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Where Do You Go For Happy Hour?

Happy Hour Feature Image

1 QUESTION 100 ANSWERS | Issue 3

Vancouver

I’m a fan of the Belmont on Granville for happy hour. Mainly because it runs late (7:00pm), drinks are only $4 and Sangria is an option.  Also, when happy hour runs late they have live music. – Saneeta Boparan

La Mezcal – delicious finger licking tacos, cheap but good wine…oh! AND $5 PALOMAS! – Vikki Sideris-AGM/Poor Italian

Craft – I like to go Sunday’s cause it’s happy hour all day $4 pints! Elisabeth Lay-line cook/CCBD

Browns – we go there so often we don’t even need to see the menu anymore! – Tamara Jaune-team lead/chopped leaf

I don’t go anywhere for happy hour because I’m always working happy hour! – Michelle Ross-server/S&L Langley

My favourite place for happy hour is one hundred percent, Jimmy Macs in Langley. The 30-year-old establishment is a force to be reckoned with. These boys were 20 when they started here and now they’re 60 and still guzzling down the $3.45 bottles of bud. Never seen a place go through eight cases of bud in an hour and a half. Better be bottled, though. All in all fantastic joint if you wanna feel young. The servers kill it and did I mention bud. – Achi Thilakeratne-bartender/S&L Langley

Match casino – because I like to gamble – Adam-bartender/Samz pub

Calgary

Bridgette Bar –Ciara Cannon, Jameson Rep

1410 – Vanessa Caron, bread magazine

Anejo – Steph Bryans, Server at Yellow Door

1410 or Craft – Craig Sorette, Owner of Everclear Systems

Proof – Courtney Wiebach, Server at Bottle Screw Bills

Richmonds – Adam Krzyski, Bartender at St.James Corner

Ship&Anchor – Kassandra Harrison, Bar Manager at Craft

Anejo – Jess Knoll, bread magazine

Cleaver – Stephanie Smith, Manager at Raw Bar

Craft – Joshua Taylor, Corporate beverage manager at Craft
 

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Bread Loyalty Program

Nic Simon | NIC’S CORNER | Issue 3

When you work in a restaurant or bar the only benefits you expect are tips. Well, maybe you meet hot fellas or ladies, live like a vampire and bask in some industry courtesy around town. But from bosses we expect even less. Perhaps some sort of staff meal, or food discount, maybe a free drink here or there and the occasional celebratory shot after a grueling shift. In last month’s issue, I touched on the opportunity venues have to step up and look for opportunities to provide “benefits” for their staff that wouldn’t really cost them any money per se, just some time and effort.

This brought on some discussion. After sharing some bourbon, Jame-o and a shot of Bombay or two with a few owners and managers we got to thinking. If venues can provide these benefits but do not, why don’t we do it?

Yeah, we’re new but we have some sway in the scene. I mean, with our large, dedicated, targeted readership, we can go to brands and get these same types of benefits. Plus, if we ask that same readership we can discover which products industry workers need for work and life and together we can ask for a discount. I mean, who wants to pay full price for those shoes you are going to destroy in the kitchen with wing oil and poutine gravy? Or to buy ANOTHER black shirt that costs $100 just so it won’t fade after 1000 washes.

If we as an industry don’t get the types of benefits that other professionals do why should we accept it? And yes! I’m calling you a professional.

So was born The Bread Loyalty Program. The program that aims to collect, curate and offer special discounts on products WE all want and need, ideally for work but also because we work damn hard and deserve a deal. Well, at least that’s what it is in its first phase. The second phase asks the question, how can we as an industry get medical and dental and all that other good stuff as well? It’s no secret that most hospitality venues cannot afford to pay for us at its current cost. But perhaps, if we rally together and apply for insurance together there will be an insurance company that will reduce that coverage to something our daily tips can afford.

So that’s the goal, the mission, the challenge. We build The Bread Loyalty Program and give a membership to all industry workers, aka subscribers to bread. We then invite wicked brands, and I mean WICKED brands to have the privilege of having us don their garments, kicks, fragrances, etc, and once we get the number of BLP aka bread subscribers to an impressive level we go after those benefits as a unit, a family even!

