Being a Regular: Bar Edition

Where everybody knows your name, right? Like most things that happen in sitcoms, it’s my dream to be a bar regular. I’d love to walk into a place, sit where I always do, and nod at the bartender when they say, “the usual?”

Although I have not yet accomplished this goal, I’ve compiled an expert list of steps to lead you to your own Cheers-style life.

1. Choose a Bar

First you’ll need your own personal place to call home. It certainly makes things easier if the bar is close to you or you can get there easily, but choose one that you love, too.

Make sure the prices are good, because you’ll be there often. I recommend making sure they also have some good food, depending on how much time you’ll spend there (or, near some good food).

Don’t pick a very crowded bar, or you’ll never get to talk to anyone much, or stand out.

2. Get to Know the Bartenders

It’s very important, while getting to know your bartenders, not to bother them. Don’t be creepy and flirty, and don’t talk too much if they have shit to do. Always leave pauses when you talk to anyone, so there’s an opportunity for the other person to duck out.

The easiest start is to learn everyone’s name and to politely use those names. This might sound obvious to some people, but to others like an ex of mine, this is just outcooling. By that I mean that if I took the time to learn someone’s name who was serving me, he thought I was making him look bad for not doing that. Anyway, make sure to thank them.

3. Come Back Often

No one is going to remember you if you stop by once a year and have one drink. Time to get schwasty with your life (but not so much that you’re ever asked to leave, or eyes are rolled at you).

There are two routines to frequent a bar that can make you memorable to the employees.

  1. Go every few days, at least. Make yourself known quickly.
  2. Persistently go for a very long time, at least every other week.

Whichever method you choose, keep it consistent. Don’t miss a day, week, or month. Sit in the same spot as often as you can. Try to order the same thing every time.

4. Have a Schtick

Dont go full party clown as a bar patron, but something small and memorable can work for you. But if you have a wacky purse or a fun jacket, make that part of your bar routine.

Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, go big. Dye your hair a colorful way. Go full cartoon character and wear the same outfit daily.

5. Additional Tips and Advanced Techniques

  • bring the occasional gift for the bar
  • attend bar events if there are any, be active
  • if asked, help with events
  • bring friends who will spend their money
  • ask for recommendations from the staff

Speaking of tips, make sure to tip well and ideally in cash.

Expert Moneybags

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