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Graduation season is here: A Lesson in Big Boy Bar Etiquette

April 30th, 2014

Each spring, our pub is filled with families and friends celebrating their young college grads. And, it’s always a festive time with a lot of small and large private parties booked out in the pub. Dads and Moms, grand-folks, aunts and uncles — all happy and proud to spend an afternoon or evening at the pub celebrating the academic achievements of (they’ve grown up so fast) their little Johnny and Barbara. And, don’t you worry, we always put on a fabulous spread with the best drinks — so the craic is always befitting the occasion! ;p

But, there’s a little known secret amongst the industry folks that comes from serving these eager 21-somethings weekend after weekend. It’s that it’s all too noticeable that many of these lads and lasses failed to learn the sage wisdom that SHOULD come with a college education:

It’s called “Big Boy Bar Etiquette”

So, we have compiled a short list here of our favorite faux pas that seem to pop up over and over again in cringe-worthy moments that would be hilarious if they weren’t so goddamn tragic.

We’re not being old cranks here. It just seems to us that aunties and uncles may be dropping the ball. In fact, there is no finer spirit moving through the bar at midnight than a 24 year old who is 3 drinks in and has just heard her favorite pub tune. She’s ordering shots  -and we absolutely love her for it.


So, with that, it’s just important to remember, you’re not in Athens anymore  [or, insert “any college town America” here].  So, those cute tricks that scored you drinks fast in the college frat house or local dive bar, just won’t fly anymore. They have the exact opposite effect.


#1 Don’t ever get a bartender’s attention with ‘bro’ or other such nickname. That is, unless you actually don’t want that drink.


#2  Don’t disappear when it’s your turn to pay for the round. You’re making real money now, act like it. And, to that, offer to buy a beer for the boss every now and again. He knows what you make …and, he’ll respect you for making the gesture. Veteran Tip: if you arrive early to the bar, just clear your tab before your friends arrive.


#3 Talking to the ladies here (mostly):  presumably you’ve consumed every type of spirit imaginable, so figure out what you like to drink. “Something sweet, something pink, surprise me” – are not drinks. Uncertain? Order a Guinness- less alcohol and a two stage pour will give you extra time to figure out what you really want. Need more time? Order a glass of water with it. It’s like starting from scratch.


#4 Take the time to learn the terminology – dry, rocks, neat – order like a pro. Your friends may give you shit for it, but, trust us here: they’re absolutely taking notes …and, so are the ladies watching your moves on the other side of the bar.


#5 Never be last man standing at the post work happy hour. Chances are you will be stuck with the bill because the boss has “been there, done that” and most likely ghosted in the previous hour …and, worse you will already have done something you will regret Monday morning. If you find yourself in this predicament, take it like a man and chalk it up to experience. Nobody likes a cry-baby.


#6 Tip. This is America.  We tip here. Pay attention. Tending bar is hard work done by caring humans. Plus, your friend(s) probably didn’t tip enough. $1 per drink says you’re not a beginner.  $2 per drink says you’re The Man. $3 per drink says you’re Captain America. Your call, junior.


So when your boss invites the crew out for drinks for happy hour, feel empowered to act like you know what you’re doing. In the end, your big boy cred is on the line here and I guarantee you that how you hang with the boss(wo)man at happy hour will affect your standing in the office.


And, when the Christmas party rolls around, we’ll be here for you. That list is MUCH longer.