16 Bartenders Share Their Post Work Cure to a Hard Shift

16 Bartenders Share Their Post Work Cure to a Hard Shift

Hospitality service is an unforgiving sport, an elegant battle. Like any all-encompassing profession we go into big nights of service with the intention to ‘win’. That is, to work together as an efficient team to make guests feel like they got great value for their money spent and a desire to eagerly return. One of the great unseen pressures of the job is feeling responsible for the happiness of an entire room of paying patrons. It can often mean long hours without any food, drink or mental rest. It’s taxing stuff. It eventually weeds out many in the service industry, except for the most passionate few.

So for an insight into what some talented bartenders do to refuel we asked two simple questions. Question one will form part one of this two-part series.

What’s your favorite thing to do after a really hard shift behind a bar?

Nathan Beasley credit to Indra Kantono. His post shift bliss is an ice cold beer in a quiet room.

Bartender Nathan Beasley’s post shift bliss is an ice-cold beer in a quiet room. Image credit Indra Kantono

“I like to turn all the music off for a brief period, thank each staff member for a great shift and their efforts that night, shake their hand, then crack open the coldest beer known to planet earth, and go about the clean up.” Nathan Beasley (Bartender, Black Pearl, Melbourne)

Franky Marshall's post shift bliss is being face down on a massage table.

Bartender Franky Marshall’s post shift bliss is being face down on a massage table

“I normally get a massage to sort my muscles out, so after a few strenuous shifts you’ll find me face down on the masseuse’s table. I also love to go for a nice meal the day after a hard night.” Franky Marshall (Spirit Educator. Former Bartender at Clover Club, Monkey Bar and The Dead Rabbit, NYC)

Shaun Layton Bartender. Deep fried goodness is his post shift bliss

Bartender Shaun Layton. Deep fried goodness is his post shift bliss. Image credit: Hayo Magazine

“A cold beer, something deep-fried and a bit of peace” – Shaun Layton (Beverage Director, Juniper, Vancouver)

Pamela Wiznitzer's post shift bliss is sunrise over New York

Pamela Wiznitzer’s post shift bliss is sunrise over New York. Image credit: Megan Baggott

“Well, I don’t drink during my work shifts and I also don’t do the post shift drink. After work I love taking my time walking home (I live eight blocks away) and saying hi to other bartenders who are either still working or closing their bars. I also love calling or face-timing my friends who live on the west coast after my shift because they will also be closing down their bars and it’s a chance to catch up after really strenuous nights. And the best part is getting home just in time to watch the sun rise over the city. There’s nothing like that view.” Pamela Wiznitzer (Beverage Director, Seamstress, NYC)

Bartender Jose Rafael Borges. Sleep and Surly Bartender's are his post shift bliss.

Bartender Jose Rafael Borges. Sleep and Surly Bartender’s are his post shift bliss. Image credit Viranlly Liemena

“On a busy night, the thing I really look forward to is a hot shower and a good sleep. Sometimes, however, I go for what Adam Robinson (Ounce Taipei) called the “Surly Bartender” – which, for me, is a Mirror Pond ale and a shot of Knob Creek 9 Year.” Jose Rafael Borges (Bartender, L’Abattoir, Vancouver)

Bartender Adam Robinson Ounce Taipei. Street market food is his post shift bliss.

American born bartender Adam Robinson at Ounce, Taipei. Street market food is his post shift bliss.

“The busiest shifts are generally on the weekends, and the weekends are always the longest shifts, so after working hard and being on my feet for 10 or more hours, there is really only one thing that I want to do, and that is eat. Living in Taipei, there are some great late night food options. My favorite spot is just a short walk from work and I love to go over there after a long shift with my coworkers from Ounce. We will order a huge spread of food and wash it all down with some nice cold Taiwan Gold beers. And the best part is how cheap it is, usually costing $3-5 USD per person. It’s nothing fancy, but very delicious. You sit at folding tables and sit on cheap plastic chairs. It’s really just a makeshift restaurant that sets up on the street after the actual brick and mortar spots shut down for the night. It’s only open from 11pm to 3 or 4am depending on the night. The kitchen is just a cart they set up on the sidewalk  with a fryer, and one burner, with an additional couple small steam tables to keep a few other things warm. After I have some food in my stomach we might decide to go play some pool at one of the 24hr pool halls, but honestly one of my favorite things to do after work is just go home and watch a movie and relax on the couch. Sounds boring, but it makes me happy.” Adam Robinson (Bar Manager, Ounce, Taipei)

Simon Kaulback Bartender. Takoyaki is his post shift bliss.

Simon Kaulback, at Mamie Taylor’s. Takoyaki is his post shift recovery.

