A Customer’s Apology

Remember the story about the fire extinguisher? Well, the person who deployed it upstairs and made a mess saw our post about it, and he left an apology. This might be a first, and we appreciate his response.

Here's what he had to say:

This is a response from "The Idiot". I am sorry for spraying the fire extinguisher causing silly additional stress on the great employees of the Sandbar. While I'd argue that cleaning the mess of drunken people, like myself, is par for the territory, I still agree the guys behind the bar were super nice and deserve better. It should be noted that as I left the bar, I asked if the mess was properly cleaned up. They assured me (probably just to get me out of there) that it was. I ended up leaving and while I was waiting for a ride I returned asking if there was anything else I could help clean while I waited. They told me no but out of the kindness of their hearts they invited me in allowing me to wait in the warmth of a heated bar. In the meantime, I'm sure I made an ass out of myself, but that bit of the story should remain to those present. In the end of it all, I was amazed at how professional and good spirited the three gentlemen were while I plagued the air with my intoxication. I suppose I should get to a point in all of this. I want to project my total regret for betraying the trust of the employees guarding the glorious haven known as the "upstairs". I feel that the mistake of one should not result in a punishment to the masses. For if we punish the mass on the actions of one we overlook the rights of each well behaved bar-goer out there. In the end I plead for a reconsideration in upper deck access.

Yours forever,

The Idiot

"Extinguishing non-existent flames since 2012"

Thanks, drunk guy. We really do sincerely appreciate your apology and the fact that you recognize the error of your ways. Out of all the stupid behavior posts we've made here, you're the first one who has actually apologized.

We aren't sure if this will change Dave's opinion on allowing people upstairs; the fire extinguisher incident was merely the final straw. There have been plenty of other people who have made messes upstairs- throwing popcorn everywhere, spilling drinks and causing general mischief. But, we'll see.

More Stupid: Leave Our Fire Extinguisher Alone

The stupid things drunk people do in bars never fail to amaze us. Like stealing tables, writing on our building and busting our toilet. Last night was no exception.

We've been kind enough over the years to let customers go upstairs and hang out on our beach, take pictures and escape from the craziness of the downstairs bar. Unfortunately, over the past few years, customers have become more and more disrespectful of this space. Usually after people have been up there, we find the space trashed- popcorn flung everywhere, glasses left behind, and general disarray.

Last night, a group of people went up there while the doorguy had stepped away from the door. Awhile later, after they had left the bar, John went upstairs and discovered the worst mess of all: someone had deployed the fire extinguisher.

Not cool.

The story could end there, with Dave and John staying even later than usual, cleaning up a mess. But it doesn't.

The idiot who made the mess moved on down the street to Tonic, where apparently he bragged about his adventure at the Sandbar. He bragged about it to the wrong person, because that person happened to know Dave.

And that person took the time to come over to the Sandbar and tell Dave what happened, and the two of them went and tracked down the idiot on Mass Street. Dave informed him that he had two options: they could call the police, or he could come back to the bar and clean up the mess he made. He wisely chose to come clean up the mess.

Of course, Dave will still have to clean it himself, because fire extinguishers create a tremendous mess and the drunk guy didn't exactly do a bang-up job of cleaning, but at least Dave made a point.

And then, when the guy was done "cleaning," Dave informed him that he also owed the bar money so that we could replace the fire extinguisher. The guy balked at this, and then had the audacity to say he'd only deployed half of it, and could he then go and deploy the other half outside? Uh, NO.

The irony in all of this? Our fire extinguishers had just been refilled on MONDAY. The day before.

There's a lesson here. Be respectful of the businesses you visit. Being drunk isn't an excuse, either. Don't be a jerk and ruin the fun for everyone else. Because from now on, customers are no longer allowed upstairs.

Help! I Left My Credit Card at the Bar!

People leave their credit cards behind at the bar nearly every night. We don't judge; we've all done it. Sometimes people decide to pay their tab with cash and forget to grab their card. More often, someone's just had too much to drink and walks out without paying their tab.

Usually, the person quickly realizes their card is missing and calls back that night or the next day, comes in to pick it up, and all is well. Just so you know, our staff will go ahead and run the card to pay their tab so we can balance our cash register; they'll usually also add a 20% gratuity to the total.

Occasionally, though, the card sits. And sits, and sits. And no one ever calls or comes back to get it. Eventually, when we've collected a pile of cards that are seemingly abandoned, we shred them.

What should you do if you discover you left your card at the bar?

Call the next day. Stop by the bar during regular hours to pick up your card. Bring your photo ID with you; we want to protect our customers and be sure we're giving the card to the right person. Be polite to the bartender.

What not to do?

Don't wait two days to call the bar, especially when you're from out of town and you're leaving Lawrence in the next hour. Don't track down the manager's cell phone number and bother him at home. Don't argue and complain about the amount of your tab. You'd be surprised how often this happens; remember, you were the one drunk enough to leave your card behind, so it shouldn't surprise you that you don't remember ordering all those drinks. We don't add phantom drinks to your tab.

And don't feel bad about forgetting your card! Don't be embarrassed and you don't have to apologize. It happens to the best of us.

Lessons in Bar Etiquette #249: the Bartender’s Name

This post was written by long-time Sandbartender Danny and originally appeared on his blog, This Blog Will Waste Your Time. Danny graciously gave us permission to repost it here, in hopes that more people will read it and learn something about proper behavior in the bar.

