How to Hit On Your Bartender

Categories: Ask a Pro

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Look, we understand. He's smokin'. But let the poor man work, OK?
Let's just say you've found a new watering hole and decide to pop in for a drink. The bartender is so adorable you're salivating. It seems like you have two options:

A) Brazenly ask him/her out in front of God and every other drunk asshole in the place or B) quietly leave a note with your phone number on the credit card receipt and make sure it is placed squarely in the bartender's hand rather than the bar top where any of the aforementioned drunk assholes could get hold of it.

But according to Prophet Bar and Palladium Ballroom bartender Korin, the right answer is C): none of the above.

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Option A, Korin says, puts everyone in a rough situation.

"Don't come into someone's work and try and pick up on them even if, to you, it's just asking for a phone number," she says bluntly. Although a bartender might not be dressed in a suit or even "business casual" she's still a professional. Hitting on your bartender puts him or her in a tricky situation as well since a rejection -- even an honest one because, say, the bartender's in a relationship -- can cause your aching heart to stiff on the tip. Everyone loses here.

Option B may seem safer up front, and Korin says it's the lesser of two evils, but that's only because you're not around for the result, more likely winding up as entertainment for tired bar staff who need a good laugh after 8-to-10 hours on their feet.

"Everybody kinda laughs when someone does that," she confesses. "If you feel like you have to do one or the other, go with this one, but you won't be getting a phone call."

You end up looking desperate, and the bartender looks like the asshole, and the bar ends up losing a customer because you're too embarrassed to return. And that's just tragic, because it cuts you off from the one remote chance you have at true drink-slinger love: Get to know your bartender at work and hope to run into him or her in a different setting.

"If I see you outside the bar, and we've gotten to know each other ... maybe," Korin says.

She suggests building a rapport by frequenting their establishment often, being friendly and following social protocol. If you happen to run into him/her at an event or different establishment, then and only then are you allowed asking for a phone number or date. Until that happens, tip accordingly. But always remember: Casual, coincidental encounters are good. Stalking is -- and we can't stress this enough -- bad.

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34 comments
pootboy
pootboy

the interwebs should be officially renamed "White Chick Problems".  someone hit on you once?  oh the harrah!  our hearts bleed, dear.

J_A_
J_A_

I think we can safely say that no one wants to get hit on while they're at work, no matter what you do.

BarackObummer
BarackObummer

As long as Sandra Fluke gets her free birth control pills what difference does it make?

rotgod
rotgod

This does not apply to people in the business. Chances are that if you are working at a cool bar in town and you hit on other bartenders at their bars on you days off, you have a better chance. But you also can't just be a new face in the scene and expect to 'nail' that bartender, your charm and style also make a difference. This will diffuse most of the embarrassment.

This is for you yuppie chumps that come off the street and are still 'wet' behind the ears. To you, bartenders are assholes and they have every right to be. You might have better luck bumpin uglies with the sluts at some dump like Muddy Waters.

Carlo Aceytuno
Carlo Aceytuno

I was there for that conversation. All i know is he has a beard.

Jack Suggs
Jack Suggs

Wow, the Observer is in crash and burn mode again.

Americano
Americano

As a former bartender, there is NO good way to do this.  You may think they are welcoming an advance, when they are just doing their job.  Just be a decent human being and if they like you, they might hit on you.  That is your only shot.  Imagine how you would feel if your boss hit on you?  That's how they feel when you hit on them.  Most of them are already in a relationship anyway, sometimes with a co-worker who is standing 10 feet away.  Go find someone else.  Be decent.  Tip well, and you'll always have a friend in that bar.

Lee Jamison
Lee Jamison

Ashley H. White- notes for next time we see Borq.

Luis Estrada Escobar
Luis Estrada Escobar

Wtf bartenders think they are gods lol "don't hit on me I'm busy at work" GTFO!!

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Myrna's spectacular beauty has forever attracted lecherous advances from churlish oafs seeking voluptuous assignations.

Nandoboom
Nandoboom

I don't like the recommendation on how to hit on a bartender. People don't have the time to wait long to find out if there is a possibility. It is easier to just start a conversation with the bartender and simple ask her/him if she/he is married or has a girlfriend/boyfriend. If he/she is involved it doesn't mean that there is no chance in the future. Situations could change. If you like the person (bartender) then you could still try to build a friendship. Friends know people who could be a perfect date. News are flowing freely. http://t.co/nFk8F3BhLA

todd
todd

I would have never guessed, not in a million fucking years, that the tip would be a player in this discussion.  Props to Korin for being transparent about it.   

Nictacular
Nictacular

I also wouldn't recommend hitting on your server...unless you look like Tom Brady.

Then hit on everyone, because you ain't gonna miss.

*Full disclosure: I do NOT look like Tom Brady.

DaFuqAmIReading
DaFuqAmIReading

Bar none, the dumbest blog entry in the history of COA.

Anna_Merlan
Anna_Merlan

As a former retail clerk, let me add that this also goes for your friendly neighborhood retail clerk. Hitting on people who literally cannot walk away is a huge bummer for everyone.  

lbudmelman
lbudmelman

@JaniceA No dude on here will agree with your comment. Especially if like me they spent a lot of time in bands, and yes it was work.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Americano So does tipping average mean we has no shot in being friends, because I was always told, relationships shouldnt be based on money

JukeboxHero
JukeboxHero

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz didnt you mean assassinations? ;)

Americano
Americano

@ScottsMerkin 

Who wants average friends?  Who said you had a relationship?  You are a guest or customer, only as good as your behavior and your money.  Their tip is based on their attitude and performance, their attitude towards you is based on your money and behavior.

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