Here’s an experiment that you can try at home: Go right now and read the Yelp reviews of your favorite bar. Count how many people hate exactly the things about it that you love—the dark corners, the bartender who leaves you and your friends alone until you ask for something, the heavy pours, the loud music. For every person who loves an esoteric beer list, there’s another who storms out in a huff because the place doesn’t have Bud Light. For every chatty Cathy who wants to recap last night’s Breaking Bad episode in excruciating detail, there’s someone who just wants to sit quietly for a few hours and poke around on their phone. Not all drinkers are created equal—and not all bartenders are, either.
Finding your perfect bartender is like dating, interviewing for a job, and buying a house, all in one. You want someone you can be comfortable with, someone whose tastes align with yours, and—just as importantly—someone who can’t stand the same people you can’t stand. At the same time, you have to make an impression on them without tripping any of their warning signals. A busy bar sees hundreds of people every weekend; you need to stand out for all the right reasons if you want to make it into the inner circle. Part of your strategy? Figure out what kind of bartender you’re dealing with, and change your tactics accordingly.
Here, our guide to the 10 most common types of bartender, and what to do to win them over.
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