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Tales From The Bar with Pat Harrington


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.

Adams March2020 Edition 1 A man who befriended a group of bachelorettes throwing a party at Cafe 21 downtown got more than he bargained for by the night’s end. And so did his coif.
Harrington remembers the man buying a round of shots for the women. Afterwards, one of them asked the customer if he was wearing a hair piece. He admitted yes. Then without warning, she proceeded to take the toupe off his head, put it on her head, and took selfies with her Smartphone. Her friends joined in the fun by doing the same as the hairpiece made its rounds.
“The guy turned beet-red, but laughed. The best part of the story is that him and the girl who took off his toupe ended up hanging out at the bar after the party ended—and then they left together.”
Signature creation: “The Peace Pipe” is a drink served in bubble glasses from Turkey that resemble marijuana bongs. Thus, it features CBD-infused bitters used in combination with gin, Brazilian rum, and house-made tarragon syrup. In addition, Harrington uses dry ice to create a smoke effect.

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