View from the Top

Starting the long holiday weekend looking down on Big City San Francisco. Feels amazing to be up here taking it all in.


Big City Bar Star By The Holidays

The demand is there and growing! As the holidays approach especially! Big City Life means Big City Variety, Big City Activity, & Big City Industry. All of these factors mean that there is Big Demand for the Services that service these Services. From Happy Hour, to Corporate Power, Big Sports, Entertainment, and Industry, one of the only common professions that is mixed in with it all is the hospitality & service industry, mainly Food and Beverage.

Being a Bar Star is Big City’s Business

Bartending is a Profession, not a job.  It takes focus and discipline to do it well and the best of the best know that making drinks is only a part of what a true bartender does.  Big City Bartenders teaches you what will set you up for success and make people take notice. 

We have carefully crafted the recipe for your success to emphasize principles and techniques that will increase your overall tips, create a loyal following, reduce fatigue, increase sales, and put you on a path towards a more rewarding and enjoyable career as a Professional Bartender in the Hospitality Industry.

We offer a comprehensive set of classes that emphasize the right basics while explaining the value so that you understand it’s not just about what you do, but how you do it that makes you a true Bar Star.

State regulated certification and inclusion in Big City Nites roster of event staff are the extras that will get you hired and steps ahead of the competition for available jobs that are not easy to get, even if you have taken classes, most employers won’t even consider someone without actual on the job working experience.  

Our two hour classes are offered 3 weeknights and Sunday afternoons every week for a total of 8 classes needed to complete the Big City Bartender Course.

Classes are offered individually after all courses have been completed once so you can always take a refresher course or want extra practice with the tools and bottles.

Complete set of Bar tending Courses $199.00 (includes 8 individual courses, workbook, diploma, and Event Crew Registration.)

Individual Classes $35 (available to take during normal class schedule on future dates, individual personal classes offered at negotiable additional fee)

50% Class course fee must be paid prior to beginning classes so $100 minimum is due upon start of first class. Individual classes do not apply for the two part payment.

If missing a class, you can make it up following week for no additional charge.

Certifications not included with total cost, but are recommended and provided in a group setting. Course Fees are extra and the responsibility of the student.  Inclusion in Big City Roster requires the completion of Serv Safe CA Food Handlers Certification and T.I.P.S Certification (about $40 each).

#1. Bar Basics – workbook,glass ware, tools, bar lingo, guest management, alcohol, good practices, laws, recipe basics, and measurements

#2.  Bare Beverages- wine, beer, distilled spirits, definitions, types and varieties, the roll of ice, pairings, beverage service etiquette,

#3 Bare Bars – different service scenarios, types of bars, set up of supplies, organization, positioning, merchandising, bar logic, efficiency, speed rail, bar business wisdom

#4  Life Behind Bars – Bar Etiquette, Bartender responsibilities, Challenges Bartenders regularly face, Tips, dealing with Barbacks, Cocktail Waitresses, Guests, and Tricks of the Trade

#5  Review and Quiz- Beer and Wine Quiz, Vodka and Gin history, facts, Proofs, and popular standard recipes. Practice

#6 Bar Basics Review – glassware, tools, rules, and responsibilities Quiz.  Whiskey and Rum history, facts, proofs, and popular recipes, Practice

#7 Craft & Classic Cocktails – differences, appropriate scenarios, Craft recipes, garnishes, guest service overview. Tequila and Liquors/Mixers/Apperttiffs Practice

#8 Certifications- *Speed Test, Recipe Quiz, Bar Setup, Garnishes Cutting, &  Guest Services Final Tests. Big City Bartenders Course Certification of Completion handed out and emailed once all finals are completed satisfactorily **Overview of CA Food Handlers and TIPS online courses, and scheduling of online group certification sessions.

*One retake will be allowed and scheduled for following week at no extra cost.

**Can be scheduled separately and individual of course scheduled time for extra fee or with different #8 class

The Best Bartender Tricks are in the way they Mix

A Bartender is always a mixologist but a mixologist is not always a bartender.

That’s because a passionate and professional bartender knows that mixing cocktails, adult beverages, dranks, loose juice, and truth juice is just a part of the overall profession. There are many parts to the recipe that must be mixed constantly to make it look easy and effortless while the guests are enjoying a great time safely.

Some of the responsibilities a Bartender has are significant and are about watching out for the safety of the guests and the safety of the public. Bartenders should always be watchful and assertive while maintaining a welcoming and fun demeanor. There are now laws in some states that require Bartenders and alcohol service workers to get educated and tested on Age verification/ID checks, laws regarding the sale of alcohol, signs of intoxication, overserving and methods for cutting someone off with the overall message being, it’s never worth the risk to sell alcohol to someone who should not have it. The fines that can be imposed on both your Employer and YOU can be in the thousands, with some mistakes punishable with Prison time. You don’t want to ever have to live with knowing that you contributed to someone’s death because you served someone who has had too much already.

A responsible bartender is a respectable bartender and a professional bartender is also approachable, mindful, diplomatic, patient, assertive, efficient, fun, grateful, creative and honest. It has always been a position of power and influence and the best ones utilize that for the enjoyment and safety of their guests. Bartenders are often the final word when it comes to decisions about guests, TV channel, music volume, last call, and closing time which means they are always practicing diplomacy and atmosphere management. It has always been my opinion that people don’t go to bars to buy booze, they go to buy companionship and ambiance so it is imperative that the bartender understand and mix all the ingredients appropriately if they want to create the most enjoyable and lucrative experience for the guests, themselves, and the boss.

Bartending is a profession, not a job, that takes skill, knowledge, awareness, and passion to do it well. The most memorable and admiral bartenders are the ones who do it for the enjoyment and thrill, not for the money or bragging rights and it is obvious when you compare the two that they are not cut from the same cloth. It is not to say that good bartenders don’t have bad days, but they actively leave their woes at home unlike drink pourers who feel they’re the boss, it’s their bar, and you owe them admiration in the form of tips for simply standing behind the bar and acknowledging you exist. They aren’t entertaining, engaging, welcoming, or grateful and they do a big disservice to the profession and business of hospitality.

Big City Nites is committed to sharing insight about the traits and practices that make the best bartenders successful and what principles will make you a more successful and celebrated star of the bar. This the first post in a series of blogs that will discuss the nuances of bar and bartender etiquette. They will be based on years and years of real life experience and observation that has taken place all over the United States during a variety of events and situations. It has been an awesome career and I would love to see more people embrace a passion for it and succeed while exemplifying the cool and fulfilling living that it can be.

I hope you find value and enjoy what is shared and please do share your feedback and comments. I thank you for visiting Big City Nites dot com.

-Queen Eileen,

Big City Bartender Extraordinaire