What to expect when running an open bar

User avatar
theCryptofishist
Posts: 40313
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:28 am
Burning Since: 2017
Location: In Exile

Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:49 pm

Gizmo wrote:Hide your trash cans. If somebody asks to put their empty beer can in your trash, say "we don't have any trash cans." Really. This goes for any theme camp with a lot of traffic.

Never give out cups.
Yes, that trash thing is Incrdibly True! I would say a few cups so that if someone special comes by--that's why i said get something imprinted on it. Then it becomes a gift. And yeah, not for the crowd.

So, everyone buy at least one cup. Buy two and give one away. I mean, not the bar people, but just burners reading this.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

User avatar
Badger
Posts: 3322
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 2:43 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by Badger » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:07 pm

And another thing....

Filter out the folks who skulk around expecting service for nothing in return by NOT providing cups/glasses/etc.

Consider making it a policy to serve nothing to anyone who isn't prepared.

Honestly, I know of at least two camps who followed through with this and stuck firmly to it. Their experience was that the the people who were perpared(TM) were also among the most engaging.

May not work for everyone but but it sure saves on bullshit incidentals. Look at it like providing a clean toilet to folks except they have to bring their own toilet paper. Cooking breakfast but you have to bring our own fork, plate and spoon... etc., etc.
Desert dogs drink deep.

User avatar
BitterDan
Posts: 1163
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:45 pm
Location: Moonshine Tavern - 9'oclock, bitch

Post by BitterDan » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:14 pm

Seperate your personal areas from the bar area and enforce it. You will end up with people who drift into your personal areas and pass out for a day or two if you don't keep them out.

Try to make sure people finish their drinks or you end up with a sloppy mess to deal with. If you do not serve unprepared people this is not a problem, mostly.

Cut people off before the pass out in your bar (or worse yet need medical assistance). We had several bartenders who serve you until you died but I would cut people off all the time. Most people are understanding. One guy tried to punch one of our bartenders and was promptly hauled outside (where he passed out and had to be hauled away in an ambulance).

The cops will come. Count on it. We were shut down at least once while the sheriffs made sure everything was in order.

If I am not mistaken we brought:
40 Gallons - Moonshine
100 Gallons - Misc Hard Liquor
6-10 - Kegs of Beer
A shit-ton of mixers

P.S. We were on 9 oclock plaza so we were in a high-traffic area.
Camp FuckIt + MT - 7:15 & D (maybe)

User avatar
pizzamancer
Posts: 357
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:56 pm
Burning Since: 2008

Post by pizzamancer » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:11 am

Just a comment from the flip side here. If you found this thread looking for what to expect when you go into a bar, here are some tips/guidelines:

1. Bring your own cup. Don't ask for one, even if they have them, you don't know where it's been.

2. Don't demand a drink. No one likes a prick.

3. Be prepared to entertain, and be a sport about it if you are 'forced' to do something to get a drink.

4. Don't insult the bar tender or the theme. I saw some ass ask for menstrual fluid at Spike's last year, and clapped when they literally threw him out.

5. Keep hold of your stuff. Shit has a way of walking away at Burning Man. Even if someone picks it up by mistake, you aren't gettin' it back.

6. Be cool.
Image

Dato
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:22 pm

Post by Dato » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:31 am

BitterDan wrote: If I am not mistaken we brought:
40 Gallons - Moonshine
100 Gallons - Misc Hard Liquor
6-10 - Kegs of Beer
A shit-ton of mixers

P.S. We were on 9 oclock plaza so we were in a high-traffic area.
Correction - we had 300+ (THREE hundred) gallons of hardA.


We went through most of it. We were, however open 24 hours a day from Sat (before the gates opened) at about 9pm until sunday after the burn.

icnivad
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:43 pm

Post by icnivad » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:32 am

[quote="BitterDan"]If I am not mistaken we brought:
40 Gallons - Moonshine
100 Gallons - Misc Hard Liquor
6-10 - Kegs of Beer
A shit-ton of mixers[/quote]

Wow, BitterDan, that's a lot more than we were planning. How many hours a day were you open? How much do you think you might have gone through in a single day?

