A meandering musing on our love for the hospitality industry...
There are two kinds of people who dine out. Those that want a nice quite booth in the dining room, and those that gravitate toward the noise, activity, (sometimes the chaos) of the bar.
When we walk into a restaurant, our first choice for seating - ALWAYS - is at the bar.
Give me a bar stool in front of the well any day and I'll be happy, just don't stick me at a bistro table outside. Quiet-booth-diners have a hard time understanding this, but it's because we love the hospitality industry. Drink and food service don't serve only as the vehicle for enjoyment of my meal and the company I'm with. It's partly the reason I'm there.
There's a temporary community that exists at the bar and changes by the minute, and the host of this gregarious group of people is the man or woman behind the bar. They bring it all together, and if they're good at their job, they hold it all together and cultivate it into something more - a memorable evening.
One of my favorite memories of this experience was one such evening this past November. We met with a few friends and took the train up from San Diego to Campfire, a new restaurant in Carlsbad. It's the kind of place that's sure to bring back nostalgic memories of your best camping trips; a must-visit for any fans of Moonrise Kingdom.
We ended up sitting at the bar with Bruce making cocktails for for four of us, and discovered a new gem of a guy. He's a great conversationalist and joined us in our banter, was attentive and answered our questions, and never let a glass sit empty for too long. He also made great drinks.
You see, my estimation of a great bartender doesn't start with how talented they are at crafting incredible cocktails. Certainly you've got to be schooled in the basics of drink-making. But a great bartender is a hospitable bartender first, and then they also make things you enjoy drinking.
As two people who also design bar tools, keeping industry use in mind is a big priority for us. If our tools can hold up in a high-volume, commercial bar and restaurant environment, that means we made them right. Whenever we design or prototype a new tool, you'll find us taking it around to our friends behind the bar to give us honest feedback. We put our Hammered Mixing Glass into service at some of the busiest bars in San Diego before we even brought it to Kickstarter, and it held up like a champ. That's how we knew we had a winner.
To all you women and men showing up for shift after shift with the purpose of making our lives better, we salute you.