Behind the Bar

James Armel

Behind the Bar Main PhotoJames Armel

Bond 45

145 Waterfront Street

National Harbor, MD




Behind the Bar strip pic 1Behind the Bar strip pic 2Behind the Bar strip pic 3Behind the Bar strip pic 4




James concocts the Bond 45 Negroni with Toasted Orange Peel


How did you get started in the bartending business?

I was serving tables when the bartender decided to verbally assault a customer then just up and walk out. The manager asked if I wanted to bartend. I said “hell yea”. I was awful for a week or two but I figured it out.

What is your biggest bartender pet peeve?

Lack of manners. One example is when I ask someone “how’s it going?” and the response is “vodka tonic”. I didn’t ask you what you wanted, I asked how you are. Don’t be a jerk.

What is the cleverest line anyone has given you to try to get a free drink?

I would pay for this drink but it’s Rosh Hashanah and my religion doesn’t allow me to pay today.

What is the best/worst pick up line you have overheard at the bar?

“I’m ugly, you’re hot – let’s make some average babies!”

Tell us an interesting story about an encounter you have had with a patron.

This happened just recently. I had an Indian Chief from Arizona sitting at my bar here at Bond and he asked me what football team I cheered for. This is the first time I truly thought that Redskins may be an offensive term but I blurted it out anyway. He gave me a blank stare and started laughing with his two companions. He said he was asking everyone while he was here and just thought it funny at how many people got a little nervous before they replied. That’s my kind of guy. Uncomfortableness can often be hilarious.

Who would you most like to sit down and have a drink with? (past or present)

Easy. Johnny Cash. I’ve loved his music since I was a kid. All of it. From the early years until his last album. Always admired people who faced their own demons but had the strength to share their stories with others instead of denying any failures.

James is behind the bar Mondays and Thursdays 5 pm – 10 pm and Saturdays Noon to 11 pm.

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