Best bar this year

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BurnerFinn
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Best bar this year

Post by BurnerFinn » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:15 pm

To all of you who enjoy a nice bar / pub experience, how was your burn this year?

Did you visit many bars or theme camps with bars?

Please share your experiences. I'm really curious to hear how you liked them. Which one was your favorite? What made it different from the rest? Pics / videos of them (would be awesome!)?

How do you create a nice bar in BM? Do's and don'ts?



(future BM bar tender asking)

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danibel
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by danibel » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:20 pm

I visit a few bars every year. My favorite; Ashram Galactica. The vibe. The drinks. The bartenders. The seats. The DJ's. The raffle for a room at 10 o'clock. The show. It's hands down my favorite.

My favorite DRINK this year was made by virgins in my own camp! They brought out margaritas with a spicy salted rim that was DELISH. Virgins! I love it.
In dust we trust.

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chuckularone
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by chuckularone » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:31 pm

Black Rock Centre for Unlearning! Had a great jam with a Guy named White Beard on Sax, me hand-drumming on the bar and the bar tender playing the cow-bell! They also had a habenero shot that was painfully delicious!
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AfricanFire
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by AfricanFire » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:36 pm

Whiskey and Dust - for, well Whiskey obviously. Nice relaxing space, a huge selection of whiskey/whisky/bourbon, good people.

7 Deadly Gins - for wonderfully refreshing G&T. Great shade structure with DJ (but not so loud you can't talk). Nice place to sit on a hot afternoon.

My personal preference is real drinks. I understand that some bars just want to stretch the alcohol as far as they can, but do we really need to be subjected to crappy vodka mixed with Tang? Yuck. I'm not drinking to get drunk. I'm drinking to enjoy a drink.

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Lonesomebri
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by Lonesomebri » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:49 pm

Location Location Location

Best Bar- Last Bar on Earth/First Bar on Playa.
Point 3. Not another bar in sight.
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smilemore
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by smilemore » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:37 pm

Had an extended stay at the Wet Spot. Intended to stay for a quick drink in the shade and left 3 hours later! Thanks for the good drink, great music and the fantastic people!

Oh yeah ... thanks also for the cool blasts of water!
I'm fucked. I've caught the dusty virus ... and I want to spread it around.

Royal Turkey
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by Royal Turkey » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:55 pm

I got to give it to Camp Hot Mayo.

No music so you could talk, they served beer as well as spirits most of the week, nice big bar, shade, comfortable seating and a nice staff..
The one night we kept drinking and forgot to go home to eat, and they spared us a big bowl of noodles from their own dinner without us asking. Very sweet of them, and that big bowl of left overs probably saved us from ourselves that evening! :) We gifted them our over zealous liquor purchases near the end of week.

They also frequently had a nice artist in residence who was giving out woodcut necklaces with metal inlays that were very cool.

We split our time between there and Camp Misterioso, also a very nice bar vibe with mixed drinks and very pleasant company.

Reading the pamphlets I had planned to go to Whiskey and Dust, it sounded like our kind of place, but had good luck just finding the nearest place when we were thirsty and so never hunted it down.

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FossaFerox
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by FossaFerox » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:02 pm

AfricanFire wrote:My personal preference is real drinks. I understand that some bars just want to stretch the alcohol as far as they can, but do we really need to be subjected to crappy vodka mixed with Tang? Yuck. I'm not drinking to get drunk. I'm drinking to enjoy a drink.
Having personally served about 25 gallons of hard lemonade made from powdered mix and cheap vodka, please kindly fuck off. :)

There are other reasons for cheap drinks. Not everyone is trying to get drunk, sure, but not everyone can even tell good vodka from bad. Our goal was to refresh people in the middle of the day with something ice cold that tasted good and would take the edge off, and we actually had people seeking us out from word of mouth, including a "rival" lemonade stand that was using organic lemonade.

Don't knock it because it wasn't what you were looking for. We served well over 100 gallons of the stuff and stopped only because we ran out. Not bad for a 12 person camp that wasn't on the map and had a mere 50' of frontage. :P
ygmir wrote:Everyone loves you there, and no one cares a shit about you..........all at once. and vice versa.

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Christian The Jew
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by Christian The Jew » Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:00 am

I had a good blackout at the Celtic Castle. Loved having my drinks poured by Irish people. They don't hold back.
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." -Revelations 21:6

Fan C
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by Fan C » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:38 am

I had two awesome bar experiences this year.

Monday night @ Fandango - what I refered to as "half camp monday" Fandango was a couple of ice chests and awesome folks on monday night and it was all they needed.

