Behind the Bar, Wining & Dining

Behind the Bar: Sean Maguire

Behind the Bar-3-16
Sean pulls a perfect Guinness

Sean Maguire

Murphy’s Irish Pub

713 King Street

Old Town Alexandria




How did you get started in the bartending business?

I moved to the United States from Ireland at the ripe young age of 21. My brother was already here bartending at a Mexican restaurant on Duke Street called Dancing Peppers. That’s where I got my first start. After learning the trade there I didn’t feel like I was a right fit at a “tex-mex” restaurant so I applied to Murphy’s Irish Pub and have been here ever since.

What is your biggest bartender pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is when it’s a really busy night and every second matters there’s always a customer waving his money at you, trying to get your attention. Then when you get to them, they turn around to ask their friends what they want to drink. Nothing slows you down more than a group that doesn’t know what they want!

What is the cleverest line anyone has ever used to get you to give them a free drink?

I really haven’t heard one yet other than it’s my birthday or you don’t carry the beer I have…I should get a free one. Those lines would be another pet peeve of mine lol. I’d be more inclined to buy a drink for someone who’s just a nice, genuine person.

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

I just recently heard a guy say to a lady “I’m no Fred Flintstone, but I could make your bed rock”, however, he said that to his friend so that probably doesn’t count. The worst attempt of a pick-up was when a guy asked me for a pen and paper and wrote his number down and approached the pretty lady at the end of the bar. He put it down in front of her and walked off without saying a word. I was shocked at both his laziness and at the fact he actually thought that would work.

Tell us about an interesting encounter you have had with a customer(s).

A gentleman came into the bar last summer and sat down for a beer. He kept to himself but when he was done, he picked up the check for a couple and the guy next to him and left me $100 tip for no real reason. The gent turned out to be Mike Green from the Washington Capitals. As a Caps fan, I was bummed I didn’t get to converse with him more.

If you could sit down and have a drink with anyone in the world, past or present, who would that be?

That would have to be my brother Paddy Maguire. My brother moved to Belgium in 2006. With both our busy schedules amongst other things, it’s been 10 years since we’ve had the pleasure to sit down for a cold pint.

Sean is behind the bar Tuesday through Saturday nights.

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