We believe with the help of some key friends in the industry we can make this happen. So, if you haven’t subscribed to bread (if you’re reading this you probably have) but if you haven’t then get on it. Your procrastination is costing us all more than you know. Get all your co-workers to subscribe as well, your health may just depend on it.

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Kitchen Confidential

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Michelle Whittemore | BREAD BOOK CLUB | Issue 3

Chances are that if you’ve ever worked in kitchens, some distant relative has gifted you a copy of this book for your birthday because what you do for a living is the only thing they know about you. In reality, you’re not much of a reader, have many interests that excite you and a gift card would have been better, aunt Linda, thanks.

Maybe Kitchen Confidential is propping-up your coffee table as you read this? Well, switch it out for Eat Pray Love and let’s get to it!

Bourdain is the guy that you either love or love to hate. He is arrogantly well read and direct to the point of seeming disinterested, but if you’ve watched him in his series Parts Unknown, he is likeable. He’s got bonus points from me for being brutally honest and having struggled with addiction but I like tattooed pieces of shit.

Kitchen Confidential is written for the masses as an insight into the gritty world behind the pass, but what I like about it for us, is how it reaffirms behaviours. It’s the same reason that I got boners when I saw Waiting. Working in a chain restaurant is totally like that! I think that most of us get the warm and fuzzies when we see our jobs portrayed in entertainment. It’s like having your lifestyle acknowledged. You’ll be pleased to find that you’re not the only one who treats their knives better than their girlfriend.

You don’t have to read this book in order. Chapters divide the stories up into themes. It is chronological but if you’re not in the mood to read cover to cover, just read chapters as blocks and you’ll do fine. Bourdain worked in New York City kitchens and he talks about the up and downs of his experiences. He pauses to discuss practical things like, kitchen essentials and how to secure a restaurant gig, but for the most part, his lessons are built into anecdotes that most of us have lived or witnessed, ourselves.

The original book is hysterically out of touch with modern food trends but if you get the insider’s edition, Bourdain has graciously made notes in the margins to tell us how balsamic reduction and parsley garnishes are so over, these days.

Bourdain has a dry sense of humour and some good stories to tell so if you’re looking for some bathroom or bar reading, dust off your copy of Kitchen Confidential and get to it.

Michelle Whittemore Byline Image

 

 

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Nick’s PATH

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Nick Pal | NOW WHERE? | Issue 3

Pawn Shop – Get in there for happy hour. The word is tacos and when they’re a buck, they’re a steal of a deal from 3pm – 6pm. Start the night off with jalapeño infused Tequila to wash all of it down.

Tavern in Yaletown – Visit bartending Jesus, Kris Carter. Jameson shots 5$ all the time so get a couple in ya and say, “hello,” to the staff. Play Buck Hunter and Pinball.

Doolins Irish Pub – Guinness and live music by some local artist. Sing-along drinking songs, great staff and funny regulars great place for a good conversation.

Break time: Vancity weed for some organic healing, if that’s your thing.

Wildtale Yaletown – Now that we’ve had some drinks, we’re probably a bit hungry! Head over to Wildtale for their $6 late night happy hour menu. Get the Carpaccio, cheese ball croquettes and a glass of anything cold.

Fin – Call cab

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Nic’s PATH

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Nic Simon | NOW WHERE? | Issue 3

Toshis – Long-line ups (always) so go put your name down and gauge the list, every booking ahead of you is roughly 10 – 15 minutes.

El Caminos – Across the street, pre-toshi-coktails — salsa & chips and palomas.

Toshis – Dont miss your name being called!! CRUCIAL. Time your return to Toshi’s so you walk right in when table ready or 5 mins to seating. (Note: May need to send someone to check when you first try this path, send the youngest of the group.)

Cascade – Belly full, head over to see Yonah or Justin and ask for a bourbon-based cocktail, just say that & they’ll make something yum.

Narrow Lounge – A skip and a jump to Narrow lounge for jame-o shots and debauchery to your customized level; sing, dance, chill, up to you.