Tuesday night @ Live Fast Die (my bar)- I was just happy to have our bar rockin" entertained a whole bunch of neighbors since the city was still in "recover from rain mode"

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AfricanFire
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by AfricanFire » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:49 am

Having personally served about 25 gallons of hard lemonade made from powdered mix and cheap vodka, please kindly fuck off.
:lol: :lol:

Indeed. Like I said, my personal preference. And I did drink a powdered lemonade vodka concoction that wasn't terrible. It has its place. The vodka and Tang was just plain nasty.

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VultureChow
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by VultureChow » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:51 am

I had a carefully crafted margarita one year that looked amazing, until the sonofabitch three a handful of salt INTO THE CUP.

I am partial to the Party Naked Tiki punch as it reminds me of my childhood sneaking drinks in the USVI.
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MFOB
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by MFOB » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:22 am

My best and most frequented were:

Camp Hot Mayo - Hot Mayo CAME in my mouth, a lot! Had a few buddies camped there, it was nice to get to know the others. Good bar. Cold Drinks.
Fandango - Awesome people there, and crushing beer cans with the huge wood hammer was awesome, So was the wedding on Friday at Sunset. We were close neighbors and made friends with most of the Fandango crew. Very cool and good people. Plus for me, the music they played was a nice break from the constant Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss of the EDM.
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maladroit
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by maladroit » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:55 am

BurnerFinn wrote:How do you create a nice bar in BM? Do's and don'ts?
Distance: if your bar is buried 75 feet into your camp, it looks unwelcoming. If you mainly want to serve camp members and the people they bring into the camp, then this is a good strategy. If you want thirsty fuckos to belly up off the street, put it in the 20-30 foot range.

The Bar: You'll want some sort of furniture that looks like a bar. You can get away with a lot of things if draped with cloth, but a card table will be depressing.

Seating: It's optional, but makes a big difference. Some folding stools and simple benches don't take up much shipping space, but if you have the transport, old couches are always welcome.

Shade: If you're operating in the middle of the day, shade is good. Something about glaring sweltering sun makes it uncomfortable to tilt back a glass of bourbon. The flat top conduit shades seem ideal.

Light: If you're operating at night, good lighting is needed. Around the bar area it's up to you, but in the actual bar itself, it's good to have a pool of simple, warm, steady light. You'll need it to check ID, and the rest of the city has plenty of blinky to offer.

Signage: A simple "The Bar is OPEN" sign out at the street can make a huge difference, and makes your bar appear more welcoming. A CLOSED sign can also be really valuable.

Drink options: Mix only a few types of drinks, and list them on the sign and at your bar. It's too much work to run a full service bar, you're supposed to be having fun too. If you only have to manage a few drinks, you'll have a much easier time monitoring your supplies and planning for the week. Maybe you only do three types of margaritas, or only do specialty shots...but with fine tuning, they'll be really good and memorable.

Manners: It's up to you, but firm politeness is a good bet. Don't make fun of someone who forgot their cup, but recommend they bring a cup as you hand them the red solo cup of shame. Politely refuse to accept empty cups and other moop into your (hidden) garbage pail. Facilitate conversation between patrons, gently draw out any shy ones, introduce them to each other...this is what people will remember about your bar. Defuse arguments with a joke or topic shift if patrons get too prickly.

Backup plans: Have a fire extinguisher under the bar, know where to locate Rangers on a moment's notice, don't allow blatant drug use at your bar, check IDs religiously, don't call out undercover cops when you spot them.

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Ratty
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by Ratty » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:53 am

I learned a valuable lesson this year. Taste a tiny swig before I fill up my cup. There is no potted plant handy to dump the nasty swill. I was served several drinks that were less than tasty. The one that 'taught' me was some nasty-ass sangria made with mishandled, cheap wine and probably cat piss. I don't remember the name of the bar. It was near 7 and i or j. The best bar for me this year was the pink tiki bar on Rod's road and 5:15. It was a 24/7 affair.
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MFOB
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by MFOB » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:10 pm

Ratty wrote:I learned a valuable lesson this year. Taste a tiny swig before I fill up my cup. There is no potted plant handy to dump the nasty swill. I was served several drinks that were less than tasty. The one that 'taught' me was some nasty-ass sangria made with mishandled, cheap wine and probably cat piss. I don't remember the name of the bar. It was near 7 and i or j. The best bar for me this year was the pink tiki bar on Rod's road and 5:15. It was a 24/7 affair.
Ratty, I fully concur with you. I wont name the place but their selection of fresh fruit and veggies was off the hook, a great treat. But the sangria..... I have the exact same feeling, cheap ass wine and more than likely cat-piss. It was fn terrible. It was hard as hell to gulp down and keep on moving.
These angles are all fenced up!

