TALES FROM BEHIND THE BAR
If there is one profession that places its workers in ringside seats to the world, it’s the men and women who tend bars.
Much like psychiatrists, bartenders stand witness of a host of human behaviors, and they’re adept at listening to people with stories to tell. The only difference is that pulling the ear of a bartender is free, except for the money spent on whatever libations they sling.
We reached out to a handful of esteemed bartenders throughout San Diego to ask what customer interactions remain forever etched in their minds.
What we heard were narratives ranging from good to bad to comical and racy. We also gave them a opportunity to share with us their signature cocktails or latest and greatest concoctions.
And you get some crazies,” said Dallas Juanes, recalling when he politely declined serving a drink to an inebriated man, who then stumbled begrudgingly out of the bar, only to return two minutes later. Dallas was working at Pacific Standard in Downtown San Diego at the time.
“He was very scruffy, looked homeless, and thought he had walked into a completely different bar. I gave him some water and bar snacks, but I didn’t serve him alcohol.”
The following day Juanes had a Twilight Zone moment when the man returned with his family. “He was wearing a very nice suit I could only dream of affording. He looked respectable, and had no idea he was at my bar the night before. It was so strange.”
Signature drink: Juanes puts a tiki-style spin the classic old fashion, which he calls “Forager’s Dismiss.” It’s constructed with aged rum and smoky mezcal instead of whiskey, along with falernum syrup and bitters.