The Whine Bar

The Penfolds of blogs

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

Shy or Sly?

Girls, how’s this for a pick up story?

I was working in the bar alone on a quiet monday night. Your typical crowd came in for $12 steak night but by 9pm my voice was the only one to be heard above the constant hum of the pokie tunes. The knowledge that we would be open for another three hours was never far from my mind. However, my luck turned. A group of guys, all around 23, walked through the doors. As they approached the bar I took the chance to eyeball. The three of them were dressed in chinos, two with baseball shirts, the last had a button up denim look going for him. Straight away I decided that they were not my type and served them their vodka, lime and sodas tall glasses with straws.
After an hour, the dominant personality of the group started to throw a few comments my way. Nothing special, just your average chit chat. While I was engaging in the not so thrilling banter of Mr Personality, I noticed that Denim Shirt kept looking at me out of the corner of his eye. It wasn’t because he was trying to check me out or anything, he just seemed really shy and didn’t know how to intereact with a female.

A few drinks later it was Mr Shy’s turn to buy the round. I watched him nervously approach the bar. I casually went over and asked how his night was going and if they lived in the area. He just beamed a rather large smile at me and nodded. Ok,  didn’t really answer my question but I chalked it up to the nerves. So to put him out of his misery, I asked if they were having the same order. He shook his head and flashed that smile of his. He began to say something that came out as “Su….Sup…Sss”. Within a few seconds he had given up, held out three fingers and pointed to the Super Dry tap.

They ended up staying until close and the entire time Smiley kept bearing his pearly whites. I couldn’t understand why he just wouldn’t talk to me though. At midnight, as they were leaving, he came up to the bar and dropped a note in front of me. Written on the back of a TAB ticket was

Hi my name is Asher,
I am so sorry I didn’t grab your name or number but I have this condition that makes me stutter when I am nervous. It seems to only happen when I talk to pretty bartenders. No point giving you my phone number because if you called I would be reduced to a stuttering mess. I hope to see you again sometime”

The next night, sure enough, he came in to collect my number. No stutter this time! When he asked why I wouldn’t give it to him I simply said, “It was a lie”.
His response was “But it worked. I had you thinking about me all day and wondering when I would be in next”
I have to admit, it was a pretty cute, and a well executed move!


Long Straws, Lies and Low Carbs

Guys, ever tried to impress the female bartender with your order? Here’s how NOT to do it!

*Southern comfort is for bourbon drinkers who don’t like bourbon
*If your drink of choice is rum- go for a Mount Gay or Ron de Jeremy
*Bundy is only acceptable if you’re wearing a flanny, belt buckle and at a barn dance!

*If you order a vodka don’t try and pretend it’s not for you with a line like “oh that’s for my friend”
*Don’t try and butch it up by taking the straw out with a scoff. All that says is your masculinity can be questioned by a straw!

*Never ask which beers are low carb
*If you order a light, i don’t need to know it is because you are driving
*Don’t order a shandy and compensate by lowering your voice and winking at me


Bartenders ignore you for a reason

It may come as a shock to you but the person serving you your drink doesn’t actually care what happened at work, or with your girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband. And shock horror, but we definitely don’t want to see pictures of your kids or your pets or the meal you had last night!
The more time we have to spend babysitting you the less chance we get to serve other customers and make tips. So if you choose to share your life story, be prepared to be avoided by the bartender! They have a job to do and they can’t perform it if they have to fake laugh at your jokes because no one else will, or fain sympathy because your husband doesn’t care that you made a mistake cheating with the guy down the street.
So, to sum up
Step one. Order your drink
Step two. Leave!
If the bartender wants to strike up a conversation, they will.

Wolf whistles and cat calls

I don’t walk into your place of work, demand you stop what you are doing by snapping my fingers and whistling at you.

Some piece of advice for anyone wanting decent service at the bar

1. NEVER click, clap, whistle or tap the bar for service
2. NEVER call me babe
3. Don’t cough under your breath or clear your throat to announce your presence
4. If i’m making drinks, don’t come and stand in front of me thinking that is your best chance to be served next
5. On that note, if it is a full bar, don’t stand near the till or eyeball me thinking you will be served quicker. We make note of the order people turn up!
6. Tip generously on your first round! Your second round will be an equally generous pour with speedy service

The Desperate Housewives

I sit in the next room spying on the mothers group meeting in the boardroom of the hotel. The women seem to be getting their weekly fix of gossip. The bottles of wine around the table seem oddly out of place with the bunch of prams crowding the room. The shrill, urgent voices of desperate housewives who have too much to say resonate throughout the hall outside. Typical of their title, the housewives could almost be epitomised by the beverages they consumed.