Hi! Are you a bar customer on a busy night? Do you need a drink? Let's run through some scenarios involving knowledge of the bartender's name to demonstrate some key principles of bar etiquette. Come along and bring your mind's eye for this magical journey!

Situation: You do not know my name and would like a drink.
Appropriate action: Wait patiently. You may not realize it, but in the 2 seconds it took me to glance up, I did see you and I now know you want a drink. I will get to you.

Situation: You want to know my name (for whatever reason)
Appropriate action: When I get around to serving you, you may politely ask my name along with providing your drink order. I will likely make an on-the-spot judgement of you to determine whether or not you're a "yeller". If you seem on the level, I will tell you my name. If not, you'll get a fake name. Something that I can easily ignore. No offense, of course, but I'll still know you want a drink, and it won't make any difference to you.

Situation: You know my name.
Appropriate action: Use my name in situations like "Thanks for the drink, Danny!", or "Nice to meet you, Danny!" or "Congratulations on whatever thing you recently accomplished, Danny!" etc….

Keep in mind that I did not include the phrase "Danny, I would like a drink." Which leads us to…

Situation: You know my name and you want a drink.
Appropriate action: Wait patiently. As before, it won't take me long to see you waiting. Do not yell my name. Since I am already aware you want a drink, this serves only to demonstrate to me that you think you shouldn't have to wait your turn. This also makes me less inclined to want to serve you and may lead to a longer than normal wait for your drink.

Situation: Somebody asks you "What is the bartender's name?"
Appropriate action: Regardless of whether you know my name or not, you should simply say "I don't know." The reason for this is because the question "What is the bartender's name?" is almost without fail followed by "HEY DANNY! CAN I GET A BLAH BLAH BLAH AND COKE?" These people are referred to as "yellers". They are lumped in with the glass-tappers, the money/hand wavers, the bar pounders, and the whistlers. Of this group of very special people, the yellers are perhaps the most annoying, and usually get to wait the longest for service because of their brilliant contribution to my bar atmosphere.

Situation: You are my friend, you know my name, and you want a drink.
Appropriate action: Wait patiently. If you think you're my friend and are under the impression that yelling my name to get a drink faster is appropriate, you're probably not actually my friend. You're at best an acquaintance, and more than likely a random person who just asked the person next to you what my name is. You're also a "yeller". The difference between you and an actual friend of mine is that anybody who is actually friends with me knows not to yell to get my attention. And they probably tip better than you as well.

And you wonder why they always seem to get served before you.

So, there you have it. A veteran bartender's advice on how and when to use his name. Stay tuned for more bar etiquette posts; we've got lots of advice.

Tips for a Bachelorette Party

The Sandbar is a popular place for bachelorette parties. The combination of fluffy drinks with umbrellas, brightly colored beads and the cheesy hurricane show that girls can use to embarrass the guest of honor just keeps reeling them in.

Most bachelorette parties are fun for everyone in the bar. A few, not so much. Here are some of our favorite tips for having a successful bachelorette party at The Sandbar.

1.  Get here early.

The Sandbar is small. It's busy. Especially on a Saturday night at 10 p.m., which is when everyone wants to be there. Get there by 8 or 9. Yes, it's early and not very crowded. This is a good time to chill out with your girlfriends, drink some fun tropical drinks and prepare for the night.

2.  Wait patiently

If you didn't follow our advice above and get stuck in a line outside, be patient. Just because you're with a group of dolled-up women doesn't mean you get to cut the line. Everyone waits in line, even the staff. We aren't making you stand in line because we're mean- it's because fire codes limit our legal capacity to 49 people and we don't want a ticket and a fine. And trying to tell the doorguy that you "called ahead" doesn't work. We don't take reservations- we aren't a restaurant.

3.  Have a plan

If you're ordering for a group, it helps to order everything at once. Don't ask for one drink, only to ask for another when the bartender comes back with it, and yet another after that. And on that note, don't order twelve different complicated shots at the same time. It also helps to run a tab instead of asking the bartender to run your credit card after every single drink order.

4. Don't expect free stuff

We love bachelorette parties, but it's against the law to give away free drinks. Be nice, and the bartender might buy you one or even a round. But please don't act like you're entitled to something free.

5. Don't be a diva

The bartender will almost always let your bachelorette be the mermaid if you ask, and if someone else hasn't already called dibs. But don't keep demanding a hurricane *right now* if they're busy. There are other customers in the bar. They'll get to it. Be patient. And nice. 

You might have noticed a theme in these tips- be nice. That's our number one tip for bachelorette parties, or really for anyone!

A Bartender’s Retaliation on Facebook

In our recent "Thoughts of a Bartender" post, one of the thoughts was "don't throw popcorn at me."

You may or may not be surprised to find that popcorn is tossed at our bartenders quite frequently.

One night, after a particularly annoying shift with a customer shouting at the bartenders all night to get their attention and throwing popcorn, Dave retaliated in a clever (yet harmless) way.

He got on Facebook.

He happened to be Facebook friends with this particular customer. We'll call her "Jan" (not her real name.)

Dave went to Jan's Facebook page and posted:


Then he waited, and posted again:


And again:


This went on for a few more posts, with each one getting longer and taking up more space on her wall.

It made Dave feel better to get some of the frustraion out of his system, even if he was only taking it out on Facebook.

The lesson here? It's either don't make the bartender mad….or don't be friends with them on Facebook.