The Act of Independence

In a few short days many of us in the US will be celebrating the 241st anniversary of the founding of The United States of America. Many simply refer to the day as the Fourth of July but I opt for Independence Day. Every month in every year has a fourth but there was only one July 4, 1776 and what happened on and near...

Jigger Me This…

Jigger me this; when is a shot not a shot? Answer: when it’s not measured. There is an ongoing debate in the bartender/mixology world concerning the practice of “free pouring” versus measuring. I won’t keep you in suspense regarding my opinion on the matter. I strongly and without doubt or reservation vote for measuring. Since I live in Chicago I reserve my civic right...

Raise a Glass to Repeal Day

On the 16th day of January 1919 the loudest and squeakiest wheel of all squeaky wheels of the day, the Temperance Union, achieved their ultimate desire with the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment. The Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the production, transport, and sale of intoxicating liquors in the United States. The proponents of the law believed that all of society’s ills would be magically washed...

Navigating the Corkage Fee Conundrum

The subject of corkage fees in restaurants has been a topic of great debate, for both restaurateurs and patrons alike, for many, many years. In fact the circumstance of navigating the corkage topic has been the source of some of my most uncomfortable moments – from both sides of the negotiating table. In truth, I rarely bring wine to a restaurant other than those...

Where has Hospitality Gone?

Where has hospitality gone? When I started out working in the front of the house customer service was job one. I miss those days. Nowhere has hospitality taken such a steep decline than behind the bar. The bartender was the beating heart of the bar and restaurant. They most often earned their spot behind the bar for their ability to handle pressure with a...

Shifting Beer Styles

The fact is that beer, beer styles, and how beer is being consumed and discussed has changed. The craft beer movement 2.0 (I consider the first movement to have occurred in the 1980s) has brought a lot of good things to those of us who crave quality beverages. On the other side of the coin there has been a growing movement rooted in the...

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