And thanks again, these responses have been gold. We'll be careful with the underage folk especially.

Dato
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:22 pm

Post by Dato » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:34 am

^^ See my response above yours. BitterDan was off by a couple hundred gallons. haha

icnivad
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:43 pm

Post by icnivad » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:41 am

Double shitcakes, Batman! That's a crazy amount.

What camp were you? What time was your busiest?

User avatar
Ugly Dougly
Posts: 17183
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:31 am
Burning Since: 1996
Location: เชียงใหม่

Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:57 am

What's wrong with cups, I presume you mean paper cups?

Can't they just be tossed in the fire before they become MOOP?

Dato
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:22 pm

Post by Dato » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:01 am

Moonshine tavern. We were on the 9 oclock plaza, and it was busy alllll the time.

Don't look at our numbers too seriously. Like I said, we were in a really busy spot (right next to ice camp, as well), and we were open 24x8.

It was pretty much like this the whole time:


I'll mirror everyone suggestions. Don't bring cups. People will leave them half-full all over the place. Close sometimes. Refuse people when needed.

I think another thing to note, is that moonshine has been around for something like 6 or 8 years (Ran by good friends of ours, we only combined forces with them last year in order to get the finances we needed to run the mad house), so there were A LOT of people who seeked it out along with all the riff-raff that just wondered in. :)


EDIT: In response to the above. The biggest problem with cups, is that when you give someone a disposable cup, and they are drunk, they are very likely to leave it sitting around your bar half-full. Two years ago, our friends had one of those big plastic garbage bins half-full of leftover mixed drinks. That's naaaaaaasty.

User avatar
Charlie_in_OC
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:40 am
Location: Costa Mesa California

Post by Charlie_in_OC » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:04 am

X2 on hiding your trash cans and having any patrons haul away thier moop. Amazing how many bags of trash we hauled away last year.

After asking if someone was of legal drinking age, regardless of age, I always told patrons that they were here for our entertainment, what can they do to entertain the bar and earn your drink?

Keep drinks simple, mixer, alcohol and ice. Nothing worse than someone coming up to the bar and wanting a drink that requires 17 different ingredients.[/s]
"Do not follow where the path may lead; go instead, where there is no
path and leave a trail of clothes." - Pastor Philip

Dato
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:22 pm

Post by Dato » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:07 am

^^ I love fucking with people that order something fancy.

"Hi, I'd like a crown and coke"
*poors a vodka and grape drink*
"Hey, that's not what I asked for!!!!"
"Oh, Sorry! This one's on the house, then"

lol

User avatar
C.f.M.
Posts: 3610
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:28 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Stag Camp 810&D

Post by C.f.M. » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:09 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:What's wrong with cups, I presume you mean paper cups?

Can't they just be tossed in the fire before they become MOOP?
Buying cups = more cost to camp, space used to transport and store them, increased moop factor and, most of all, anti-radical self-reliance.

Unless it is a souveniry type of thing, which would be rad.

Otherwise, it is just an unecessary expense and trouble.

Not everybody walks around with a personal moop bag for their refuse. People will leave them (and who knows what else). "Oh, public area! I can dump my trash!"

Those who happenstancely are without cup would get one from me, but those who don't have a cup and expect everything to be done for them by theme camps get a kick in the dick. GET OFF MAH LAND!

User avatar
Charlie_in_OC
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:40 am
Location: Costa Mesa California

Post by Charlie_in_OC » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:15 am

Couple of other thoughts.

Have a bike rack or atleast a bike corral.

Bring bolt cutters, every morning when doing bar cleanup we always had stray bikes locked to camp artwork. We collected all the strays and piled them up across the street on the Esplanade. Most of the owners found thier way back after a day or two but there were atleast a dozen bikes that sat there all week.
"Do not follow where the path may lead; go instead, where there is no
path and leave a trail of clothes." - Pastor Philip

User avatar
gyre
Posts: 15457
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:01 pm
Location: ΦάÏ

Post by gyre » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:37 am

Never thought about lost locked bikes.
Rangers usually have cutters somewhere.

