As the most common question I’ve been getting lately is, “How’s the Bartending Going?”, I should probably post about it.
The first week at Heaven’s Dog was kind of crazy. I worked a party, a practice service, and a regular shift in addition to my other job.
The party was for Press and some other folks. Not super busy. Someone asked me early on if I was having fun, and I was kind of like, “It’s OK.” I was really nervous and hadn’t known the drinks until I got there that evening. But about two thirds of the way through the evening we had a nice rush, with people three deep from the bar. I said, “Now we’re having fun!” and the person I had been talking to replied, “I know you’re being sarcastic…” But, I wasn’t being sarcastic at all. I totally love the point in working where you shift from having to think about everything to muscle memory and instinct.
The practice service was harder, as I had to learn the Point of Sale system to take food and drink orders for customers. My boss remarked, “Saturday we’ll have you on the well, mostly making drinks for the dining room. It will be similar to when you worked at Flora. But tonight’s going to be sink or swim.” Plus, we had a surprise new item on the menu: “Freedom From Choice! Pick a Spirit and a Modifier and our talented bartenders will choose a drink for you!” Fortunately, for most of the night I had sympathetic bartenders in front of my well, who ordered interesting drinks and were aware of the difficulties of opening a new restaurant and bar. On the whole I’d say, while I didn’t break any Olympic records for the butterfly or Australian crawl, I didn’t sink either.
Heaven’s Dog opened for real on Friday and I worked my first shift in the newly opened restaurant Saturday night. The restaurant was fully booked for the evening and I worked the service well, where you make the drinks for the dining room.
To be honest, I was amazed I was able to stand, talk, and make drinks all at the same time. Between my other job and Heaven’s Dog, I’d worked a 14 hour day for the party and another 14 hour day for the practice service. I was now about to work my sixth day in a row.
But by now, I knew the drinks, was familiar with my coworkers, the service staff, and slightly familiar with the POS system.