“I’m a simple fella. I don’t really do the Sazerac, Old Fashioned, Manhattan, etc. after work. Honestly, I’m much more a whiskey/beer/ sake at Guuor Gyoza King, with some Takoyaki.” Simon Kaulback (Partner/Bartender, Mamie Taylor’s, Vancouver

steve schneider bartender. Riding is his post shift bliss.

Steve Schneider making drinks at Employees Only, NYC. He rides to recover, post shift. Image credit Paul Wagtouicz

“I ride my bike home. I make cocktails all night so the last thing I want to do is make one for myself. Usually I will have a beer before the end of the night then just drink water post shift before I eat some food and ride.” – Steve Schneider (Principal Bartender, Employees Only, NYC)

Chris Enns Bartenders. Longboarding is his post shift bliss.

Chris Enns celebrates a recent win at Barate Kid Speed Bartending Competition. Longboarding is his post shift ritual.

“I really enjoy longboarding home after a hard shift. (Pour yourself a drink and watch LINK) The streets are empty and it feels so refreshing to just flow down the streets and feel the breeze.” Chris Enns (Bartender, Revel Room, Vancouver)

Jacopo Falleni loves his post shift pasta.

Jacopo Falleni Bartender loves his post shift pasta.

“After a long hard shift I like to come home and do the same thing I would do if I was in Italy. I cook myself and my friends a big plate of Spaghetti aglio e olio.” Jacopo Fellini (JacopoFalleni.com, Los Angeles)

Jeff Savage at Proof, Bartender. Blind wine tasting is his post shift bliss.

“The Father of Cups”. Bartender Jeff Savage, at Proof. Blind wine tasting is his post shift bliss, but you are equally likely to have him scream by on his motorbike through the Rockies.

“At Proof, we usually have a collective ‘off-gas’. At least one of us brings a bottle of wine. We will all taste it blind. It’s a nice way to collectively focus your mind on something else while resetting your palate. Stretches are key. I also spend as much time in nature as my job allows.” Jeff Savage (Bartender, Proof, Calgary)

Bartender Life. BDSM is H's post shift bliss.

The bartender known simply as H, in his latex after a hard night behind the stick.

“I have a bit of an extreme release. Generally, I go home and maybe have one glass of bourbon. But my ultimate release is a BDSM session. Extreme bartending = extreme release.” H (Head Bartender, Notturno, Vancouver)

tommy klus Bartender La Moule Portland. Bubbles are his post shift bliss.

Tommy Klus of La Moule, Portland.

“Honestly right now it’s going home. After a long day I can feel a bit overstimulated and drained. It’s important that I re-set and decompress to be able do it all over again the next day and home is the best place to do that. Keep in mind I’m in the middle of an opening where the days/nights are long, 12-14 hours. I usually don’t have the energy to go out after a shift but when I do I keep it simple.” Tommy Klus (Partner/Bartender,La Moule, Portland)

Arthur Wynne Bartender MacKenzie Room. Tacos are his post shift bliss

Arthur Wynne, Head Bartender at The MacKenzie Room.

“Tacos at Gringo”  Arthur Wynne (Head Bartender, The MacKenzie Room, Vancouver)

26 year bartender Patricia Richards. Image credit Matt Duckor. Post shift bliss

26 year bartender Patricia Richards. Image credit Matt Duckor

“Stretch, then zone out in front of the TV and unwind. A glass of wine, chocolate, or ice cream seems to help.” Patricia Richards (Bartender, Vintner Grill, Las Vegas/Former Head Bartender, Wynn, Las Vegas)

Matt Grippo Post shift bliss

Blackbird Bartender, Matt Grippo, creating new neural passage ways.

“I walk home. No drinks, except for an ice-cold seltzer water. I try to take a different route each time. It helps create new neural passage ways.” Matt Grippo (Head Bartender, Blackbird Bar, San Francisco)

L'air de Panache by Prohibition Bartender Robyn Gray Post shift bliss

L’air de Panache by Robyn Gray, Prohibition, Vancouver.

L’air de Panache, by Robyn Gray (Manager/Bartender, Prohibition, Vancouver)

One of our favorite knock-off cocktails after a hard shift.

“Inspired by Gustav H’s cologne in “The Grand Budapest Hotel“. The recipe for the cocktail adapted from the aromatic depiction of the cologne given to cast and crew as presents at the wrap party.” Robyn Gray


60 ml Zubrowka

30 ml Lemon juice

20 ml Frozen apple concentrate

5 ml honey

Shaken with ice and fine strained into chilled coupé.


500 ml Hot jasmine tea

200 ml Ginger honey syrup

5 sheets gelatine

1 tbsp Versawhip

Mixed and double charged in a siphon.

Bergamot oil is misted from an atomizer over to finish.


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Written by

Bartender. Dirt City Bon Vivant. Writer for @CulinaireMag | Contributor to Liquor.com | Partner in @justcocktails |

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