Hoping that a couple of Yelp reviews constitutes my Day 5, I will elaborate here on said reviews that I am amazed at how service staff, especially bartenders, have the ability to make or break an establishment.
Providing you enjoy cocktails, we’ve all had the experience of the aloof, or even rude bartender who, although may be the mixologist to the maximum, but whose people skills rival that of a doorknob. Unless you’re a hot 20-something, your chances of any interaction besides having a drink plopped in front of you along with the check are next to nothing.
It’s not just cocktails; most coffee establishment with personable staff are going to be appreciated and patronized loyally.
A place in our neighborhood, Local Habit, recently reopened after it changed ownership. We thought we would give it a try yesterday, so we popped in for lunch. We enjoy craft beers, so we settled in at the bar to peruse the chalkboard menu. The bartender, Mark, greeted us warmly, offered us sample tastings and discussed the changes resulting from the new ownership, and also menu with us. He truly seemed passionate about his work and environment, and it occurred to me that Mark was exactly what Local Habit needed to launch its success. We wound up having two rounds and a pizza before moving on.
The next place, two doors down, was Salt & Cleaver, a favorite of ours. Again we encountered a friendly and knowledgeable bartender, Damien. Not only was he accommodating, but he seemed to really enjoy chatting with customers. This was clearly not just a job to him; it was an enjoyable part of his life, or so it very much seemed.
In all reality we happened upon both of those places when business was relatively slow, so that could have a huge impact on why both Mark and Damien had the time to be so efficient and personable. But I have a feeling that even on busier days or nights both of these guys still hold in their hearts an enjoyment of their professions as well as a love for working with people.