Behind the Bar, Wining & Dining

Behind the Bar – Myles Chopra

Myles offers up a Ginger Byrrh. Photo Copyright © Chester Simpson
Myles offers up a Ginger Byrrh. Photo Copyright © Chester Simpson

Myles Chopra
The Bar at Bastille
1201 North Royal
Old Town Alexandria

How did you get started bartending?
When I came out of high school I started looking for a part time job. I found that I excelled at the fast paced atmosphere and got into a groove and found some people that I worked well with and we kind of hopped around Reston until we made our way into the city. Found my way behind a bar and I’ve been enjoying it since.

What is your bartender pet peeve?
Impatience. I sometimes have more to do than meets the eye and I’m trying to get to customers as fast as possible. I try not to leave people hanging, but it happens. I always try to recognize it and make up for it.

What’s the best line somebody has used to get a free drink?
I haven’t had anyone use any lines per se. But I have had people expect that the next one should have just been free.

What’s the most memorable pickup line you’ve heard?
I haven’t really been bartending long enough to have heard any great pick up lines but the latest and greatest has been someone who’s asked me my name and then said, “Damn you look as good as your name.”

Can you tell me an interesting story?
The story goes…I had a gentleman and, I assume, his daughter sitting at a table. I approached the table and said, “Hey guys how are you doing this evening?”  The man immediately slams his fist down on the table and says “I went to medical school with the owner of this place and the first thing they teach you in medical school as there’s a difference between men and women.” I apologized and tried again.  As they got their entrees the fire alarm decided to go off.  This man decided to stand next to the table and start a contest to see which could be more obnoxious, himself or the alarm.  Literally yelling in rhythm to the alarm. He then wanted his check and decided that snapping at me from across the dining room was an acceptable way of expressing this request. As I handed him the check he told me, “I’m not paying that son”, and left.  He did stop at the door to turn around to give me a $5 handshake and then said something racist to one of our hosts and left.

Who would you most like to sit down and have a drink with?
I would say Teddy Roosevelt strictly because of his absolute ability to drink me under the table as well as all the interesting stories. I’m sure over the years with all the people he encountered and all the stories about the wild west to the presidency to everything beyond, he would have some good ones. I just think he’s probably one of my top three people of all time that I would like to have met and definitely the one that I would liked to have a drink with.

Chopra is behind the bar Fridays through Tuesdays, 5:30 – close.

Written by: Chester Simpson

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