Union Street Public House
121 South Union Street
Old Town Alexandria
Hans serves up his “Old Town Shuffle”
He is behind the Oyster Bar Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.
How did you get started in the bartending business?
I was thrown into the position as many bartenders have been. I was working at Ruby Tuesday’s and we were short staffed. Since I was 21, the management decided I would bartend. At first, I thought “I got this”, pouring beer and wine no problem, but then the cocktails came…. I was trying to make Long Islands, Bahama Mamas, Sex on the Beach, Tequila Sunrise (which I am almost positive I made with vodka and orange juice and no grenadine). I felt like the Titanic, sinking quicker and quicker, but presented every drink with confidence and made it through the shift. Surprisingly, the relationship you have with guests is just as important as the quality of the drink.
What is your biggest bartender pet peeve?
I am sure there is more than one for all bartenders…let me name a few…
“Make me something good….and hook it up!”
“Whoa….this is my tab?? I didn’t order all these drinks!”
“She is 21….I swear!”
What is the cleverest line anyone has ever used to get you to give them a free drink?
Free drinks are always awesome; yet, when you try to trick me into a free drink, I tend to notice. One time someone tried to convince me that a homeless guy came in and “ninja’ed” their drink. Yet, I know the patron never left for a single second. I almost wanted to give them a free drink for using the word, “ninja’ed”.
What is the best/worst pickup line you have overheard at the bar?
I’ve been bartending for a while, so I have heard plenty….but some of my favorites have been:
“I heard you like bonfires….I can supply the wood.”
“Do you like my pants??? Want to test the zipper?”
“Babe…Are you a Hipster?? Cause you make my hips stir.”
Tell us about an interesting encounter you have had with a customer(s).
I had a couple come in one day, talked until the bar closed about football; compared lives and fought about sports teams….and since then got a little disconnected. Just recently, they got reconnected and now I get pictures of their child and am still getting heat for my football team choice.
If you could sit down and have a drink with anyone in the world, past or present, who would that be?
I sound like a dork, but George Lucas… I would like to know what happened with Episodes I, II, III. Then close with a martini with Spielberg.
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