At some point in 2010, I apparently entered some sort of contest with the Minneapolis free publication Citypages, because in December they contacted me informing me that I had won a weekly contest and would get to be the “Fa-Moose Bartender” for a Saturday night of my choosing at the northeast Minneapolis neighborhood bar, Moose on Monroe. I blindly chose January 29, not remembering at the time that it was just a few days before Lauren’s birthday, and since I am DJing next Saturday, that meant there was no good solid weekend night to designate as Lauren’s birthday celebration. Thinking quickly, we doubled the event as Lauren’s 27th Birthday / Ryan’s Bartending Event.
I chatted with someone over at Citypages and they explained to me that if I could get a group of ten or more people to show up, we’d get a free $200 bar tab. The only catch is I would have to go behind the bar and make everyone’s drinks! The more people that showed up, the bigger the free bar tab would be. Every hour at the thirty, I’d get to serve another round for a total of four rounds.
Well, that night was this past Saturday. All told, I estimate that 30-35 friends, family, and co-workers of mine and Lauren’s turned out for one of the most fun bar nights in recent memory! The Moose on Monroe was a hidden gem—I have been living in the Twin Cities for portions of ten years now and had not so much of heard of this bar before. But it was just our style—not crowded, not trendy, a friendly staff, and even karaoke without a painfully long waiting list!
At 9:30, I went behind the bar and made my first round of drinks. Most people kept it simple with beers or simple mixers, but a few tested my skills with drinks such as a Skittle Bomb, Sex on the Beach, Long Island Iced Tea, and even some weird blue drink with Cointreau and Blue Curacao. I had to get some assistance from the real bartenders a few times. By the end of my first round, I was sweating profusely and was shocked to see that nearly thirty minutes had ticked off the clock. The biggest challenge was just remembering where all the right bottles were on the shelf. I knew most of the ingredients but it was just tough locating them.
The three rounds that followed were much the same, except I was getting the hang of it a bit more. The staff told me on several occasions that I was doing an amazing job and they were very impressed. I was getting plenty of tips from friends, but they all went in the tip jar which I didn’t get a share of. But considering what the final bill would have been had we been paying for drinks all night, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see that we got close to $1000 in free drinks.
Aside from me playing bartender, there was plenty of catching up with friends we hadn’t seen in a while. And of course there was plenty of singing. I was very excited to see that the karaoke lady had all the latest hits, even current songs on the radio. I did my current favorite Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw songs. Walsh impressed the crowd with his usual Al Green, especially just a day after having oral surgery. But I think the real musical highlight was probably Casey and Lisa’s “All My Life” to close the night.
I think everyone in the area that is reading this should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line MOOSE and enter this contest too. If I can be a fa-moose bartender, so can you!