Monday, November 14, 2016


Pint of beer

A pint of beer a day could help reduce the risk of having a stroke or developing cardiovascular disease, new research has found.
A study of 80,000 adults found the natural decline in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, in the body was slowed by a moderate intake of alcohol.
The results showed that one or two daily servings of alcohol for a man, or up to one for a woman, was associated with a slower HDL decline than either not drinking at all, or drinking too heavily.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


A is for… ALCOHOL!  

But of course.  Because without alcohol, a bar you don’t have.

A is also for ART, which adorns my bar because I am a collector of fine art and, after buying a bar of my own, I chose to install it for others to enjoy. 

After doing so, and lighting it beautifully, my brother, arrived to take a look; he, an expert in alcohol addiction.

Michael walked up and down the length of the bar, looking this way and that, fully appreciating the art, and generally loving my saloon-style bar.  

Finally, he pronounced, “Nice job.”  After a pause he added, “But you realize, you didn’t have to do any of this.  Your customers are here for one thing and one thing only.”

No one knows this better than an expert in alcohol addiction.

A is for ALCOHOL.

Most of my customers prefer paper pennants to art.  My fine art still hangs, but during Santa Barbara’s annual summer Fiesta and football season I compromise, and we have both. 

Alcohol is why people come to a bar.  Some want it.  Most need it.  But they aren’t present for the art or for the pretty bartender (though the latter helps).  They want a drink.  They want it the way they like it.  And they want it now. 

Alcohol is the most-used (and abused) stress-reliever in the history of the world. 

For most people, it takes the edge off.

But A is also for AGGRESSION, which occurs among certain types of people when they drink too much alcohol, and for whom it sharpens their edge instead of smoothing it. 

When I bought my bar, one of the first things I did was set up rock salt candles on the bar and tables, to give the place a nice glow.

Dave, a seasoned bartender I inherited, took one look and said, “These may look like candles to you, but after midnight they are missiles.”

Apparently, bar fights were common in my bar, at least one every weekend.

Midnight seems to be start time for anything bad.  

Or, as my bookkeeper, who also owns a bar, put it:  "Nothing good can happen between twelve and two in the morning."

I imposed an ironclad rule with regard to fights:

It doesn’t matter who starts it, anyone involved in a fight is 86’d for one full week, and thereafter must apologize personally to me as a prerequisite for re-entry. 

If it happens again, 86’d for six months.  

If it happens a third time, 86’d forever.

Mine is the only bar in the neighborhood.  For the regular customers who visit nightly, it is their living room.  It isn’t fun to get 86’d from your own home.

Sure enough, our first fight took place two weeks after I took over.  I heard about it, and then I watched a video of it courtesy of the security cameras.

A stupid physical fight; all three participants, regular customers.  

As always, too much alcohol to blame. 

All three, 86’d for one week. 

All three, repentant and sorry (after sobering up).

I tell my bartenders they are an extension of me.  I don’t take crap from anybody—and neither should they.  If a customer is rude… adios amigo, we don’t want your money.

If a customer exhibits one iota of aggression, that person is immediately cut off and asked to leave.  

If the customer chooses to argue the point, they are told to leave.  

And if they still do not, they are not only cut off and leaving presently, they’re never coming back.

Zero tolerance for aggression.

Result:  No fights in my bar anymore.  And the people who used to cause them drink elsewhere.