Small sharp and closely adjusted work best on cables.
3 foot or bigger with different adjustment for larger.

A dremel rechargeable will cut anything with a cutting wheel.

WARNING
A SKILLED USE
PRACTICE AND WEAR PROTECTION ALWAYS.
KEEP OTHERS AWAY WHEN CUTTING
THIS ALWAYS GENERATES SHRAPNEL

I like mine so much I upgraded to the higher end model.
I'll pass on my 2 speed for cost, and it was on closeout.
I used it once.

User avatar
Ugly Dougly
Posts: 17183
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:31 am
Burning Since: 1996
Location: เชียงใหม่

Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:38 am

Charlie_in_OC wrote:Couple of other thoughts.

Have a bike rack or atleast a bike corral.
All glories to Charlie!

No buzzkill like tripping over a pile of bikes in the dark. Curses on bloody ankles and those who brought them!

User avatar
Fire_Moose
Posts: 2488
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:40 am
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

Post by Fire_Moose » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:18 am

A note on cups:

If you do bring cups, bring a 15lb bowling ball also, if someone doesn't have a cup you can give them one but they also have to hold the bowling ball. If You see them set the ball down, ask for the drink back. worked pretty well for us. But then again, like everyone has said, you ate going to have TONS of trash and TONS of bar swill
2K8 Burning Man Virgin 2K11 Camp Envy
2K9 Camp Envy 2k12 Fucking Flamingoes
2k10 Stag Camp 2k13 Camp Envy

User avatar
C.f.M.
Posts: 3610
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:28 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Stag Camp 810&D

Post by C.f.M. » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:22 am

Fire_Moose wrote:A note on cups:

If you do bring cups, bring a 15lb bowling ball also, if someone doesn't have a cup you can give them one but they also have to hold the bowling ball. If You see them set the ball down, ask for the drink back. worked pretty well for us. But then again, like everyone has said, you ate going to have TONS of trash and TONS of bar swill
Love it. Will probably steal it for the next Alchemy bar.

icnivad
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:43 pm

Post by icnivad » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:48 am

haha. Love the bowling ball idea.

Also, good point on bolt cutters. I would never have thought of that, but I have a 4' I can bring. That thing can cut through pretty much anything.

Also, we'll take people's advice and not bring cups.

We expect a fair amount of traffic since we are right on the esplanade at 7:30, but I think our bar will only be open for dance party evenings, so that should keep our consumption down.

User avatar
BitterDan
Posts: 1163
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:45 pm
Location: Moonshine Tavern - 9'oclock, bitch

Post by BitterDan » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:09 pm

I knew dato would clear up my mistake on how much liquor

User avatar
BitterDan
Posts: 1163
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:45 pm
Location: Moonshine Tavern - 9'oclock, bitch

Post by BitterDan » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:31 pm

BTW, Moonshine opened Saturday before the gate opened and did not close until Sunday morning after the burn. Keep that in mind when using our tally.

User avatar
Dr. Pyro
Posts: 4717
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 8:11 am
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Barbie Death Camp & Wine Bistro
Location: Meadow Vista, CA
Contact:

Post by Dr. Pyro » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:12 pm

Our experience is quite a bit different from most everyone else's. At Barbie Death Camp & Wine Bistro we insist you use our cups. They are three ounces (about 1/2 glass of traditional wine glass) and that way we can control how much people drink. Take a 16 ounce growler and fill it to the brim with wine and you'll have people barfing all over Gigsville, which in and of itself isn't such a bad idea. It completely depends on what kind of a bar you have. For most bars, with mixed drinks or beer on tap, I think your point is valuable. But for a wine bistro, not so much.

Shagy
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 8:32 am

Post by Shagy » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:08 pm

We provide 2 oz paper ketchup cups with cold sake. Everyone gets a clean cup, we monitor our volume by keeping count of our cup consumption and shut down when we hit 500/day. We burn them after (the cups). We go through about a gallon an hour during the day, less at night as we are not too lit-up. The small 6' bar keeps the heavy crowds down, since noobody wants to stand three deep for a shot of sake. We have an evaporation system for our gray water and don't accept trash. We don't serve people that are F'd/U, or underage. We take care of our neighbors and they take care of us.

