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


Sacto Storytellers & Sol Peligro @ Blue Lamp Friday July 20th

Sacto Storytellers & Sol Peligro
Sacto Storytellers & Sol Peligro at Blue Lamp Sacramento Friday, July 20

Yelp Doesn’t Help

In the era of online review based decision making, websites like Facebook, Yahoo, Google Reviews, and Yelp have become a driving force in consumer spending.  With any sort of mass media social influence, consumers have invested a lot of time into shaping these sites into what they are.  Is that always going to present the most honest perspective of a business and the value you will derive from it?  You would hope so, but there are a lot of factors that skew that view dramatically and you may not know just how powerful they can be.

Diligent Business owners now make it a regular practice to monitor and respond to reviews online, whether good or bad.  To a consumer, this shows that a business owner cares about the experiences they have and are willing to address any disappointment that gets posted on review sites such as Yelp.  This practice can also motivate online blackmail which is already something Business owners take issue with.  My question is, are these sites regulated enough to prevent this form of harassment and should they be regulated more critically?

Considering that sites like Yelp, publicize Recommended Reviews while essentially hiding other reviews, the impression that a consumer gets is not always based on a fair or accurate portrayal of past guest experience.  It is also common for a business owner to inherit the negative reputation left by former ownership or management.  This can be a time consuming for the new business owner to address and they are not always successful.  Additionally, a lot of small businesses only get a handful of reviews from consumers so one low rating can have a tremendous effect on the the business’s overall rating.  It can be argued that this can severely impact a business in a financially negative way.

In a strange twist of Irony, as of the date of this post Yelp, itself, has 8387 reviews and and overall rating of two out of five stars.  Here is a link to see for yourself, Link to Yelp’s Yelp rating .

black and white hands mask bussinesman
Photo by Vijay Putra on

You can read from the reviews that their marketing tactics, billing practices, and overall business is not well received by the public.  They are consistently accused of manipulation, fraud, and misinformation.  One would think that a business built on the public display of public opinion would be a little more careful with their own worldwide online reputation.

Yelp, and online reviews in general, cost businesses millions of dollars in management costs, loss in potential new business, and customer retaliation reimbursement.  How can this be allowed to be legal? The fact that anyone can go online and leave a one star review without much explanation or accountability should be concerning to lawmakers.  The monetization of coercion is basically what review sites have been able to thrive on and no site does it better than Yelp.

A lot of people believe Yelp’s model is misleading, abusive, fraudulent, and bad for business over all.  They also charge for business ad placement and oppression of competitors visibility which seems in direct conflict of the business model they promote of a business not being able to remove a consumer review.  It would seem that under closer examination, Yelp is exactly what it’s been used for,  a vehicle for online blackmail and causing financial harm to business owners.

Yelp Hypocrisy in Business Practices
They also charge for business ad placement and oppression of competitors visibility which seems in direct conflict of the business model they promote of a business not being able to remove a consumer review.

I think, Yelp should Help themselves by being more honest, careful, fair, and responsive to the needs and concerns of the very people who make them relevant instead of blaming algorithms for the influence their tactics will  have on a visitor and potential buyer of your products or services.

50th Anniversary Dinner Saturday, July 14 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

50th Anniversary Dinner

Saturday, July 14

6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

You only turn 50 once…don’t miss the chance to celebrate the Bogle family’s golden milestone with an amazing evening in the vineyard. Wine tasting, a sit down dinner and dancing will be capped off with a special surprise at the end of the night.

General Admission: $75 *This is an adult only event, thank you. No wine club discount.