If Boston bartenders could bottle their wisdom, they'd be so rich they wouldn't have to tend bar anymore, but they would anyway because they love their jobs that much. Thrillist talked to Jay Kuczynski of The White Horse Tavern to get the lowdown on everything from tipping etiquette to carjacking etiquette.
Who's the strangest dude/dudette you've ever served?
This guy who thinks he’s an urban cowboy. He comes around the first of the month, and you see him for a couple of days and then you don’t see him for the rest of the month, and every time he comes in he’s so loud and boisterous and opinionated. If you look around my bar, it’s full of people in their mid-twenties and early thirties, and this guy’s well over fifty. I don’t understand how he even feels comfortable in there. For those three days a month, he feels important.
What's your best walkout story?
These two people were sitting fifteen feet away from the door. They ordered two rounds of drinks and asked for the tab, then immediately took off. When that happened, the barback jumped over the bar, ran outside, hopped in their SUV before them, and took a joyride.
What's the number one mistake dudes make when hitting on female bartenders?
This ginger fellow was looking to hit on anything with boobs at the bar, and, after striking out about six times, he finally comes up to the bar. One of the female bartenders comes up to him, and he goes, "can I get a light beer and your number?" And she goes, "nice try." So he says, "that’s fine, I’ll just give you mine and you can reach me anytime," and he writes 1-800-RED-HEAD at the bottom of his check.
What's the worst mistake a young bartender can make?
As a bartender, you’re up late at night, you’re surrounded by beautiful girls, alcohol, and access to cash, and the biggest problem you could have is to let that go to your head. All of a sudden, you’re staying up till 7 in the morning and you’re missing all of the day because you’re sleeping through it, and you get wrapped up in this lifestyle that’s fast-paced and aggressive and you burn out so quickly that you never get to enjoy it.
What's the most effective way to clear people out at closing time?
When you’re super frustrated and tired and you just want to clean up and go home, put on Frank Sinatra singing “New York, New York”. It puts such a sour taste in people’s mouths that they just head on out.