Bring more of everything and leave your extras at the gate when you leave!

User avatar
vapor
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:19 pm
Burning Since: 1996
Camp Name: Opulent Temple
Location: Los Angeles

Post by vapor » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:05 am

From many years at HOTD I will add . . .

20. Have a sign listing things needed at the bar. Seems we were always running short of something, it was amazing how many people would make runs to center camp to grab ice or drop a few bottles of booze off the next day.

21. Can't hurt to ask guests to help clean up. Many are quite willing to stomp a few cans, pick up some trash, etc. Depending on how surly either the bartender and/or guests are picking up trash can be a requirement for a drink. Turns out some of the patrons enjoy the abuse . . . all about getting a good read on someone.

22. Have a house drink. Make one up randomly if you don't. A lot of people don't know what they want or will ask for "the special".

User avatar
C.f.M.
Posts: 3610
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:28 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Stag Camp 810&D

Post by C.f.M. » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:54 am

vapor wrote:From many years at HOTD I will add . . .

20. Have a sign listing things needed at the bar. Seems we were always running short of something, it was amazing how many people would make runs to center camp to grab ice or drop a few bottles of booze off the next day.

21. Can't hurt to ask guests to help clean up. Many are quite willing to stomp a few cans, pick up some trash, etc. Depending on how surly either the bartender and/or guests are picking up trash can be a requirement for a drink. Turns out some of the patrons enjoy the abuse . . . all about getting a good read on someone.

22. Have a house drink. Make one up randomly if you don't. A lot of people don't know what they want or will ask for "the special".
Excellent advice. You can keep a big pitcher or something and fill it with remnants of mixers and likker, if you want to punish your guests with a surprise concoction...

"Take a 16 ounce growler and fill it to the brim"

You can put however much you want in someone's cup...3 oz., or 30 oz., it is up to the server, not the size of the vessel.

User avatar
pinemom
Posts: 8279
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Booby Bar 2007-2011
Contact:

Post by pinemom » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:57 am

23. Make smaller drinks(even in their cup). I try to only pour about 4oz or less for a cocktail. I keep pouring that person same drink over and over!
But man does it save on Bar slop bucket usage.

24. No one behind the bar that doesnt have prior approval of MOD

25. Definately keep your Bar closed off from private camping area or people will PEE all over your Camp!!!! Been there, experienced that!

26. Post somewhere that your bar is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Got alot on online flack for someone drunk left their furry jacket and a backpack, only to return the next morning to find it GONE.

27. Have fun with everyone!!!! If your too busy, get more of your campmates behind the bar to serve!!! You wanna have fun...not feel like its a job!
Names pinemom, but my friends call me "Piney".

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29398
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Post by ygmir » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:02 am

the Booby Bar is a good example.
I met them all at last years burn, and, was treated wonderfully, welcomed, got drunk, and, witnessed no drama.......
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

User avatar
pinemom
Posts: 8279
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Booby Bar 2007-2011
Contact:

Post by pinemom » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:02 am

Yeah the house drink...we do that too... Not left over crud...
But every morning when we do bar clean up and moop detail, we inventory what we have most of the next day...that is what our special becomes. as 50% of peeps come in dont understand that we are a normal bar that has MOST of everything you could want...sans milk...ew.

But then we will push our surplus alcohol/mixers for that evening.

AND because we do Theme nights, we have a theme drink for those too!
Names pinemom, but my friends call me "Piney".

User avatar
Fire_Moose
Posts: 2488
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:40 am
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

Post by Fire_Moose » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:21 am

Mmmm Whiskey and White Gas :D
2K8 Burning Man Virgin 2K11 Camp Envy
2K9 Camp Envy 2k12 Fucking Flamingoes
2k10 Stag Camp 2k13 Camp Envy

User avatar
pinemom
Posts: 8279
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Booby Bar 2007-2011
Contact:

Post by pinemom » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:24 am

Yum yum!
Names pinemom, but my friends call me "Piney".

Locked

Return to “2009 Theme Camps”