Although they're often misunderstood, most bartenders are genuinely good people who would never put their [REDACTED] in a beverage. But when a bartender reaches their breaking point, all bets are off. They can become vengeful, conniving home-wreckers who take liberties with their positions of power, and are excellent at satisfying lonely girlfriends.
These are their tales, pulled straight from the mouths of villainous bartenders from across the country. We've anonymized their names to protect their identities/livelihoods, but feel free to share your own horror stories in the comments. We promise to believe you when you say it happened to "your friend".
Tales of pure filth
"A club bartender had been stiffed and ordered around by this guy all night. The next drink he ordered, the bartender said he had to go get some limes, but instead he walked to a corner of the bar where nobody could see either side of him, unzipped his pants, and put his [REDACTED] in the guy's vodka tonic. He brought it back to him, and the guy chugged it. He might have chugged a couple of things that night."
"One crazy bartender stuck the neck of a $1,000 bottle of Cognac up his [REDACTED] on his last day. Proof that sometimes the biggest a-holes have the most expensive taste."
"I once worked at a bar with such a specific brand of cruelty that we named acts of evil like football plays. The Matt (er, mat) Damon was what we served to scuzzbucket customers who came in at last call wanting elaborate shots for him and his bros. You know those black mats that sit on top of bars and collect liquid and other various matter throughout the night? Well, why would we dump all of that precious goodness at the end of the night when so many bros need such elaborate shots?"
Tales of seduction
"This bartender I knew in Westlake Village had this married couple come in all the time. The guy was loaded and his wife was always decked out. You could tell she was way out of his league, but he had money. He was the kind of guest that would always berate waitstaff and tip like s**t. So one day towards the end of the night, he closed his bill and said to the bartender in front of everyone, 'I got a tip for you: get a real job.' The bartender replied with, 'I got a tip for you. Pull your wife's hair during sex. I did it to her last week when you were out of town and she loved it.'
"The wife just kept saying 'I am sorry' over and over again."
"There's this dude who always comes in who sold some s**ty tech company Mark Cuban-style for a lot of money during one of the bubbles, and talks about all his Teslas and s**t, and how he could own this bar, and buy this and that. Literally, whenever he's out at some Ted Talk or golfing with Marissa Mayer or whatever they do, I have sex with his girlfriend, who is kind of a s**tty lay and has some weird demons of her own, but that's obviously not the point. Anyway, whenever he's in, I always send them over shots and toast 'to the things you'll learn tomorrow', which he thinks is some Zen bulls**t, but I actually literally mean finding out that I'm having sex with his girlfriend."
Stories of senseless violence
"A guy at the end of the bar was pretty tipsy. He was talking a lot of s**t and threw his glass at the bartender. The bartender turned up the lights and turned off the music. He stood on the bar and said, 'Unless someone kicks this guy's ass, I am not serving a motherf**king drink.' Within a matter of seconds, the ass-whooping of a lifetime started. He was then dragged outside. The lights got lowered, the music came back on, and a round of Jager was ordered for the bar.
God bless Wisconsin."
"I once punched a guy twice real quick and then had to confront him again. He got cocky, and I puffed up, and he said 'I'm not gonna let you hit me twice.' I said, 'I already hit you twice.' And then I hit him again."
"I'm trying to think of all the s**t I've done. I once convinced a guy he had too much to drink even though he hadn't, and I wouldn't let him in the bar because I didn't like him. I ended up pushing him off our stairs when he still tried to come in."
Tales of financial retribution
"Back in the day, I was working this club, and we were always four deep. There was a group of five guys going hard for one of their birthdays. By hard I mean vodka/Red Bulls and Patron shots kind of hard. By the time they got to the bar they had been waiting awhile, mostly due to the fact that they kept on waving like dicks. When they got up, one guy threw his credit card at me across the bar and told me to pour them shots and to hurry the f**k up. I made eye contact with security, and they came over. I poured 10 shots, five for them, and five for the bar staff. I apologized to them and we all took shots. Then I gave them the bill and ran the credit card that was thrown at me. I decided if they were going to act like dicks, then so was I.
"The shots were Louis the 13th. The total bill for the 10 shots was $1,400 with a $280 auto-gratuity. They lost it, but they had no clue security was right behind them. They were then thrown out and told never to come back. I was such a dick!!!"
"A customer ran my ass all day, and when he signed the card, he left me a dollar tip for a $50 tab. I pre-authorized the guy's credit card up to the limit knowing he was traveling and knowing it takes a few days to clear a pre-authorization. He earned it."
Just generally mean stuff that people did
"A couple was in the dining room, and the kitchen dropped the ball on their order. They waited and never ate, but got drinks. They complained to the managers and servers, but nothing happened. As they were walking out, they passed the bar. One male bartender thanked them for coming in, unaware of what they went through. The gentleman told the bartender to f**k off and started yelling and stormed over to the bar. He was going off for a good minute when the second bartender, who is a female, came up. She looks over at the screaming customer's date and just says in the sweetest voice, 'I am so embarrassed for you. I am so sorry.' You could hear a pin drop. The woman broke out in tears
and started to let her date have it... priceless!!"
"My boss kicked a guy out for 'wasting ketchup' with his onion rings
. She jumped that guy's ass and told him his parents didn't raise him right, and to never come back into the bar if he was going to be wasteful. Needless to say, he hasn't been back."
"Don't go to strip clubs and piss off your cocktail waitress or bartender. They will take your money and maybe put a half ounce of liquor in your drink. That's if they even put any at all. I've met many cocktail waitresses, and if you don't tip even on one round they will tell the bartender to pour vodka into your straw to make it taste like alcohol, but not really put any in your drink. Strip clubs are soulless places
Dan Gentile is a staff writer on Thrillist's national food and drink team. He now knows that credit cards have pre-authorization limits, bartenders are sleeping with his girlfriend, and to never drink Louis the 13th. Follow him to timid bar behavior at @Dannosphere.