Fin – Call cab

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The Best Night of a Lucky Chef…So Far

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Walter Sawan | TALES | Issue 3

9:00am – Wake up.

9:35am – Get Starby’s and wait for bus.

9:38 – 9:46am – Smelly, cramped transit.

9:46 – 9:50am – Simultaneously, walking, smoking and slurping a 20oz blonde, while checking sales and dodging the locals of the crosstown area.

9:51 – 10:45am – Mad prep, mad ordering, with mad beats for motivation.

10:46 – 10:55am – Text bartender, Scotty “Archer” Reece, while doing opening bar duties.

11:00am – BC Place Reno bigwig and I assume a Product-Rep pitching woo, knock on the door, looking for a quiet place to chat.

11:05am – Sign-in bar POS, take and serve first drink order.

11:06 – 11:45am – Hangout and chat with guests about how great my house-made gravy is on our traditional poutine.

11:45am – Bartender, “Archer” arrives, I ring-in the aforementioned poutine, and relinquish the bar.

11:46 – 11:55am – Set the line and cook/plate/deliver poutine.

12:05 – 3:30pm – Work stuff.

3:33pm – W#@r3$ bath and get changed.

3:35pm – Angry Scotch and chat at the bar.

4:00pm – Bigwigs order limo and say, “We’re all going to the 5!”

4:01pm – Hair on my arms and neck raises, nervous system shivers.

4:02pm – The most beautiful red head, covered in tattoos, catches my eye as she walks by…. And her friend… was there too, sure…

4:03pm – Archer walks over with menus and takes order.

4:04pm – Product-Rep walks over, invites the two ladies and Rando McChica from the next table.

4:15pm – Grab bottle of Jack, get into limo and head on our way.

4:20pm – Herbal cigarette, then enter the strip club.

4:24pm – Old guys buy three rounds then scramble for a dance… last time we saw them.

4:40pm – The red head and I go for a smoke and chat.

4:46pm – We share another smoke, continuing our conversation.

4:50pm – We leave everyone behind as we go for a drink at my pub.

5:10-5:30pm – Cue Redbones, “Come and Get your Love,” montage of romantic comedy proportions.

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I can’t choose a number one moment in my almost 20-years of working in the perpetual party industry. Although, the day I met and fell in love with my wife and every adventure we’ve since shared because of my job, are definitely all tied for the top 100. Five years later… We are still as in love and still creating new memories with each other. The rest is history.

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Not Today Bobo

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Kim | TALES | Issue 3

As the acid jazz playlist repeats on the stereo system for the fifth time today, I reach for my flip flops. I’m sweaty and ready for a quick nap before dinner service. It’s my last week before I head back to Canada and my patience is running out. Customers I once loved to take the time to chat with I now avoided. I was drained and ready to move on. Ready to trade in my days on the beach for days in the classroom. I moved here for a tan and some fun but ended up with so much more. I learned how far a small act of kindness can go when someone is in need and how important friendships are.

Just before I could print my cash out, my manager Mark stopped me. His keys were in his hand, I could tell he was about to leave. I sensed bad news coming my way.

“Hey Kim, I need you to take one more table. Brian needs to focus on setting up the dining room for tonight’s function.”

Before I can protest that I need to be back in a couple hours, and it’s mandatory that I take a shower after serving in my outdoor section, Mark relays their drink order.

“Two bottles of Sancerre and two hot chocolates.”

“Come on Mark, we decided as a group not to offer hot chocolate. It’s a pain in the ass and a waste of chocolate sauce.”

“Kim, it’s Simon.”

Oh god, my least favorite customer. The kind of customer who dines right before close and inconveniences everyone with his stupid requests. He is snobby but lacks class. And we treat him like royalty because he co-owns a handful of businesses on Seven Mile Beach. He knows he

can get away with treating us poorly. I am used to treating guest better depending on who they are. The VIP guests get VIP treatment and leave VIP tips. I have no issue with this. I treat them like they are extra special, and they tip me accordingly.