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forty_eight
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by forty_eight » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:47 pm

Do's: Put lots of ice in the drink and open early on Sunday after the Man Burn.

People seemed to really dig that!

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Savannah
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by Savannah » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:01 pm

maladroit wrote:
BurnerFinn wrote:How do you create a nice bar in BM? Do's and don'ts?
Distance: if your bar is buried 75 feet into your camp, it looks unwelcoming. If you mainly want to serve camp members and the people they bring into the camp, then this is a good strategy. If you want thirsty fuckos to belly up off the street, put it in the 20-30 foot range.

The Bar: You'll want some sort of furniture that looks like a bar. You can get away with a lot of things if draped with cloth, but a card table will be depressing.

Seating: It's optional, but makes a big difference. Some folding stools and simple benches don't take up much shipping space, but if you have the transport, old couches are always welcome.

Shade: If you're operating in the middle of the day, shade is good. Something about glaring sweltering sun makes it uncomfortable to tilt back a glass of bourbon. The flat top conduit shades seem ideal.

Light: If you're operating at night, good lighting is needed. Around the bar area it's up to you, but in the actual bar itself, it's good to have a pool of simple, warm, steady light. You'll need it to check ID, and the rest of the city has plenty of blinky to offer.

Signage: A simple "The Bar is OPEN" sign out at the street can make a huge difference, and makes your bar appear more welcoming. A CLOSED sign can also be really valuable.

Drink options: Mix only a few types of drinks, and list them on the sign and at your bar. It's too much work to run a full service bar, you're supposed to be having fun too. If you only have to manage a few drinks, you'll have a much easier time monitoring your supplies and planning for the week. Maybe you only do three types of margaritas, or only do specialty shots...but with fine tuning, they'll be really good and memorable.

Manners: It's up to you, but firm politeness is a good bet. Don't make fun of someone who forgot their cup, but recommend they bring a cup as you hand them the red solo cup of shame. Politely refuse to accept empty cups and other moop into your (hidden) garbage pail. Facilitate conversation between patrons, gently draw out any shy ones, introduce them to each other...this is what people will remember about your bar. Defuse arguments with a joke or topic shift if patrons get too prickly.

Backup plans: Have a fire extinguisher under the bar, know where to locate Rangers on a moment's notice, don't allow blatant drug use at your bar, check IDs religiously, don't call out undercover cops when you spot them.
That's great advice, especially the one about looking inviting. Be close enough to the street that people feel like they can approach! The shy ones may need your bar and its social lubrication and kind introductions and proximity to others the most.

I really didn't visit many bars this year, but I loved Hiburnia at the 3 o'clock portal(?) where we chilled out for an hour in the shade and a sweetheart named Jay pointed a big box fan and some lemonade our way. They played Trance-like music in the middle of the day and let people relax and it was a very nice, very friendly place.

There was also one at 4:30 and outer street that was called something like "The Last Bar on the Playa" or similar. They waved me over when I was riding my bike to pick up my car from the place I was storing it far outside camp. They had a nice shade and served me a large cranberry juice on the rocks on Labor Day afternoon. I'd been packing for much of the day, it was very hot and I couldn't drink even a shot of alcohol 'cause I was fetching the car, but that cranberry juice was delicious and they even had a cup for me (I hadn't imagined I would stop at a bar on Labor Day, so I only had a canteen with me). Thanks, Guys!
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VultureChow
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by VultureChow » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:09 pm

Oh my god how did I forget. The girl from Martini village who rode up on her bike with shots of tequila. She had a little bar built into the bicycle frame with a place for shot glasses and even a bag doe lime rinds. The bar even lit up when she opened the door. I might have to steal that.
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DrYes
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by DrYes » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:12 pm

Spankys.

LowePro
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by LowePro » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:37 pm

We ran a bar on Tues and Thurs; enjoying this thread.
We don't give out cups for people who didn't BYO. I'll offer them a canned beer and a gentle reminder that Black Rock is a BYOcup and a do-ocracy town, but I will not reward them w/ a moopy cocktail. Also we don't put out a trash can; take your mess with you please.

Also a tip: Bars need music! Whatever your vibe, you need something in the background. We had some bar games and activities as well to break the ice. Help your patrols roll their bikes out of the street if you can.

