Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Are you listening or just dumb?

In the state of California, the ABC has a strict policy about not serving alcoholic drinks past 2AM. Most bars will close at 2AM, but there are a few "after hours" bars that remain open well past 2. Even though a bar might be open past 2, it can only serve non-alcoholic drinks. Chances are those bottled waters, cans of Red Bull and sodas will be more expensive in an after hours club, after hours, than during normal hours. It's just the nature of the business. Business is business.

It's a hard transition to make when 2AM comes around. The booze have to be locked up and put away and there is still a club full of thirsty customers. Bartenders work for tips and therefore generally hate having to tell a customer no. Sometimes customers can't understand why a club will remain open and not serve alcohol. Customers who get upset about not having access to alcohol past 2AM either aren't familiar with the ABC and its statewide liquor laws or they are from a state that serves alcohol after two.

It's hard enough having to tell a customer no. It's even harder to have to tell a customer no, multiple times. Here is a typical conversation that takes place between a bartender and a customer in an "after hours" club, after 2AM:

"Can I get a Corona?"
Bartender: "We aren't serving alcohol."
Customer: "Can I get a Stella?"
Bartender: "I'm sorry, but we stopped serving alcohol at 2AM."
Customer: "Can I get a Heineken?"
Bartender: "No! I'm sorry, but it is California law that I can't serve alcohol past 2AM."
Customer: "What time is it?"

At this point, the bartender usually slaps their hand on their forehead and moves on to the next customer only to have a similar conversation.

I always find it entertaining when a customer tries to get me to serve them an alcoholic beverage well after last call. It's even funnier when they try to bribe me. If a customer honestly thinks I am willing to risk my job and bartending career just so I can serve them a drink for a couple hundred bucks, than the joke's on them. All of the bribing, whining and pleading wont get them anywhere with me.

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