Simon is not so generous, perhaps it’s because he is English. I recall almost no one tipped me in London. I’m pretty sure that is normal. But Simon should know better; he owns a restaurant. I make the dreaded hot chocolates with our Italian espresso machine and take them out on a tray with four wine glasses and an ice bucket with two bottles of Sancerre in the other hand. I greet Simon and his guest with a big grin. I sweetly chat with the children as I dropped of the hot chocolates. As per usual, they don’t say thank you and even complained that there was no whipped cream on top. I suppose I am out of the habit of topping drinks with whipped cream since I rarely serve children. I ignore them and present the wine. I didn’t recognize the other guests who accompanied Simon and his latest girlfriend. Even though it’s such a small island it’s not unusual to see unfamiliar faces; perhaps they are new. Expats make up half of the workforce in Grand Cayman which makes it a very transient place. And it also makes it a very friendly place because everyone can relate to how lonely it can feel living in a new place without any friends or family.

Simon nods at the wine as the ice water drips onto the white table cloth. I pour a splash into his glass and wait for his approval. He swirls it around in his glass which he sniffs then brings to his lips; after a moment of swishing the liquid around in his mouth he announces that it is drinkable. I feel slightly relieved as I wipe of the wet wine bottle with a cloth napkin and empty the entire contents in to the four glasses. A couple months ago he sent back a bottle of Sassicaia that he claimed was corked; it tasted fine to me. After I informed them of the specials, they said they were ready to order. Excellent news for myself, because I want to get this over

with, and for the kitchen who needed to clean up lunch and prepare for tonight. After taking their order I politely informed them that this would be last call for the kitchen, to which Simon replied with some remark about the kitchen staff wanting to get head start on the weekend. I faked a chuckle and walked away. I felt bad ringing in the order knowing that last call was actually thirty minutes ago. I knew this would prevent my kitchen from taking a much needed break before dinner service. I heard them groan at the sound of the printer. I went back to apologize in person.

“Sorry guys, it’s the boss’ friends. I couldn’t say no.”

They nodded understandably. I am was lucky to have such easy going staff.

“Anything for you, Miss Kim.”

Malcom looked good in his white chef’s coat. His Jamaican accent always drew me in. I smiled to myself and thought about inviting him over tonight. We locked eyes for a moment before I ran my tables starters. The decadent sent of lobster bisque and fresh pesto filled my nose. I served the soups and salads and offered fresh cracked pepper. Before I could ask if there was anything else they needed at the moment, one of the freckled kids piped up, in a winey voice.

“Daddy, Daddy, can we have more hot chocolate?”

To my surprise Simon said yes and added that this time it should be made with whipped cream on top. I nodded with a smile.

“Daddy, can we have chocolate sprinkles too?”

I gladly interrupted and told them that we didn’t have chocolate sprinkles. These brats were getting on my nerves.

“Surely you have Belgium chocolate in the kitchen, just get the cook to shave off some

chocolate, it’s not that hard.”

I could not believe it. No wonder these children act so entitled. I steamed into the kitchen, climbed the step ladder, and grabbed a 10 pound brick of Belgium chocolate. The kitchen staff looked at me with a confused looks as I put the chocolate down on the counter. I responded in my best squeaky English accent.

“These brats want hot chocolates with a bunch of ridiculous shit on top!”

I attempted to shave the chocolate until Malcom took over, amused. I had no idea how he was always in a good mood working under so much pressure. I poured out the second bottle of Sancerre and cleared their entrée dishes. Simon asked about dessert, I suggested specialty coffees and explained the dessert menu wasn’t available because the kitchen was now closed. He scoffed about no dessert but order a cappuccino. His guests ordered a double decafe espresso, a latte, and a macchiato. I was glad to be getting closer to giving him the bill, it was likely the last time I would ever have to serve Simon since I was leaving the country soon. As I turned away Simon had yet another request.

“Hey Kim, could you put a design in my cappuccino, like a Christmas tree?”

It was March, why the hell did he want a Christmas tree? I kept the smile on my face.

“Simon I can’t do that sort of thing, I’m not a barista, this isn’t Starbucks.”

His friends laughed. He looked annoyed.

“Well I am sure you can figure it out.”

I was livid. I quickly cleared the dishes at the dish pit and handed them to my sweet but hard working dish washer, Mama. We called her Mama for obvious reasons.

