How to Become Your Local Bar’s Favorite Regular (Slideshow)

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Follow these tips, and you’ll be a VIP at your corner bar in no time
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Tip consistently. Look, you don’t have to throw handfuls of golden doubloons at your barkeep à la Scrooge McDuck on a bender, but a dollar for a beer and two dollars for a cocktail is only fair for the person who’s sweating behind a barmat so you can have a good time.

Do

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Tip consistently. Look, you don’t have to throw handfuls of golden doubloons at your barkeep à la Scrooge McDuck on a bender, but a dollar for a beer and two dollars for a cocktail is only fair for the person who’s sweating behind a barmat so you can have a good time.

Don’t

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Expect free stuff. How would you like it if someone came to your job and said, “Hey, when you take out my appendix, could you get my gall bladder too, but for free?” And when you said you’d be fired if you did that, he or she whined, “But I get sick in here all the tiiiimmme?” Your bartender’s job depends on selling drinks, not donating them, and she could be fired for “hooking you up.” 

Do

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Be friendly. Make conversation about the game going on behind the bar or ask if it’s been busy this weekend, the kind of things you would normally chat up a relative stranger about. But…

Don’t

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Demand your bartender’s attention. If you can see that the bartender is busy or simply doesn’t want to chat, don’t hassle him or her. No one owes you a conversation, and you don’t make yourself a regular by being a weirdo. So bring a book or the paper to keep yourself entertained, or even better, a couple of hilarious pals to create an atmosphere the bartender wants to be a part of. 

Do

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Know what you want. Don’t come to the bar to order drinks for your group without knowing what everyone wants. Your bartender has to ignore other customers while you and your friends debate the merits of an appletini versus a cosmo. 

Don’t

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Make a mess. There’s a Sheryl Crow song where she watches the man beside her at the bar “peel the labels from his bottles of Bud” and “light every match in an oversized pack.” That is a terrible idea. Take your empties to the bar. Don’t set things on fire. Sounds like common sense, but when alcohol is involved, sometimes common sense stops being common. 

Do

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Chat up other regulars. If you want the corner bar to feel like home, make nice with the people who’ve been coming there for years. Get a card game started; order a pizza for the most likely starving bartender and the patrons who don’t want to leave to eat. Folks will be greeting you with “Hey Norm!” (or whatever your actual name is) in no time. 

Don’t

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Hit on the bartender. No one likes being sexually harassed at work (or ever, really), so extend your bartender a little courtesy and treat him or her like a person you respect and not someone who has to force an awkward smile and put up with your disgusting leering to pay the bills. 

Do

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Get home safely! Don’t make your bartender or the other bar patrons wrangle your keys from your clammy drunk hands. You’ll forever be remembered as “that girl” who couldn’t hold her liquor. Call a cab. Call a friend. But whatever you do, don’t drive drunk. 

Do

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Have a great time! If you love a bar enough to go on the regular, you’ll probably become a regular. Just be your cool, considerate self, and the bar will like you just as much as you like it.