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Being a "Regular"


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And everybody wants to be special here

They call your name out loud and clear

Here comes a regular

Call out your name

Here comes a regular

Am I the only one here today?

::sniff:: :rolleyes: Thanks Hollywood.

 

I have been a regular at only one place - a small grimy bar in the Dupont Circle neighborhood in Washington called the Childe Harold. This was right after my first husband and I separated, and my apartment was the size of a large closet. I would go in most weeknights, have dinner and a glass of wine and read. A very nice man named Rodney worked the bar most nights, and made sure that I had a drink and was left alone. I used to buy him a single malt now and again, and tip him very generously.

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the closest i've been to being a regular was at the erstwhile red setter in santa monica/west l.a. they had boddington's on tap and this made me happy--and they would tap a new keg for me if they'd just run out when i got there. there was a beauteous bartender with whom i had an entirely silent affair (entirely in my mind, of course). then they got bought out by some group who invested heavily in that most annoying of brands: "irishness". it was renamed sonny mclean--they still have boddington's and other english brews on tap but the place is now infested with refugees from boston and there's instant new england patriots history on a big-screen tv there at all hours. i shudder to think of what it must be like since the red sox won.

 

despite mild regular status i once flirted with death there, as the only person in the bar cheering loudly for brazil against england at the last world cup. it was me against the bar and i won. however, if i had been fool enough to do this at the cock and bull in venice i would have been buried in the parking lot.

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Another way of knowing you're a regular is when the bartender hands you the phone with an "it's for you." And it is.

One lost summer, I lived on the second floor above a bar. The bar phone was my phone. The bar owner/landlord would lean his head out the window and scream for me when the phone was for me. At night, when it was busy, he would thump the ceiling with a broom.

 

It didn't happen that often as I was in the bar more than in our apartment.

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i felt so stupid when i asked you why they had two fax machines in there. it was also nice how the 'one day' bartender gave me a free drink after i spilled mine.

happened to me at dba recently one sip first margarita and oops. almost got abby.

Brought empty glass to the bar and new margarita no charge.

 

 

that's the ice cream cone principle.

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And everybody wants to be special here

They call your name out loud and clear

Here comes a regular

Call out your name

Here comes a regular

Am I the only one here today?

::sniff:: :rolleyes: Thanks Hollywood.

 

You're very welcome, Heather. Now, about that single malt.

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I was once a regular in the Cigar bar on the carnival cruise ship Elation.

 

Every night, chess and cigars with the brit barman. I had several buybacks and a couple of good cigars paid for. But I'm a crazy silly tipper in those situations. Always in black tie also.

edit: Notable regular staus at:

 

Morahan's on 8th ave next to the old Adonis theatre (La Grillade was next door on the other side).

Ceal's Place on 9th and about 38th (long gone)

That steakhouse in the old Beverly Hotel on Lex and 50th (?)

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I find that money is more important than time in being a regular. I have been a regular at a few bars in my time and I was treated O-kay but my brother and my buddy Al that live for the bar scene and tip and spend more lavishly get treated like royalty or they don't go.

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the bar i wanted to be a regular at was the bounty in koreatown in l.a. speaking of knowing when you're a regular: you really know you're a regular when there's a caricature of you on the wall behind the bartender--i went there once with a female friend and almost lost her to a 145 year old who has a caricature of himself behind the bartender.

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You know you are a regular when:

 

-The staff knows you by name.

 

-The staff knows where you prefer to sit.

 

-The staff knows who you like to wait on you, and who you very much do not (but that goes to your regularlly scheduled visits).

 

-The staff knows your pubbing schedule and can set their watches to it.

 

-The staff knows what you drink, and eat.

 

-The staff knows your significant other and are discreet when you are seated with someone else for an evening, being apparently charmed by said stranger's company.

 

-The staff attends to your drinkies despite a large crowd surrounding the bar.  They will produce the drinkies and hand them to you all the while others look on without you ever speaking a word other than "Thanks!".