The obviously boozed woman of the group was given away by two bottles of wine. One, lying empty on the table in front of her, the other clutched protectively in her hand. Her longing eyes darting around the table from each glass of wine gave the impression that at any moment she could leap the distance and skull the contents.

A manicured hand gripped the first woman’s arm supportively and her shoulders slumped in defeat. The hand belonged to a beautiful woman dressed only in expensive labels. If I told you she was drinking a Cosmo, you wouldn’t be surprised. Her heavily made up face turned across the table to the source of wailing that had just begun. She gave a look of pity.

The hysterical crying came from a baby in the arms of a woman who had the sense of drowning about her. Her frantic pleading with the baby came to no avail and eventually got up to leave. Her unwashed hair and day old make up was illuminated by the unforgiving lights as she stood up. All that was left behind was an empty glass that had momentarily held a double vodka. Straight.

The only other woman in the group hadn’t drawn my attention until Double Vodka had left the room. Sitting hunched in a corner she looked shy and perhaps a little scared. I got the feeling she was happy to stay in the shadows. The glass of water she sipped unobtrusively was appropriate however, the lemon in her glass seemed a little risqué.

Apply within

“Vodka squash no ice, Carlton, make it two, no make them Super Dry, a Strongbow original with a glass of ice and a gin and tonic, tall glass with lime”…. Was all the acknowledgment I got before the woman turns to continue her phone conversation. I finsh her order and wait a respectable amount of time being ignored before reaching over the bar, grabbing her phone and dropping it in her ginandtonictallglasswithlime!
I wish
Episodes like this are common place in my job. If I am not dealing with rude patrons such as I’m-too-busy-talking-on-the-phone-to-pay-you-any-attention woman, then I am dodging the wondering hands of the locals who get all too familiar after their seventh hour in the pub.

Local bar seeks tender with no self respect and who welcomes insults. Applicants must take abuse, both verbal and physical, on a regular basis and be willing to work in a hostile environment’ should have read the job description!

Mouthing Mark

Mark. Mouthing Mark.

Working in a bar I expect to encounter various types of people from all walks of life. I do not judge, I hold conversations and give each patron what they need. If what they need includes a listening ear at the end of a hard day, I give it. If it is a cheeky comment to make them feel like they have at least one friend in the world, I make it. More often than not I become several different characters over the course of my shift. One such character I will not indulge however is the secret lover of Mouthing Mark.
In his late forties, Mark is a man of quirks. He does not speak with the quiet tones of most patrons, in fact he does not speak as if he is indoors at all. Rather, Mark will talk remarkably loud, typically the volume of someone who is going deaf. The interesting thing is he hears our responses quite well. It is as if his hearing is not impaired at all, he simply chooses to test the limits of volume. Scrap that, he is testing the sound barrier.

One rather busy Friday afternoon Mouthing Mark decides it is time for a beer (if you call XXXX a beer). He makes his way to the crowded bar and strikes up one of his shouting matches with me. After 10 minutes of his screaming evey other patron has turned around to see who is yelling. With all eyes on him he says, or more to the point yells, “JUST ‘TWEEN ME AN’ YOU,I GOT A TWELVE INCHA’ SO ‘ERE’S ME NUMBA”.
Somewhow I don’t think that was just for my ears.

Serving the Serbian

We had been introduced over the bar: I the wench, he the patron. He mumbled and with a crooked finger pointed to the Carlton tap.
“You know what I want!”.
Not once had his eyes lifted. He had decided I was not worthy of his gaze. All signs of life and human compassion ceased to exist. I realised that the heirarchy had been established and knowing my place I began to pour the beer.
“I’d get better head off my mum!” He remarked as he defiantly kept his head lowered.
Fighting back words of rage and resentment I bit my tongue, literally because that was the only way the comments were staying put. I took pleasure in taking his money. It was a subtle reminder that he was on the same level as us common folk. He turned his back and I smiled remembering the glass I had used for his beer was from the dirty rack.
Complete accident of course!

Hey guys what can I get you?

Feeling down about life? Wondering where you’re going? Or just having a bad day?

Work in a bar!

Trust me, it’s the sure-fire cure to feeling bad about yourself.

I’m telling you, you see everything from behind the bar. After a few years tending, I feel it is time to share my vast experiences with all of you. Be prepared to hear all about the weird and wonderful things that go on in your local bar.

Ever wondered what your drink says about you? Think the pickup line you used on the bartender was original? Wondering what it means to be a ‘local’? I will reveal all. Stay tuned guys, I promise what is to come will make you laugh, cringe and need a stiff drink by the end.

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