“You ok Baby?”

She could tell I was upset, I couldn’t hide it. I felt belittled. Why does he think its ok to treat me like that?

“I’m good, Mama. Just tired.”

I started the coffees, and the machine hissed and steamed. My heart was beating fast. Just then I got an idea, I smiled a revengeful smile. I place the coffees on my tray as I was finishing up the cappuccino. I tapped the hot metal container with a spoon, condensing the foam. I slowly poured the hot milk on top of the espresso then some foam, and I thought to myself how I had never taken this much care in making a cappuccino before. I then cautiously placed three dollops of foam on top of the cappuccino and sculpted the most unmistakable cock and balls. They were perfect. I couldn’t help but smile when I picked up my tray. My coworker Jen’s eyes widened at the sight of my tray.

“Ah, what are you doing? Don’t do it.”

I didn’t stop. I passed more coworkers who watched in awe. It wasn’t just me who hated waiting on Simon; we all did. Over the years he had demeaned each and every single one of us. Here was my chance to get him back. I wasn’t doing it for myself. I was doing it for all of us. I approached the table, and cautiously placed each coffee one by one on the table, carefully holding them by the saucer.

“Here we have your latte, and the double decafe espresso, and the macchiato for you ma’am. Okay Simon, here is your cappuccino, and my attempt at a Christmas tree.”

I smiled sweetly and waited for his reaction. Simon’s mouth dropped. He stared at the white foamy genitals floating on top of his cappuccino.

“It looks, it looks, like a penis, it’s a penis!”

I giggled a little, and agreed how strange it was that it did kind of look like a penis. I walked away feeling lighter. I felt sensational. My smile grew wider as I turned the corner. My coworkers were waiting to congratulate me. Word must have spread. We shared some high fives

and I filled them in on Simon’s reaction. I glanced at Malcom who gave me a reassuring smile and a nod. A small but meaningful victory.

“Not today bobo!”

Everyone laughed at the familiar phrase. A Caymanian saying I am sure I will use for the rest of my life, even when I am many miles and years away from this little rock. My grin soon faded. I was sad to be leaving these wonderful people. We knew each other so well. They were the closest family I had ever had. I knew I would miss them in my new life.

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Swinging Drinks

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Anonymous | TALES | Issue 3

I didn’t expect to find myself back in the bar industry. One day, a girlfriend suggested a job opportunity and I thought, “sure, why not?”

I went for the interview, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. The questions were intense and I was hired. I was handed my uniform; a gorgeous Asian-printed corset, teeny bootie shorts and fishnet stockings. I would serve and bartend at a place you would never think could be legal or actually exist: A swinger’s club.

I learned words like, “Newbies,” “The Lifestyle,” and I learned how one uses a dental dam. My place of work makes 50 Shades a boring read! There’s also a NO jeans policy. As a server, I never thought that I would have to go up to a male customer and ask him to remove his jeans, or that he would oblige.

Tips are never huge here. No pun intended. People walk and dance around half-naked so their excuse is that they never have anywhere to keep their money. Nipple covers with tassels can’t hold much.

Vodka soda is the drink of choice among swingers, as many like to watch their figures. Costumes and theme nights are always unreal. People put a lot of effort into little outfits that eventually end up on the second level floor. This is where the action happens.

Of course, I had to sneak a peek a few times. You have your choice of playrooms: Orgy, exhibitionist, and private. On one of my rounds, I saw a fisting occur. I’m still in shock. An orgy of about eight naked bodies entwined together. The smell of sweat was powerful. Oh, and let me not forget the mess of making human sundaes. Whip cream anyone?

No alcohol is ever permitted in play areas. Tending bar slows quite drastically by about midnight, since all will be upstairs, getting to the real business. Keep in mind; this is truly legal, almost like your immersed in Amsterdam. Even police officers that make their rounds are, at first, shocked. I know this, because there’s more than one visitor during a night as word travelled amongst the officers. Can’t blame them. I would actually recommend people to visit at least once.