Hard to choose, but I think my favorite bar was Absinthe on 7:30 plaza, open late, dark and moody interior, very friendly staff and hard-to-find drinks. Thanks!

Worst thing of 2014: some lady decided she didn't want whatever was left in her cup, so when she got to the front of my line she dumped her old drink into my bowl of almost-empty Chex mix and then plopped the cup on my bar with no intro or conversation. I had a minor playa meltdown and didn't serve her. Saw 2 yellow-bikes chained together lying in the middle of the street on my way to our trash cans. Assumed she was one of them while I figured out how to cut the chain. She was gone when I returned from filtering and finding a way to deal w/ contaminated, gritty graywater and soggy pretzel trash. (Rant completed)

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Ratty
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by Ratty » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:50 pm

VultureChow, did it look like this? http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/ ... 95869b.jpg

sorry, I can't seem to post the picture. but you can open the link.
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah

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VultureChow
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by VultureChow » Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:38 pm

Exactly like that!

Loved it so much!
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Elderberry
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by Elderberry » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:05 pm

Celestial Bodies and their great playa cosmos.
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by tamarakay » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:51 pm

Cantina vida! Awesome people. Thanks for the midnight hot pockets!

Ice in the drinks. Ice ice ice

Carry a smallish cup with you. Whip that out for taste testing. If you like it, pull out the double sided thermal mug with lid :D
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BurnerFinn
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by BurnerFinn » Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:20 am

This is great! Thank you for sharing your bar experiences. Argh... I wish I could have been there with you. Well, 2015! :coffee:

My original idea was to try and join some other camp running a bar. Now I got this scary idea... should I try to set up my own? Totally have no idea how to pull that off. How much "bar" can I fit into my carry on luggage when I fly over from Finland? :D Oh well, let's see what I come up with. I'm already on full planning mode for the 2015 burn.



What about 2014 bars in pictures?! Did you take pictures of the bars you visited of were running? Share, please?

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jneilvindy
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by jneilvindy » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:56 am

All the bars!

Free drinks? Snacks? Awesome conversations? Shit I died and went to heaven all week.

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Re: Best bar this year

Post by BoyScoutGirl » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:04 am

Finally made it the Green Hour, thanks to directions from the Red Baron. I finished their supply of ice-cold root beer twice, and was gifted a beautiful shot-glass.

Mudskipper Cafe was great as well; the full-service cafe air was completely unexpected and really fun.

Basically, I like any bar that's welcoming to folks who don't drink alcohol out there. For example, I briefly visited the Dusty Swan's wake, where the bartender was thrown for a loop at my request for "not alcohol." Who goes to an Irish pub looking for juice? The bartender offered me water and I declined, already carrying plenty. Then, five minutes later, he has the inspiration to mix up some sports powder drink for me, which I gratefully accepted. That bartender went out of his way to get me a drink - that's memorable hospitality!
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Re: Best bar this year

Post by FossaFerox » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:47 am

BoyScoutGirl wrote:Finally made it the Green Hour, thanks to directions from the Red Baron. I finished their supply of ice-cold root beer twice, and was gifted a beautiful shot-glass.

Mudskipper Cafe was great as well; the full-service cafe air was completely unexpected and really fun.

Basically, I like any bar that's welcoming to folks who don't drink alcohol out there. For example, I briefly visited the Dusty Swan's wake, where the bartender was thrown for a loop at my request for "not alcohol." Who goes to an Irish pub looking for juice? The bartender offered me water and I declined, already carrying plenty. Then, five minutes later, he has the inspiration to mix up some sports powder drink for me, which I gratefully accepted. That bartender went out of his way to get me a drink - that's memorable hospitality!
From my understanding, technically bars aren't allowed to serve up virgin drinks. The second we serve something other than water that isn't alcoholic we're required to have a food permit which is a major headache for a bar. It means cost, paperwork, a site inspection from the health department, and an extensive setup we mostly won't use since we aren't actually involved in food preparation.
ygmir wrote:Everyone loves you there, and no one cares a shit about you..........all at once. and vice versa.

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Re: Best bar this year

Post by CaptainVic » Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:12 pm

Our camp has hosted a bar for about 10 years. A change I have seen over the years is a sense of entitlement in a larger proportion of bar visitors. A growing percentage of people who come to our bar are expecting quick, professional service - they are coming to be entertained in a one-way relationship. I don't expect swag from everyone visiting our bar, but it would be nice if visitors would bring a little more to the scene. We need to work a bit harder to help virgins and those who are coming for their second burn to see that everyone is a participant. Having said that, hosting a bar is a lot of fun and a great way to meet an amazing variety of people.

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