll drink it.  You have to be a giant ass to be that picky.

 

Even at the flying saucer, which is a beer place (maybe THE beer place) you can still get a bud light.  It's not on the menu and it's not on tap, but they will serve it to you. 

 

You're shit out of luck on the frosty mug, though.

Darren
Darren

What exactly did you inquire about??

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Don't worry, the jackass bartender wore his deep v-neck athletic-fit shirt and $300 sunglasses to his apartment complex pool where he's proceeding to drink American lagers and act like he owns the place without nary a concern for you.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Watch out, you must be trolling here.  The #LBB'ers will be here shortly once they wake up from there whiskey hazed sleep

ceepee
ceepee

 @ChrisYu You don't know Charlie. He can tolerate A LOT...

BrentneyH
BrentneyH

 @ChrisYu Haha! Point taken. Though on the other hand, I don't think this S4 bartender would have been any less insufferable if he were at a different club or bar. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps Thats nice of you.  When I go out and experience new beers, I enjoy it a ton.  Im also very thankful places that specialize in beer still carry miller/bud light other wise my wife would never agree to go drink there.  She just doesnt care for any more than that

BrentneyH
BrentneyH

 @Darren I asked about the slushie drinks prominently displayed behind the bar. I'm a pub person, not much of a clubber, so I was curious if people actually order them and seem to like them. And, since the boozey sno-cones at La Grange garnered some interest, I wondered if that had prompted other places to try crazier flavors than the quintessential Red Bull and Vodka slushies (I think I've seen those at Frankie's?). Either way, it's all good. I walked halfway across the room, got a beer, and tipped the other guy.  

ceepee
ceepee

 @Scruffygeist WITH nary a concern.... kinda like saying that you "could" care less.....

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @ScottsMerkin Beer is magic.  You can't stay mad at someone while you are drinking beers with them.  If Obama had let the "acting stupidly" cop and the harvard professor actually have three or four beers without cameras up their asses (instead of one with cameras firmly in place), they might have come to an understanding if not agreement.  (I still reserve the right to make fun of Obama's beer choices, and the fact that he changed it before the "summit" started.)  Even now, Gates says that he and the cop are friendly, and that "he's a nice guy when he isn't arresting you" (or something to that effect.)

 

We should have a new tradition in America, where when your guy wins an election, you buy a beer for someone you know voted for the other guy.  I think we could make that happen, if we just came up with a catchy name for it.

 

This country was founded over ale in taverns all over New England.  The damage of prohibition and the temperance movement are still hurting America.

BrentneyH
BrentneyH

 @Darren Oh, and I think it's worth adding that the guy wasn't slammed at the moment. Had that been the case, I would have ordered quickly and gotten out of his face. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @Gipson  @everlastingphelps she really prefers wine, but if she drinks wine as long as I drink beer, well it gets sloppy and I wont have a shot at scoring!

 

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