I am not a swinger but many assume I am because I worked there. Many of my coworkers are swingers and trade work for free passes into the club. It’s quite the venue. The music is amazing. Drink prices are reasonable and the entertainment is priceless. Come find us if you want to play.

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YOUR FAVOURITE: Madison Lee

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Madison Lee | YOUR FAVOURITE SERVER’S FAVOURITES | Issue 3

What have you ordered to eat at work 100 times and still aren’t sick of?

The Kale salad with extra dressing! Its my favourite when it’s slathered in extra garlic olive oil. Its always something i’ll treat myself to when I know its going to be a long night.

What’s your favourite side-duty?

My favourite side duty? Stocking stations. I’d have to say I probably get a little to much enjoyment out of perfectly organizing and arranging the stock. Can you say OCD?

What’s your post-work drink?

My all time favourite post shift remedy is an ice cold pint of cider. Something about the sugary carbonation brings me back to life.

What can’t you start your shift without?

I can’t start shift without my delicious brownish green super smoothie. Kale, alfalfa, spirilina, and a good serving of fruit. It puts you on track especially after a night out of drinking, which i’d say is more often than not. It’s an eye sore to my  co workers but I just don’t feel right without it.

What’s your favourite part about serving?

Amongst all the chaos and stress that can arise during a shift the one thing that brings it all into focus are the connections you make. When your coworkers become your little family or when you have that one amazing table. Our whole job consists of more than just serving but hosting and building those relationships with guests. Which in turn imprints relationships on our lives as well.

Who’s your favourite regular?

Regulars are like your children. You just can’t pick favourites. However one of our regulars that always makes me laugh is a man named John. He comes in only drinking unpaid for cokes and ginger ales. Now that we have started charging for sodas he sticks with water. He comes in every single day, sometimes twice, and chats with the bartender as well as asking all the girls how their days are. However he  only remembers the names of the blondies… I wonder why. All in all I’d say he has a mean sense of commitment and dedication to stopping in.

Where is your favourite place to be?

My favourite place to be is any where far away from home. Travelling is where I feel the happiest and most at peace. Whether it’s in a tree house in the Amazon, a tapas bar in Spain or soaking in the rays on the southern beaches of France, they all seem to be my favourite.

What’s your favourite brunch place?

Now i’m supposed to say how we do brunch the best here at Roosevelt, which we do. However my fav place outside of ‘home’ is Diner Deluxe. Grapefruit mimosas and the crispy stuffed potato rostï are divine.

What takes up most of your free time?

They say the best part of being an entrepreneur is that you make your own schedule, but it turns out they end up being the people who work the most. Serving is very much like this. Your section is your own little business. Therefore every shift I can pick up I work. Which leaves me with very little free time. But when I do catch a bit of air i’m off in the mountains hiking or holed up in a sweaty hot yoga studio.

What makes you happiest?

Travelling is a big part of who I am and how I live my life. I currently have a flight booked to travel across India to receive certification to teach yoga, Nepal to hike Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit and finally travel hostel to hostel in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. In total I will be back packing South East Asia for 10 months!

What’s the best compliment you’ve received at work?

I feel like every server who really cares about their job, strive to receive what I believe to be the best compliment possible. So when I have been told that my table’s service was one of the best they have had, it makes me over the moon excited. Its even better when they continue coming back to see you and then you have bridged the gap between customer and regular.

Tell me one of your go-to one-liners at work?

I am notorious for forgetting a guest’s water. Its one of those things I never write down because it should be simple but in the end I can never remember it. There are some guests that will let you know right away if you have done something wrong, then there are the others that sit in quiet agony. Sometimes I’ll walk by them and have a sudden epiphany that I haven’t brought water yet. I hurriedly run to the back to retrieve the forgotten water. Once I finally bring it I let them know kindly that I hand pumped each distilled drop and that why it took so long.

When you’ve got five minutes before any of your tables need you, what are you doing?

When I’m not being an incredibly hard worker who never slacks, ill be perched at the bar chatting away with other servers and bartenders.

What’s your favourite season in this industry? Why?

I definitely love summer, when the weather is good people are just in a better mood. And when people are happy they almost are always looking for a good day of patio drinking. Above most, patio shifts are my most coveted shifts.

