RJ and Sara

The Avenue bartenders RJ and Sara





By RJ Johnson

Holy Cow, Anchorage! Have you recovered from your Pirate-themed hangover yet? The bartenders in this town are still reeling. It seems like each month a new Pub Crawl event is popping up, and there will be more this fall and winter! From Zombie Crawl, to 12 Days of Christmas the streets of downtown will see more people running from location to location, whether it is to get a map stamped, or to answer trivia questions.

Each time a crawl comes up the staff of local bars have the same conversations while closing at the end of the night. There is a list of advice that we as the staff of these establishments would love to be able to impart to you. So, this week for Drink of the Week we decided to do it! A list of things that would make your night easier and help us be able to create a more fun experience for you! In no particular order, here we go!

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

For most of these events we are looking at between four to twelve bars on the list. Pace yourself. If part of your strategy is to run to every bar that you can in the first hour or two, have a quick shot, and get your stamp, by the time you get to the end of your list you will be too intoxicated to enjoy the rest of the evening. Drink some water in between those shots, ask for a non-alcoholic option, and make sure that you last for the whole night.

Protein is key

Make sure that you eat well on the day of the event. This could be going out for a nice dinner before it starts or planning to spend some time at one of the locations that has food. Food in your belly means that the alcohol will absorb at a slower pace. Protein is the best for this, so plan to stop and get a burger or some steak! Your body will thank you, and you will be able to achieve that pacing that we spoke about.

Plan your outfit for the entire evening

For an event like the Pirate Pub Crawl you will encounter lines, there is lots of walking, and maybe even some dancing by the end of the night. Those high heels might look amazing with your outfit, but are you going to be happy after you have been standing in them for six hours? We totally understand wanting to achieve a look, but how about throwing some ballet flats in your bag for when your feet start hurting? Also think about how hot your costume is going to get, or if you might need to make sure you have a t-shirt on underneath in case you get to the point where you don’t want to wear it anymore. As bartenders we make sure that we are wearing something comfortable enough, or we usually bring a change of clothes with us so that if we need to, we can keep on working the party for you.

Cash is king, bring cash.

For many crawls you are only going to be having one drink at most locations. Running a credit card for a single drink affects the entire party. It slows down the speed of the service we can provide, and we can’t get through our line as fast. Also tipping in cash is the best. As bartenders we want to get you your drinks quickly so that we can help the next customer. When the bars get packed to the point where we can be picky, we are going to serve the people that have been tipping and paying in cash first. It’s just easier for everyone involved. Side note, it may seem cute, and go with your costume, but getting paid a stack of dollar coins for a round of shots will earn the biggest eyerolls from the staff. We don’t have a place for them, and they are awkward.

Know what you drink.

When you have been waiting for a drink for over five minutes, it’s a good idea to know what you are going to order when the bartender finally gets to you. If you have been trying to flag down someone to get you a drink, and we get to you and find out you don’t know what you want, be prepared for us to walk away until you figure it out. Also, if you are in a group, buying a round for that group, have everyone’s order ready. If you order those drinks one at a time you are using up multiple peoples’ turns and that’s not nice. Most bartenders and servers that are scheduled for pub crawls are the strongest staff that a location has. They are going to be able to remember four or five drinks at the same time at least. We have two hands, watch us use both. Bonus points if the recipe for your drink is also the name of the drink. Examples include Tito’s and tonic, Jameson and ginger ale, or Tullamore Dew neat. These are the types of drinks bartenders consume, and we are the professionals here.

Don’t get up in your feelings.

If you are our friend or regular, please know that we love that you choose to come spend time with us during big events. We love seeing those familiar faces in the crowd of people. We also love when you come to see us on the slower nights. Please save the long conversations for those slow times. We are super busy and usually have management watching us. We are there to sell drinks as fast as we possibly can. Getting a guilt trip while we are at work, trying to do our job, hurts a bit. We miss you too, and we wish we could be on the other side of the bar enjoying the party, but we must work. Order your drink, say hello, and then make room for the next customer. Please. Thank you. We love you.

In short, we love our jobs, and we really like having these big party nights! Follow this advice and help us make the party even better for everyone involved! Be safe out there kids and come see us often!

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