My wife and I were out for a drink a while back, and we went to one of the most poular bars in Moncton: St James’ Gate. It’s a great little spot. In fact, it’s a lot like I’d like my someday bar to be.
One thing we noticed, though, was that the two bartenders had no interaction with the people sitting and standing at the bar. Granted, it was a busy night, but I can have a conversation and pour a drink at the same time. Why were these two not doing so?
I think part of the job description of a bartender is to be interesting and engaging. It’s certainly true in Montréal, where bartenders sometimes rise to the level of celebrities, with their own fan-club of clientele that will follow them to whatever bar they choose to work in.
Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t think hospitality workers in general should have sparkling wit and personality. In fact, in most cases, I prefer my server to be almost non-existent (except when I want/need them, of course – that’s what makes the good ones good). I don’t like the, “Hi, my name’s Brandi (with an “i”), and I’ll be your server tonight!” from a table-waiter. But if I choose to sit at the bar, I’m doing so because it has something the table doesn’t – a built-in person to talk to.