Tuesday, April 13, 2010


1. Always let the customer know that YOU and only YOU are in control.
2. Legal Tender-money for drinks-must be presented to the bartender before any drink is poured. The owner must authorize all bar tabs. New bar tabs for any customers are not within the realm of my authority!...So don't ask!
3. Bouncers are instructed by management to take all fights outside! Police and Ambulances are never to be called, unless there is a chance that a "combatant" may lose his life or limb!
4. Never threaten me verbally or physically! If a customer reaches for me or touches me behind the bar, I am allowed to hit him on his head with my little hickory baseball bat!
5. I maintain the right to quit serving you at any time! I don't care whether you are sober or not, this is MY RIGHT as the bartender! If I over-serve you and you are stopped for a DUI or other malfeasance, I am going to jail! This is not going to happen in my bar for any reason!
6. Any patron caught snorting cocaine or any other substance off the top of the bar, or shooting heroin or any other substance in the bathroom, or having illicit sexual contact that is unlawful anywhere in "my house", will immediately be ejected from the premises! This law also applies to smoking controlled substances. All offenders are to be listed on the "banned-from-bar" plaque, which hangs behind me on the wall next to the cash register.
7. Bottles are to be weighed by the bar manager after each shift. Over-pouring always shows up after cash register tapes are cross-referenced with liquid weights that have been recorded prior to said shift. Bartenders who over pour will be terminated after their 2nd offense. (The owner loved this little trick I had learned in Las Vegas!)
8. Bartenders and bar boys are responsible for stocking ice and bottled beer in the coolers under the bar. Re-stocking speed racks and kegs, cleaning glasses, cutting fruit, and general cleaning and maintenance is an ongoing process to be conducted continually as needed, every day and night!
9. Ventilation fans are to be kept running until closing time. At the end of each shift, all lights are to be turned off, except burgler lights. Inspect the whole building inside and out before leaving and locking up the bar. The liquor room is to be inspected and padlocked before leaving the bar!
10. All garbage must be bagged and neatly placed into the parking lot dumpsters. All floors are to be swept and mopped. Bar stools are to be placed upside-down on the top of the bar at closing time. The bar must be wiped down with clean detergent and disinfectants. All ashtrays must be washed and dried. All glassware and cooking items are to be cleaned and sanitized, and stored properly!
11. Toilets and bathrooms are to be sanitized and cleaned every evening at closing time. Toilets in disrepair are to be fixed immediately! Any fecal matter, urine, or vomit in the bathrooms, is to be cleaned thoroughly be the bar boy.
12. The bar boy will assist the bartender in ALL jobs. A bar boy's refusal to do any job deemed necessary by the bartender will result in his immediate dismissal!
13. Any weapons confiscated by the bouncer or the bartender becomes their property, unless claimed by the local police department.
14. At the beginning of every shift, a "smart" bartender places a couple of large beer pitchers on either end of the bar for tips. A couple of dollar bills are placed in each pitcher. It is my experience that the bigger the receptacle, the more tip money the bartenders will make for themselves! Never use a dinky, Tom Collins glass for tips! (The girl bartenders fell in love with me, after I taught them this trick!)
15. SCAMS! Watch out for the $20 to $10 switch. A bar patron sometimes keeps a $20 in front of him on the bar for a long time. He then tries to palm you a $10 when you are extremely busy! Always look at what you have in your hand and show it to the customer before you give him his change! This simple procedure keeps your bank from being short at the end of the night!
16. For all whiners, scam artists, and cheapskates, always float the whiskey you pour on top of their drinks. Don't mix it! They will think they are getting strong drinks, when in reality, they are getting a half-shot. A bartender smart enough to get away with this is a good "houseman". He saves money for his bar and solidifies his position as an appreciated employee.
17. Finally, always watch your back! Remember to protect yourself at all times!

from: "The Journey...Memoirs of a South Side Chicago kind of guy"...available on Amazon.com or through me!...Richard Cronborg


  1. Peewee's biker bar dance to "Tequila!" is one of my all time fav's.

  2. I got to get me a bar boy!! Very, very interesting! I have never bartended probably because I was too busy drinking on the other side of the counter, but if I were I sure the hell would hope I had your rules to guide me! Cool!!