If you could wear anything to work, what would it be?

Our uniform consists of a black dress that is supposed to be fitted but always loosens to a point of unflattering rouching. My feet and back are in a constant ache from running around in heels on cement flooring. Picking my own uniform would just about solve my most troubling problems. I dream of wearing Freddy’s, a tee and some comfy sneakers to work.

What’s your favourite type of table to serve?

If I could hand pick my own tables I usually like to serve a middle to older aged group that’s out drinking. They are polite, have a great personality, and are more conscious on how to tip.

What do you notice first when going out to eat?

Going out to eat, the first thing I notice is my servers personality. I like to be served by people I can make jokes with and are aware of what I want. If the server isn’t friendly or seems like she would rather be doing something else, it just puts on a bad air.

What’s the best way to get your servers attention?

I personally prefer a table to make eye contact with me or flag me down in order to get my attention. I hate when a table asks someone else for me, it always makes me feel like I’m not doing my job correctly in front of my manager or coworkers.

Would you rather: work an entire shift on roller skates or eat a spoonful of expired mayo from the back of the walk-in?

I would say rather suffer my shift falling and spilling drinks than eating way past due mayo. I just don’t have the stomach for things like that!

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YOUR FAVOURITE: Tanya Sanca

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Tanya Sanca | YOUR FAVOURITE SERVER’S FAVOURITES | Issue 3

What have you ordered to eat at work 100 times and still aren’t sick of?

The veggie burger.

What’s your favourite side-duty?

I think I’ve mastered the craft of speed-rolling. I can murder through rollups quite impressively.

What’s your post-work drink?

Double tequila soda with a splash of pineapple.

What can’t you start your shift without?

SECTION 5 on the computer !!! (And The Factory bartenders love to sabotage this for me!)

What’s your favourite part about serving?

The people I meet. Some of the most important people in my life I’ve met at the bars I’ve worked at.

Who’s your favourite regular?

Peter the Greek.

Where is your favourite place to be?

In the forest.

What’s your favourite brunch place?

Banditas on Commercial Drive. They have the best honey butter in the world!

What takes up most of your free time?

Currently, binge watching The Office. Usually, drinking.

What makes you happiest?

My cat Oliver. He’s French, acts like a dog, and loves being the little spoon.

Where do you want to travel?

I’ve yet to make it to Europe so that’s high on the list. I hope to spend my best days in France.

What’s the best compliment you’ve received at work?

“You have great eyebrows.”

Tell me one of your go-to one-liners at work?

 

Guest: What’s the coolest thing on the menu?

Me: Ice.

When you’ve got five minutes before any of your tables need you, what are you doing?

Running to the bathroom to avoid a UTI.

What’s your favourite season in this industry? Why?

Tax season. Everyone who works in this industry (usually) gets a fat return and heads to the bar.

If you could wear anything to work, what would it be?

Black.

What’s your favourite type of table to serve?

I like the awkward Tinder date. You know for sure they will be down for shots, and it makes me feel less ashamed of all the ones I’ve been on.

What do you notice first when going out to eat?

The music and the happy hour.

What’s the best way to get your servers attention?

A couple of finger snaps usually does it, or a big, obnoxious wave. Just kidding, never do that. Never…fucking…do… that.

Would you rather: work an entire shift on roller skates or eat a spoonful of expired mayo from the back of the walk-in?

Roller skates, hands down. I’ll take the ass beating over whipped eggs any day.

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If You’re Not First, You’re Last

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Jordan West | Pinch Of Salt | Issue 3

I recently stumbled on a Business Insider article about the top 17 jobs that are most likely to lead to death by alcoholism.

Now, I understand how morbid this sounds, but bear with me. As I read down the list, passing clock-watching professions like garbage collecting and shoe machine operating, I grew a little nervous. I knew it was inevitable that bartenders would be on this list. If that comes as a surprise to anyone reading this, you’ve either never worked as a bartender or you’re a biological anomaly and your brain should be donated to science. As I scrolled with anticipation toward the end of the page, there it was, glaring back at me: “Number 1. Bartenders.

