Tales from The Behind The Bar with Travis Enos
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.
Travis Enos’ story conjures up memories of the 1967 film, The Graduate, in which an older woman (Mrs. Robinson) seduces a young 20-something (Benjamin). Except in this case, the guy uses more restraint.
“She came into the bar, slipped me her hotel room key and asked what time I was getting out of work,” Enos recounted, noting there was about a 30-year age difference between him and the woman. “I didn’t feed into it, but I was polite.”
A couple months later the woman was back in town and returned to the tavern. “This time she gave me wallet- size photos of herself wearing lingerie and risque outfits with stilettos. I didn’t know what to do with them, so I put them behind one of the computer terminals at the bar. But my co-workers started throw- ing around a lot of jokes about it, so I don’t know where they ended up.” said Enos, adding that the situation was awkward “especially when feeling on stage while working a bar.”
Signature cocktail: The “Working Class,” which Enos invented when Bay Hill Tavern opened six months ago. The shaken drink features mezcal, raspberry shrub, peach liqueur and lemon juice. It comes in a Collins glass with a Tajin spice rim.