We all praise our bartenders, right? In their defence and ours, they’re great. They bring us the strong, classic and sugary bevvies we all ask for, and bless their hearts for putting up with our antics. But you know who we don’t think of (or thank) nearly enough? Our bar-backs, the men and women that help keep the rig oiled and running efficiently. ‘What is a bar-back?’, I hear you ask. Essentially, it’s the angel who’s the middle man or woman between the bartender and the patrons. They keep the place in tip-top shape; change the kegs, make sure there’s enough spotless glassware, therefore no glandular fever for us. C’mon, they’re amazing.
So, to give our bar-backs some well-deserved love, we spoke with Amrit, Jasmine and Jeremy, some of Sydney’s best to find out how they’re smashing it in the industry.
Amrit Poudel – Lobo Plantation
Venturing from Nepal, Amrit moved to this oversized island (Oz) back in 2015, due to his studious nature. Unfortunately, nothing in Sydney comes for free so Amrit took the road we all seem to find ourselves on; handing out resumes with reckless abandon (cue the stress-induced sweating just by thinking about it.) He stumbled upon Lobo Plantation, the bar with the curved stairs and all the rum you could want, and was offered a job in a speedy fashion.
There’s many facets that set Amrit apart from the rest. “Aside from time management and quick hands, I’m told I have a strong palate and balance for food and drink.” He even has his own bloody cocktails on the menu, what a man. He also hopes to draw on his vital experiences in the industry and open his own bar back home.
Jasmine Pirović – Shady Pines Saloon
From nagging for a job at Earl’s Juke Joint for months (who doesn’t love a tenacious woman?), to being one of Shady Pines’ most treasured bar-backs, Jasmine is crushing her career. Jasmine is known for scrubbing the floors so clean you can eat your food off it, five second rule be damned. She’s also notorious for doing the heavy lifting, both literally and figuratively. The tenacious attitude mentioned before resonates in her work ethic, remaining persistent and maintaining the hard-working attitude that’s paramount in this industry. “I think something that’s taken me far is that I’m not afraid of hard work.”
Jasmin has a jive about her that she’s definitely proud of. It’s especially handy when being the only girl working in a ‘sea of creepers,’ as she put it rather humorously. Working the bar full time is where she hopes to be in the future, with Big Grizz and Daito showing her the ropes. Jasmine also hopes to be a big dog at the ABC with ‘a lot of knowledge about piss,’ after completing her journo degree (a girl after my own heart.) But until then, you’ll find her happily chugging along, harnessing all the opportunities thrown her way.
Jeremy Estigoy – Baxter Inn
Jeremy picked up his awesome gig as one of The Baxter Inn’s bar-backs through the help of friends in the industry and ‘The Sydney Bartender’s Exchange’ on Facebook. He gets a crack out of making people smile and offering them stellar service throughout their time at the bar. “When guests smile back, thank me, or tell me I’m doing a great job, I’m satisfied with my work.”
Jeremy is known to love a bit of banter and offering pretzels to the patrons, which of course, earns him brownie points.
Guests pull him aside in the hope of thanking him for his personable work ethic, so it’s pretty clear that we all need a Jeremy in our lives. In the future he hopes to be travelling (don’t we all, friend?), exploring the vast beauty of this planet, and soaking up whatever experience life throws at him.
Know any other great Bar-backs we should meet? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org