We love bars. We love hanging out in bars. We love the beverages in bars. And we also know how to act in bars. Unlike some of the dudes who obviously just climbed out from under a rock. There is a way to operate as a bar patron that will earn you a silent respect from your bartender and those around you. But committing some of the bar faux pas below will get you noticed quickly — and not in a good way. Make sure you aren’t one of these offending idiots.
Don’t “Squeeze In”
You’re at the bar and it’s pretty full. Then you spot that one empty bar chair barely sandwiched between two other occupied bar chairs. You start to move to it. Stop yourself. It’s too tight a squeeze, and you know it. You will cause your two new bar neighbors to have to get up so you can squeeze in and then have to readjust how they are sitting so you can take up space. This is especially bad for a couple to do. The guy will let his chick sit in the bar chair — because he’s such a gent — and he will stand. But will squeeze through enough to put his elbow on the bar. If only security would throw people like them out. That’s the world we want to live in.
Not Tipping By Time Spent
We know some people are idiots when it comes to tipping. But when you sit at a bar, you shouldn’t be ‘one of those’. If your beer is $3.50, dropping a five is acceptable. Dropping even more will get you an extra refill every few beers. Decent bar patrons know this. But it’s the other element of tipping that some people can’t grasp: the time factor. This happens generally when there is a game on or when a dude wants to drown his sorrows by squatting at the bar for four hours. Beers and shots will be ordered. Appetizers will be consumed. And time will tick by. When the tab comes due, you realize you were there for two hours of Happy Hour and your bill is only $32. “Awesome, tip should be $6,” said the cheapskate. Consider the hours you took taking up real estate at the bartender’s bar. Double whatever you think you should tip. Then add another couple of bucks. The barkeep deserves it.
Requesting More Than One Channel Change
There’s always that guy who is never satisfied with what is on the TVs in the bar. Sure, one has a legit complaint if Oprah is on or something, but if it’s baseball and you want hockey, pick your moment to politely ask. And then do not ask for another change the rest of your stay at the bar. The hockey game may end minutes after the change, but you already used your Bar Channel Change card. Yes, those cards do exist in the minds of bartenders. Just take a gander at the guy that is using the bartender as his own personal remote control. He’s a douche. His service will be lousy and the bartender wants to kill him — along with the people sitting around you that may be into the game you just had switched to tennis.
Asking for Meter Money
The bartender’s cash drawer is not your personal bank. If you know the bar you are going to will have metered street parking or lots that require cash, then plan ahead. Keep some quarters in your car or some singles and fives ready for the parking attendant. Don’t roll with only twenties and then pass one to the bartender and ask for $3 in quarters. If you do this, you are likely making your bartender break his roll of quarters open to give you change. This will then cause your drink pourer to have to count a bunch of change at the end of the night instead of just a roll of coins. If you buy a drink that causes the roll to be broken, you’re fine. Just don’t do it to feed the meter — and certainly not to get some laundry money.
Waving, Yelling, or Snapping Fingers
To properly get a bartender’s attention, you wait your turn. Be assertive, yes, if the bar is packed and standing room only. But do not whistle, raise your hand, or snap your fingers. And certainly don’t yell things like, “Bartender!”, “Hey Buddy!”, or “Hey Sweetheart!” This is annoying to your bartender and fellow drinkers. Plus, it will take you longer to get a drink this way. Bartenders like the customers that wait their turn and don’t act like someone on the floor of the Stock Exchange.
Can’t Take a Hint
This faux pas covers a couple of ‘hint’ areas. The obvious first one is the guy — or sometimes gal — who can’t take a hint when their one-liners and dazzling conversation is being politely ignored. The person is not interested, but Mr. Persistent is blind to this fact and keeps on trying to dish up the one pick up line that will make the chicks beg him to take them home. It is not only embarrassing if you do this, but annoying to those around you. Learn how to take a hint. This can also apply to non-sexual verbal advances — like commenting on ‘the game’ that’s playing on the TV’s, or reminiscing about the old days when sports was pure, and other b.s. The easiest way to spot this hint is if you are the one starting the conversation every time. You are either sitting beside a mute, or you need to take the hint and shut up.
Talking on a Cell Phone
Chatting on your cell phone is a faux pas in a lot of places, but especially in a bar or restaurant. Yet, every time we head out for a drink (daily), we see some dude talking on his cell phone while chewing bar nuts and swigging beers. And for some reason, the phone people cannot speak in a normal volume. It’s at a level that’s at least two notches higher than the music playing in the bar. Now taking a quick phone call is fine, but most stay on the cell for 15-20 minutes at a time. If you must make the call to talk about the hot chick you said hi to at the gym, step outside. You know, like normal people do.
Ordering Smelly Food
This — as many of the bar faux pas — is simply being mindful of those around you. Especially those with noses. The hunger pains are gripping you after your five beers in one hour and now it’s time to order up some grub. Get something that won’t repulse those around you. Stay away from anything sizzling. Some of the sauces on there can emit smells that would make a grown man throw up. We’ve seen it. And the king of these dishes is definitely muscles. In fact, never even order muscles in a restaurant. The smell of those things sizzling can send people to the doctor and induce comas. Look it up in medical journals — and order a non-stinky sandwich at the bar.
Refilling Free Stuff
Everybody likes a deal, but let’s make sure that does not mean you are cheap. Cheap in a bar equals rude in a bar. Many watering holes will offer free things like nuts, bread, or chips to chow down on while you are drinking. These items are free, but when you work your way through what was likely a family-size bag of nachos for free, don’t ask for more. That’s a slap in the face to the bartender because you refuse to pay for a small appetizer, or even — gasp! — an actual meal. The bar offender will sit and fill up for free and only have to pay for a couple of drinks. Yet, their bar servant has done three times the work keeping their face fed (this also applies to free dipping sauces). And for those of you that are only drinking water or soda (bravo, designated drivers), also dial back the free refill request. One or two fill ups an hour is standard. Anything above can start to slip into faux pas territory.