It should be noted that somehow musicians slid in at number nine, which I fully blame on the lame, pro-vegan, yoga-loving generation we currently exist in. Bartenders even beat amusement park attendants, though those attendants should find solace in knowing that they’re probably number one on the, “most likely to become a serial killer,” list.

It’s not a secret that, by majority, service industry workers are a group of raging alcoholics. It’s par for the course when you’re enveloped in an atmosphere that’s essentially a hodge-podge of binge-drinking and flimsy morals. I don’t even want to touch on the poor bastards who are forced to listen to shitty karaoke for eight consecutive hours. We’re products of our environment and our environment leads us to abuse our abuser.

We all know that nothing goes down smoother than an over-poured glass of straight whiskey after a long night pretending you don’t hate everyone. Booze is the magic elixir that suppresses all of your recent trauma into the bitter distance and replaces the void with fleeting optimism. Unfortunately for most industry workers, that post-work release comes at some ungodly hour and rather than serving as a bookend to another series of chaotic tales, it awakens the party hound; The same party hound that didn’t go to sleep until eight am after a post-work poker game with your coworkers the previous night when you desperately paid sixty dollars for a case of beer from Midnight Express. (I’m writing this piece within the parameters of the law and under the assumption that no one drinks on shift… because no one drinks on shift. Not ever. Unheard of. Bar-folklore. It’s a profession of saints.)

Drinking alcohol is a coping mechanism for all the bullshit you encounter dealing with people who can’t handle their alcohol. And I guess this is where I hit a crossroad. I assumed that bartenders would at least come in on the list behind construction workers and strippers (who, incidentally, didn’t even make the roster) because we have that one inarguable quality: tolerance. But apparently tolerance doesn’t equal invincibility. Apparently.

So why are we ranked number one? How did we beat sailors? The one profession you can comfortably put the adjective, “drunk,” in front of and it’s universally agreed upon. Are you even a sailor if you’re not drunk? Seriously, how the fuck did we beat sailors? Maybe we get caught up in the glorified glamour of the party we’re paid to invoke? Or maybe we eventually just turn into pitiful social degenerates with nothing better to do? I could list a million reasons why we topped this depressing list, but I’m going to take a page from the 80’s Parenting Handbook and congratulate us instead. Because it’s always good to be the best at something… even if that something happens to be drinking yourself to death. And in a world where there’s an impending nuclear holocaust on the horizon, perhaps alcoholism isn’t the worst way to go out.

But what do I know? It’s 2pm on a Tuesday and I’m already drunk.

 

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WHY DO YOU HATE: The Cosmo?

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Lesli Brownlee | WHY DO YOU HATE? | Issue 3

When I think about the Cosmopolitan, I think of the iconic Sex and the City cocktail; vodka, cranberry and triple sec in a cocktail glass that everyone, (myself included,) mistakes for a martini glass and when I worked in a club I hated them. Here’s why.

The glasses sucked. They’re shaky as fuck and the hard angles lack the charm of say, a champagne coupe. At least with a coupe, I could imagine gliding through some infamous gin joint at the epicentre of it all. Navigating through a crowd of dub steppers with a shaky tray of cocktail glasses made me feel homicidal.

The people who order them suck. Well, some of them anyway. As a bartender, the Cosmo meant separate checks, paid for on debit, by people who learned to behave in social environments by watching TV. You know what’s fabulous? Someone who orders a bottle of beer, pays with a ten, leaves the change and treats the service staff like human beings.

But the most insidious thing about the Cosmo is that they reminded me that despite my aspirations, I wasn’t Carrie. I wasn’t a writer living in New York with a closet full of designer clothes, a big love, and a rent-controlled apartment with a window. Instead, I served fancy vodka cranberries in a shitty glass, in a shitty club, in a shitty uniform, to pay for the shitty closet I lived in because I couldn’t afford a whole apartment, to people who treated me like shit. And it made me feel shitty.

Now that I split my time between writing and working in an establishment that I love, and have found an affordable apartment, my relationship to the Cosmo has mellowed. Now I see them for what they are, a little bit tart and a lot boring.

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