Half the time, a friend of the bartender isn’t even a particularly good friend of the bartender. A good indication of this: when it turns out their “friend” isn’t working, they helplessly ask someone else at the bar “Hey, is so-and-so working?” instead of just texting the bartender and asking what’s up.
A bar's a place, not a person. Be its friend, and you'll end up friends with every person there.
Special thanks to Nino Cirabisi and the Bonnie Vee for the location. If you haven’t been, they also have a hell of a back garden.