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.

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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

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Letter from Sacramento [dated February 25, 1866]

Sacramento Saloons as Observed by Mark Twain

I arrived in the City of Saloons this morning at 3 o’clock, in company with several other disreputable characters, on board the good steamer Antelope, Captain Poole, commander. I know I am departing from usage in calling Sacramento the City of Saloons instead of the City of the Plains, but I have my justification — I have not found any plains, here, yet, but I have been in most of the saloons, and there are a good many of them. You can shut your eyes and march into the first door you come to and call for a drink, and the chances are that you will get it. And in a good many instances, after you have assuaged your thirst, you can lay down a twenty and remark that you “copper the ace,” and you will find that facilities for coppering the ace are right there in the back room. In addition to the saloons, there are quite a number of mercantile houses and private dwellings. They have already got one capitol here, and will have another when they get it done. They will have fine dedicatory ceremonies when they get it done, but you will have time to prepare for that — you needn’t rush down here right away by express. You can come as slow freight and arrive in time to get a good seat.