 

-The staff understands sign langauge, i.e., the old "Peace" sign, turned back and forth (front and back) indicating two more shots and beers.

 

-The staff always runs you a tab without the requesting.

 

-The staff will kindly program the tellies to your preference, sometimes without even having to ask.

 

-The staff will share their own ordered and delivered pizza with you.

 

-The staff/management quietly indicate you are welcome to remain as they clean and have their "afterhours" shift drinkies for themselves.

 

-The staff invites you to cool parties.

 

-The staff will create a drink in your honour, and may even appear on their cocktail list.

 

 

How does one get there?

 

Park yourself at your choice of venue and choice of barstool, with some regularity.  Chat with the tenders.  Really get to know them, and have some laughs.  Large tips aren't always necessary, but are always nice and makes you memorable at an accelerated rate.

 

 

What *not* to do as a regular?

 

-Click your fingers, whistle at the staff like their are lost dogs, forget to tip something (bar staff will also know when you are going through tough times), or worse, forget to pay your tab.

 

-Never be so arrogant and attempt to utilise your perceived leverage so as to loudly proclaim in large crowd "I know these guys.  Hey!  Mike!  My regular please!"  This only works when hundies are being tipped each round, and even then you will still be resented.  :rolleyes:

 

 

Hmmm, I may supplement with addendums as I commit to becoming an upright, functioning individual (a very late night of movie watching for moi) and of course, chatting with some of our regulars and fellow tenders.  ;)

 

 

Cheers!

Beautifully written Beans. And very very true.

 

I am a regular at all the bars my husband builds. Hence it is very easy to get my Makers with exactly three cubes and a lemon twist at all times. Unfortunately, many of my bartender friends suffer from wrist lock while pouring and I tend to get drunk a helluva lot more quickly than anticipated. It also costs me more to go out and drink for free because I tip like mad to compensate for all the free booze.

I get hammered and broke. But I am a good time. ;)

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I moved in the last six months. My husband and I actually had ...TRYOUTS for what bar in our new hood would be our regular place. We narrowed it down to 3 from about 6. Criteria included good, dark beers on tap, a good burger, a TV that had sports, and a warm atmosphere.

 

He'd always order the buger, and I'd try something different from the menu. Soups are important to us, too. We'd make sure that they REALLY have the beers that they have taps for...( fake taps, almost as prevelant as wine lists without the inventory) then we'd chat up the bartender, check out the crowd, see if the owner was on premises. To define regular, I would say we dine there once a week, plus I have lunch once a week, and we might bring a larger party once a month ( We did my son's theater group last month, 18 teens on a tuesday, nice bit of business) We also, over the holidays, checked with the owner and hired a favorite bartender to help with entertaining at our home.

 

It was actually quite easy. We've got a wonderful, owner operated, Dead Guy on tap, good burger, great soups, good gyro sanwich, dinner specials like hangar steak with peppercorn sauce and garlic mashies, dart board, fish, bartenders with a smile..we are QUITE happy.

 

What does this mean to us? In 6 months, they only bought us a drink once. BUT..I can go for lunch, alone, total comfort. My husband likes to add or subtract ingredients...against their no subs policy, and they do it. The owners, two sisters, thanked me for the xmas card I sent them..both of them, at seperate times. I was unhappy with the salmon I had bought for a recent party I was having..and upon hearing it, I was encouraged to order it through the restaurant next time. We were there on a Sat afternoon, and the three yound men (mid 20's) across the bar were talking about the rash one of them had...the owner looked at it, we all took a look...LYME"S disease, we agreed..she insisted he go to the medical center, she called ahead so they knew he was coming..and the next visit, confirmed to me that the guy did have Lyme's...he wrote a note for her to give to me to thank me for my motherly advice...I'm trying to set him up iwth my daughter (21) as we speak...

 

what was the question??? :rolleyes:

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