Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Assignment: Bars and Bartenders

I asked for "assignments" three posts back and Josie asked about my favorite bars and bartenders. This one was way too easy. My all-time favorite bartender is Shep. He's the guy in the photo. He is a bartender at the Luxor's Nile Bar in Las Vegas. He always has something interesting to say and no matter how busy they are, you always feel special. Not only that, but he remembers me. That may not sound like much, but MILLIONS of people must pass through that hotel every year and no matter how far between my visits, he knows me. The most impressive thing he ever did was threaten an annoying guy with a baseball bat. The annoying guy and I were the only people at the bar. The guy just would not stop yelling weird stuff over to me. I didn't think that much about it, but suddenly Shep brandishes a baseball bat and says, "Get the hell out of my bar!" I was SO shocked because in my personal experience, in both Vegas and New Orleans, you just can't really get in trouble. I was so afraid some scary guy in a suit was going to show up and fire Shep, but it didn't happen. And as far as I know, he's still there.
My second favorite bartender is Marvin. He's a bartender at The Carousel Bar at The Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. He not only makes the very best bloody mary ON EARTH, but he's just downright pleasant and friendly. We asked him to recommend a restaurant that the locals liked, that wasn't a touristy place and man did he send us to a good place. I wish I could tell you what it was, but it doesn't matter. Marvin still works there. Just tell him to send you to the loud boisterous place that he has recommended before. The only thing about the carousel bar is it is JUST THAT. Yes, it rotates, and to be quite honest I could only take it for so long, then I had to step off. But if you want a very friendly and knowledgeable bartender in New Orleans and you like bloody marys, stop into the Carousel Bar.
Part of the asssignment was just where I like to drink beer. My favorite places to drink beer are:
  1. Any place with a view of the sea, the sound, a bay, a river or a lake.
  2. Any bar with a feel of history. My very first bar was a classic old dark NYC bar when I was 16 and I once drank a beer in a VERY OLD bar in San Fransisco and just LOVED it.
  3. Places where you can sit outside and people watch, like Fifth street in the Gaslamp district of San Diego or a balcony on Bourbon Street. Or even an open bar in an airport.
  4. The bar/lobby of The Arlington in Hot Springs. The last time we went, we sat their for several hours and played Scrabble while a three-piece combo played. It was EXCELLENT.
  5. Any cabana bar at any beach (oh wait, maybe #1 covers that!)
  6. Piano bars - not the goofy ones, but the nice ones.

Well, I think that about covers it. I also like bartenders that perform magic for you. That's always fun. And tell good jokes. I LOVE to tell jokes in bars. Thanks, Josie for the fun assignment. I'll get around to that travelogue of Fort Worth.


Lolo said...

I so LOVE and MISS Shep!!! We had so many great times sitting at his bar..... oh the stories!

Jazz said...

I love this. I've never had a special bartender, I sort of thought that was a TV and movie (Cheers-ish) myth...

Tai said...

What a great post! I enjoyed hearing about your times in different places so much. (Everyone needs a bartender named Shep, don't they?)

My favorite was a young guy named Jerry who always comped my drinks and when he had a spare minute, would have interesting conversations with me about his philosophy classes.

Ian Lidster said...

There was an article in the travel section of one of our newspapers and it concerned the smallest pub in England, which is located in the lovely town of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. And, all I could think was, I have actually been to that pub. Oh, and speaking of English pubs, barmaids in all their bountiful glory.

geewits said...

~~That was so funny after I posted this I saw you have the same picture on your Myspace page!

~~Maybe you just never spent enough time in a bar?

~~It's hard not to like a bartender that comps your drinks!

~~The smallest pub in England? I bet it's cute.

Josie said...

Well, Geewits, one of the places we will have to go to when you come to Vancouver is the Sylvia Hotel . As you can see by these pictures, there is a beautiful view of the water, and it's a great place. Who knows, you may add it to your list...!


geewits said...

~~Nice! I may even try that blueberry martini!

Scarlet said...

Great photo! Scary story about the baseball bat and that guy. I'm glad no one got fired over it and that you made it out okay.

I love sing-along piano bars! They're a blast. I always request "Sweet Caroline" and everyone has so much fun w/ it!

Good job on this post!

geewits said...

~~Thanks. But, yeah, the sing-along piano bars, that's what I meant by the goofy ones. I hate those. I like the kind where someone plays elegant songs from the past. Okay, hate was too strong a word. I like that at Christmas when everyone sings Christmas songs. But a loud room full of people singing "Sweet Caroline?" I'd probably leave.