Trending
MOST READ
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Food & Drink: There was a special kind of draw at Alamo Ice House on a recent Tuesday evening. A handful of weeks after opening its... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/22/2014

Best Local Artist

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

College Issue 2014: Sell clothes. Plato’s Closet is a great place to take your gently worn apparel in exchange for cold, hard cash. They accept clothes, shoes and... By Brittany Minor 8/18/2014
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, cheesyjanes.com. If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Food & Drink

What SA’s bartenders (slash therapists, slash BFFs, slash secret crushes) wish you knew

Photo: Josh Huskin, License: N/A

Josh Huskin

Stephany Gordon, mixologist at SoHo Wine and Martini Bar


Four Aggie fans are sitting in a bar, sipping beers, and spending an afternoon being ornery over a football game against their most bitter rivals, the Longhorns. The game’s a real nail-biter. Something about changing conferences and ending a century’s worth of tradition. Well, the Aggies fans watch their team lose and it’s not pretty. Amidst this emotional violence, a polite Longhorn fan stops by to grip and grin with the losers. He thanks them for the thrilling rivalry over the years, compliments their sportsmanship and politely lets himself out.

The Aggie fans follow him.

Enter Jeff Spahn, a 46-year-old theatre tech working under the employ of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local Union 76. Today, he’s tending bar at Mitchell’s Sports Bar on Lockhill Selma for extra coin. He steps out to break up the Aggies hurling fuck-bombs and unruly tones at the exiting Longhorn (who, let’s face it, should have kept his yapper shut).

“They actually weren’t drunk; just mad and upset,” Spahn said. “One guy started crying because A&M lost. He was actually crying.”

For those that don’t know, this display of brotherly love took place on the celebration known as Thanksgiving. Could there have been a more ironic day (save Christmas) for such macho pub theatre? The Aggies and (in a more subtle way) the Longhorn fan violated one of Spahn’s cardinal rules of bar behavior: don’t under any circumstances make the bar unsafe for anyone. A second credo of Spahn’s: all bartender-client relationships are based on mutual respect.

He establishes this by running customers’ tabs old school: just a pen and paper with a name and drinks listed. He doesn’t authorize a card or accept payment until they cash out. They could walk on his tab at any time, but no one has tried since he started working for Mitchell’s this past summer. Meanwhile, his boss is reporting increased sales since Spahn’s arrival.

Judy Simpson, former bartender and current general manager at Finnegan’s on US 281 near Thousand Oaks, considers part of nurturing that mutual respect as understanding that a responsible bartender cuts people off and does whatever they can to put a patron past their limit into a cab. “Once they start drinking, it’s almost like they’re your patient,” she said. “You have to keep an eye on them.”

Spahn agrees. Adding that a good bartender is also a hardass about ID. “If they walk in and head straight to the bathroom, then I know they’ve got fake ID or no ID on them,” he said. “They also go straight to the pool table or the dartboard, anywhere but the bar.”

For cooperation on IDs, drink limits, and cab riding, a mild-mannered, glassy-eyed customer can expect an open ear and candid advice from their bartender. In the case of Stephany Gordon, a 29-year-old mixologist at SoHo Wine and Martini Bar, good behavior even comes with wish fulfillment, however limited. “Playful banter is fine; flirting is fine,” she said.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus