Bartenders of Reddit were asked: “What is the craziest story you have from behind the mahogany?” These are some of the best stories.
1/21 I worked for these two brothers who owned the place, they’re from Ireland. Anyway the cops in this town are EXTREMELY power [hungry], from lack of anything better to do in a [low-crime area]. Anyway, this guy is at the bar getting [drunk]. He’s nice though. He walks outside for a cig, stumbles a little bit, leans against a tree, finishes up and comes back in. A couple cops follow him into the bar, and come up behind him.
They accost him…not sure for what reason, he was quiet outside and I watched him the whole time, and he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. Anyway they grab him and say “You’re drunk! You’re under arrest for public intoxication”. Now, yeah the dude is drunk, but he’s been in before and he always cabs home or something.
I say “Hey he is NOT drunk in public, he’s in a private establishment and leave him alone, he’s not harming anyone”. I admit, I’m no lawyer, so I’m not sure of the technicalities behind him being in public or not, but it was still [messed] up. The cops tell me to shut up, which I don’t, so they then say “OK fine, now he’ll be drunk in public!” and drag this guy out of the bar into the street.
I’m flipping out, but what could I do? One of my bosses was in back, and hears whats going on (only a few seconds have passed). Now I had worked with the other brother before, and this was my first time working with/meeting this particular brother. Being the scrappy little Irishman that he is, he comes out and screams “WHAT IS THIS?!” And hops over the bar, runs out the front, and TACKLES one of the officers to defend his patron. Other cop lets go of their original target, and whips out his nightstick and starts taxing my boss, while he wails on the other cop.
He gets beaten pretty badly, and there’s a lot of folks watching by this point, and the cops look around and simply leave. A couple employees bring my boss back in, and he’s got blood all over his face, he looks at me and says, “Hey there, what’s your name, lad? Don’t believe we’ve met yet”. This all went down so quickly that I just stood there pokerfaced until that moment, then we all had a laugh and got drunk. There were no legal repercussions on any party involved in this event.
2/21 I tend bar at an Irish Bar in MN. I like to work week nights because they aren’t as busy as weekends but I still make plenty of dough. Anyway, this was a Monday night, it was late in the evening so I was the only employee left working. The manager and other servers had gone home and I was left alone with 8-10 of my regulars. In walked a young man who had clearly been over-served somewhere else. He sat down and tried to order a drink but couldn’t articulate what he wanted. I told him that all I was giving him tonight was water. He was actually really cool about this and drank a few glasses while he sat at the bar. After a while he asked if he could have a drink now? (kinda reminded me of a young child asking for a treat). I told him no and he said “That’s cool, I am just gonna go home.” I asked if he was driving and he said “Yep.”
I told him I couldn’t let him drive and that I would call him a cab. He said that was stupid and he could drive home fine. I told him that if he got in the car I was obligated to call the police. He snapped! He said “You want to call the cops? I’ll call the cops myself!” He proceeded to dial 911 and hand me his cell phone. I spoke with the dispatch and explained what was going on (she actually laughed). While I was talking to the 911 dispatcher, the young man realized what was going on and started asking for his phone back. I hung up with the dispatch and tried to keep the young man in the bar till the police arrived. He was getting very angry and so I finally gave him his phone back and he ran out of the bar and climbed into his car, peeling out of the parking lot and through two red lights. 2 seconds later 4 squad cars came flying down the street and proceeded to pull him over.
3/21 I was bartending at this German Sports bar in the late afternoon/early evening when two of my regulars came in. After a few rounds one of the men says he’s going to take a smoke and for his friend to watch his things.
The guy gets up from his chair, takes a few steps patting down his pockets and realizes he forgot his smokes. While still walking toward the door, he says “Hey “Cleetus”, throw me a cig.” His friend opens his pack, and without looking chucks it in the direction of his friend walking toward the door.
At that exact moment, he spun around, and the cigarette landed straight in his mouth, in smoking position. He continued to turn back to face the door then stopped dead in his tracks, realizing what had just happened. We all then continued to freak out and realize that will never happen again in a million years.
4/21 I work in a big brewpub right on the edge of a big nightlife/swanky section of town. One night it was pretty slow and this one woman walks in and sits at the bar and asks for garlic. I assume she’s from nearby, nicely dressed and polite speaker, maybe she needs some garlic to cook with. So I run down to the kitchen and fill a small to-go box with some garlic cloves. I come back, hand her the box, and she can barely contain herself. Saying how I and another server she had seen that day (apparently she had been at a friend’s party earlier on, might explain the odd behaviour) “restored her faith in people”. She handed me a ten dollar bill to try and pay, I told her it was on the house. So she put the bill in my pocket, sat down at the bar, and started munching on the raw garlic cloves.
She ordered up a grey goose and soda, so I certainly didn’t mind her hanging around the bar. So she proceeded to munch on garlic and tell me a bit about herself, how she was a local, doing well with her and her friend running a small business together, and asked if I was single because she knew some girls who would absolutely love me. (I lied on that one because I wasn’t too comfortable with the thought of a slightly-off-her-rocker 40 year old trying to set me up.) After another vodka soda and some more garlic, she proceeds to give me a $20 tip (more than 100% tip) and a scarf from her business to “give to your girl”, as she put it.
I proceeded to trade the scarf for 15 beer slips from my boss.
5/21 I used to work in a small pub on the bottom floor of a fairly large concert venue. During our Halloween party I had to jump the bar and break up a fight between two guys dressed in the same exact Mario costume
Apparently Mario A asked Mario B’s gf who ironically enough was dressed as Princess Peach, if she wanted to get with the “real Super Mario” he then showed her his erection pressed through his uber-tight overalls and said “How about that Mushroom?”…At that point Mario B went all Smash Bros. on him.
The expression on the Police Officer’s face was priceless as he walked in and saw us trying to separate two drunk, bruised and bloody Marios.
6/21 Naked man comes in, asks for drink. The bartender calls the police. Police come, cuff him, wrap him in newspaper because he had [crapped] himself, and carry him away.
7/21 Guy tries to get server’s attention by poking her with a fingernail file. Draws blood. Bartender boots him with extreme prejudice. Guy comes back later that week and the same bartender was working. Bartender asks him what he thinks he’s doing there and guy rears back and pokes the bartender in the eye as hard as he can. Not a he-tried-to-hit-him-but-accidentally-poked-him poke, but a I’m-gonna-poke-you-in-the-eye-like-I’ve-done-this-1000-times-before poke. Apparently eye-poking is all in the elbow. Cops cart him off and server and bartender eventually testify against him in court.
8/21 Bartending one night I had a group of younger kids (near 21) come in. I recognized the girl from a mutual friend we shared. Her man introduced himself as “Satan” and proceeded to be a [jerk] the entire night. Finally I had to put him out. He was being verbally abusive to his girl and others. He refused to pay I confronted and was…convincing. He actually lowered his head and handed me his entire wallet. I refused to touch his wallet got his girl to pull the money out. Apparently super upset from me “putting him in his place” he was snapping on his girlfriend to the point where she came back inside and asked me (and others) to keep him away from her. Because she knew me she asked if she could leave with me. I told her it wasn’t a good idea (for many reasons). But I let her stay until she got a ride to pick her up. She left.
30 minutes later I saw police cars and an ambulance scream by. I didn’t find out until the next day when my boss called me asking me to come in…The police wanted to speak to me. He effin killed that girl. He stabbed her through the torso with a decorative katana. And my understanding is he claimed in wrestling the katana from her, yada yada, basically plead to some petty manslaughter get out in 2 years type of [stuff]. I told the police everything I could to get him put away. His aggressive demeanour, verbal abuse to her, threatening me. I’ll always wonder if maybe me standing up to him triggered some response in him. It was a waste. She was beautiful. And that’s the story about when I met Satan.
9/21 I used to bartend for an upscale catering company–weddings, corporate events, etc. Worst story ever was a white-trashy re-wedding. They only contracted our company for the bar, and it was a cheaper place doing the food. Worst night of tips I had at that job, by a large statistical margin. But that wasn’t the worst part.
Both bride and groom had children from a previous marriage. The groom’s son, in particular, was quite endearing to me. He was middle-school age, and smart as all hell–the rare small child who can hold a semi-adult conversation and hold his own. I kept him stocked with Shirley Temples all night, and we talked a fair amount of baseball.
So the wedding party decided to commemorate the occasion with shot glasses for the wedding party. Said shot glasses were put to use, aggressively, throughout the night. At the end, as we’re packing everything up, one of the shot glasses is left on the counter.
Most of the guests have gone by this point. Both bride and groom are well into their ’40s, so by 10:30, even, the place was fairly empty. I ask around about the shot glass, and find out that it belongs to the groom. He is seated with his son and the bride’s daughter at a table by the dance floor. I walk over.
The groom is barely coherent, passing out in the chair. The children are trying in vain to keep him awake. At the same time as me, a few other people notice this situation and begin assisting with him. With the situation under control, I want as little to do with this sordid reminder of the broken home I come from. I set the shot glass on the table, and go to leave. But as I take a step away, the little girl tells me “Please don’t give it back to him, he’ll drink more then!”
I stop, and the son grabs the shot glass and pockets it. He reassures me that he’ll keep it from his dad for the rest of the night. The look in his eyes tells me that he means it. It’s a look I know all too well. I’ve never wanted to quit a job more in my life than that drive home.
10/21 Every bartender has a gift and mine is remembering peoples drinks and the specific way it’s made. If you’re picky about your martini, you want me to be your bartender. Anyway, a Rabbi in his late 60’s would come in every Monday at 6:30 pm- not dinner rush yet (8pm in NYC) but people are starting to trickle in. I never knew his name and just always called him “Rabbi”.
Rabbi’s drink was a Rob Roy, straight up with red label scotch and barely a splash of sweet vermouth shaken in plain ice then drained. Then I added the booze and swiftly stirred in order to cool the drink without watering it down. Finished it off with a lemon twist wipe on the rim of a chilled glass.
Rabbi had been a regular for four years when one day, I saw him walking in so I began making his drink. The bar was unusually busy and all six tables and all bar stools were filled. I poured Rabbi’s drink and then went to take care of tables. I was slammed.
Was making a drink order when I notice Rabbi not drinking, but instead stiffening up for a moment before he fell backwards and completely hit the ground….hard. I jumped over the bar and saw that he was holding his arm. I thought it was a heart attack but not sure. He asked me to call a special ambulance service (can’t remember the name but it was Hasidic).
I ran across the street to a Bodega and hurriedly asked for aspirin. Didn’t have time to pay, just ran back to the bar and shoved it in Rabbi’s mouth and made him swallow it with water. I was shocked when dinner customers were complaining about not having ketchup and yelled at the entire bar, “Can’t you see we have a man who may be having a heart attack? [Screw] your ketchup”. The ambulance showed up and unfortunately dropped him twice I got fed up with them and called 911. The fire dept. was there first and took care of the entire situation.
I thought that Rabbi had died because I hadn’t seen him in several weeks. One day, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Rabbi limping into the bar with the assistance of a younger man who turned out to be his son. His son told me that his dad had insisted on visiting me to thank me for saving his life. It turned out that three of his arteries were almost fully closed and if he hadn’t had the aspirin, he would have died.
11/21 A major thing that I’ve had to deal with [is] people stealing [stuff] from the club I work at when they think I’m not looking. One of my co-workers had previously beat up a patron for attempting to steal a tip jar. He was just like “I honestly didn’t even think about it, I just went for him… that’s our livelihood!”
So what happened a few months later is I’m working the bar on a busy night and my tip jars are full, and I’m watching them like a hawk. What do I see? Some [jerk] trying to take one! My co-worker was totally right about acting before thinking because before the guy even knew it, I had squirrel monkey’d over the bar and grabbed this guy. I had my tip jar and was just going at him until the bouncers came and took over. I’m sorry but there was at least $100 in that tip jar, and I can not afford to lose that.
I am a 5’3”, 120 lb girl btw. Yes I felt like a [rebel].
12/21 I also work at an Irish Pub (in the Netherlands) and we have slot machines. Our regulars spend a lot of money on them. When I first started working there almost a year ago there was a female regular so caught up in the machine that she didn’t want to stop and take a bathroom break.
Keep in mind that it was a quiet afternoon and the only ones there were her and some other regulars, so she would not have to be afraid of losing her spot. So she proceeded to urinate on the stool she was sitting on. So we kicked her and the stool out, got a new stool and I personally never saw her in the pub again.
13/21 I work in a hotel bar in the UK, I’ve seen some interesting things over the last three years of working in this place. My favourite story, though, is the one I trot out when I talk with the new staff that I end up training on the bar. The day that I turned up to find a [poop] behind the bar.
It was a lovely colour of brown, a bestial brown, if you are a Warhammer fan. I was a little surprised, so I informed the duty manager of it, who came around, had a little laugh about it with me then I cleaned it up. End of the story? No.
I started asking around the staff to hear if anything else similar had happened in the last few days, trying to identify our phantom [defecator]. It turned out that this one guest had some mental problems and had been defecating at random throughout the hotel and on the bus that he was part of the tour with. I think he was with his parents on the trip. He’d [pooped] in his room, he’d [pooped] outside his hotel room door, he’d [pooped] on the couch. He also wandered out of the hotel on his own and into the town center and was terrorizing the local branch of the Halifax bank. I like to use it as an idea of how each day at work can be completely unlike the one before.
14/21 I used to work at a horse racing track, the place was over a hundred years old and had all sorts or weird corridors and cheap walls. We did Friday night racing and about 5pm this guy was already [drunk] drinking scotch, he offered to slip me $5 if I would give him free booze all night.. yea right lol.
Eventually he goes missing and his friend who was a lot more sober and quite nice asks if I’ve seen him, I say no I haven’t see him since around 6pm and now its about 9p. All of a sudden I hear BAM!!!! BANG!!!! BOOM!!!! an extremely loud commotion coming from the ladies washroom soon followed by a man covered head to toe in blood casually walking out of the bathroom trying to act as nonchalant as possible, like nothing happened and the whole bar wasn’t staring at him.
Turns out the guy had found a place were there was some construction in a restricted area and was climbing around in the walls and eventually found the ladies room where we suspect he was watching women pee. A support beam must have gave way or he just slipped, he must have fell at least 20 feet through all sorts of wood, metals, wires and then into a bathroom stall. The average age of a women customer in my bar was at least mid 50’s so I hope he had fun. And yes, he was apprehended by security and arrested.
15/21 It was Black Friday in Britain. As a foreign student in the country, I initially had no idea what that meant. The other bartenders warned me that it was going to be a rough shift because Black Friday in Britain is the Friday before Christmas when most offices have their annual Christmas parties and a lot of people who didn’t normally drink much would be drinking that day. Sure enough, it was the busiest night I’d ever worked there and it was also the only night that I witnessed a brawl in this normally calm old English pub. We even had to call the cops to break up the fight.
Finally, the long and tiring shift came to a close and as the over-crowded bar started emptying out, the other bartenders and I suddenly noticed that there was a drunk woman sitting at a table by herself, completely passed out. This was normally a quiet bar where we could keep an eye on all patrons and ensure that no one was that drunk. However, it was such a busy night with so many people ordering drinks that someone was possibly taking drinks to her and we just did not notice her there till very few people were left. We tried very hard to wake her up by saying that it was time to go and we could call her a cab. There was absolutely no sign of her getting up. All the remaining patrons said that they didnt know her and eventually, everyone left. We checked her purse and found an ID. We then had her name and had a possible current address but no cab would drive this woman home in her condition. We continued cleaning up as we talked through possible solutions. Finally, one bartender found a note with 20 pounds that had been left at the corner of the bar. The note was from her friend. It gave us the drunk womans name and address and pretty much said that she was too drunk so they had left her here and wanted us to get her home. I dunno about the others, but I was pretty shocked that whoever she was with had just left her there, passed out drunk on her own in a bar.
One of bartenders (an Indian girl its relevant later) agreed to drive the drunk woman home if one of us could go with her. Two of us volunteered to help – me (also an Indian girl) and this white British guy. The three of us carried the woman out to the car cos she couldnt be woken up. As we carried her, the drunk woman proceeded to pee herself all over the carpet that wed just vacuumed and across the stairs that she was being carried over. We were all grossed out and screaming because we had pee on us and somehow the combination of peeing and us screaming woke the drunk woman up. Even though the woman had partially woken up and had peed all over everything, the nice bartender girl still agreed to let the woman inside her car because that was still the best way to get this over with we did not want to leave her on her own.
The drunk woman kept passing out throughout the ride and had no idea what was going on. After we finally got to her apartment block, we checked repeated with the woman to see if this was really her apartment so that we could get her safely to her bed. Then two of us (the other indian girl and I) carried the woman to her 2nd floor apartment because she could barely stand up by herself. As we carried her up the stairs, she looked at us both and said who are you two weirdos. I dont know why she said this, perhaps because we were both Indian and it was small town without many foreign nationals, but somehow it just made everything a lot worse. Anyway, we snapped at her for the statement but dropped her safely on her bed and kept the measly 20 pounds her [jerk] friends left us.
16/21 I was bartending in a sports bar when a customer started getting rather unruly. He was shouting loudly and crudely at women, and pushing his friends around when they tried to control him. The owner of the bar, my boss, came up to him and asked him to leave. The customer was probably 6’4″ 230lbs, and my boss is a 5’4″ 150lb Korean dude in his forties with a bad temper. The big guy tells him to go [screw] himself while his smaller friend is in front of him, holding him back.
My boss jumps up and ROUNDHOUSE KICKS THE GUY IN THE FACE over his friends head. Guy drops like a rock and everyone is stunned. Guy’s friends pick him up and they leave, cops eventually come but don’t [care].
17/21 Bartending at an Indian restaurant just outside of DC. Big bar, not many people ever come to the actual bar, simply go straight to dinner. But one woman sits at the bar and looks at our appetizer menu. She asks if there’s anything that isn’t spicy because apparently she had just come from surgery where a portion of her tongue was removed. I pointed out the most bland thing, and put in an order while she ordered a vodka tonic.
When the order comes out, she eats a few bites and proceeds to sweat profusely. She runs to the bathroom repeatedly and is freaking out all the while asking for multiple vodka tonics. After our owner came out and apologized, he offered to take chicken and have it cooked in bland yogurt. He gave her the drinks for free and the specially made chicken as well.
She then freaked out a little further when he left, saying she would take it and feed it to her dog and asked for one more vodka tonic before she left. Either she was seriously [weird], or deviously smart. Who comes to an Indian restaurant after having a portion of your tongue removed and sensitivity to spices?
18/21 I work in fine dining. You know, the guy with the vest and the garter? That’s me. So I have a rich guy alone at the bar that has run up a $700 tab. Meanwhile, two scumbag Steve’s (I mean as ghetto looking as white boys an look) walk into my bar and ask what cognacs we have. I give them the list and he said, “We’ll have two shots of this,” pointing to the Louis XIII. I ask if he realizes that the stuff costs $150 an ounce. Dude says, “Yeah, man.” Alright then, shots are 1 1/2 ounces.
Fast forward 10 minutes and three rounds and their tab is $1200. Remember the guy sitting alone? H is making fun of them the whole time. These dudes proceed to pay me in cash and gave me a whopping $5 tip. Then the rich guy that was sitting alone decides to pay. His credit card is denied. Dude runs out the bar as soon as my back is turned.
19/21 I was bartending/waitressing in a bar back home. Small town, this bar tends to attract the older crowd, more of a pub really. One of our busier nights we had a decently mixed crowd including two young couples sitting together. They were all nice enough, polite and tipped well, each guy had an arm around their respective girl and they seemed to be having fun.
About half an hour later the other waitress comes up to me and asks about the table. It’s not a huge bar, I know who she’s talking about when she describes them. She says we have to kick them out. I thought maybe they got in a fight with someone or something, so I asked her what happened. “I just caught them having sex in the bathroom”. That’s right, not one guy and a girlfriend, the two guys. I guess she had been standing beside the door when a customer opened the door and everyone got an eyeful. (We had single occupancy bathrooms, with a damn lock!) The girlfriends had been sitting at the table the whole time, unaware as far as I know. When we went to ask them to leave they were already gone.
20/21 Bartender shatters a pint glass and manages to get multiple cuts on both hands. There’s no back up and it’s too many cuts for bandaids. He puts latex gloves on, duct-tapes them around his wrists, and bartends with the gloves slowly filling with blood for a couple of hours.
21/21 I used to work at a real down south redneck bar called Harold’s Corral in Cave Creek, Az. The regulars that would come in were generally pretty nice, and even with a large amount of Hells Angels bikers coming in, and the occasional fight, it was actually pretty tame.
One Saturday night there was an absolute prick sitting at the bar. He was in his late 50’s, and all night he was hitting on the young (under 18) food runners, and bar backs, and just being a general nuisance. The situation only got worse later on that night when he was properly wasted. I only noticed that he was [drunk] when he got off….well fell off his stool to go the the bathroom. Usually in these situations the best thing to do is just stop serving him and let him find his way home. Regardless, I didn’t really care all too much because I just got to go home early. I walked outside the front door, where there was an outdoor patio area, and the parking lot for the bar. I lit up a cigarette and was checking out a Sweet yellow Testarossa parked right at the entrance, when out of nowhere, the drunk [jerk] from the bar, keys in hand, trips, falls and smacks his face on the drivers side door of the Ferrari. Broken nose, blood everywhere, and dirt and rocks all over his face.
It turned out it was actually his Ferrari, and the owners of the bar knew him by name. So here’s where it gets even funnier. The owners, bouncer, and some people who just saw the incident are helping him, I see my manager calling his wife to come pick him up. Five minutes later and he’s in his wife’s minivan going home to the kids. Nighty night.