One evening about six years ago, as I stood at The Republic's bar ordering bourbon, I caught a glimpse of a woman's face scrunching in disgust. So I turned to her and asked "what--you don't like bourbon?"
"Bourbon smells like old lawyers," she said, shaking her head vigorously.
Great comment--so great, in fact, it would have made this list...if I could have been troubled to hunt down where and when I jotted it down.
No matter--the wisdom one gains from barroom conversations stays with us and shapes our lives. So we've assembled 25 non-bourbon soaked lawyer related quotes, thoughts from bartenders and fellow drunks explaining (amongst other things) the sexiest thing a woman can do in a bar, why neurosurgeons are undereducated and the two things that cause men to spend more money...
25 Ben Dai
"Kissing and everything is fine, but that dry humping thing..."
Dai owned Spike, a briefly popular Mockingbird Station lounge. This comment came after he removed a couch from the space because couples found it comfortable for public display.
24 Eric Hanson
"I don't know of any reason for the martini glass, unless it's easier to dig out the olives."
Once upon a time there was an over-the-top palace with six-figure lampshades and $5,000 leather outfits for the waitresses. It was called Voltaire and Hanson worked the bar.
23 Jill, drinking at The Quarter
"Once a woman hits 30, she has a vibrator. She doesn't need to get laid."
This was in response to the all-important 'which bars are best if you're looking to get laid' question.
22 Jimmy Hall
"I like sherry, but I'm not gonna sit and drink it with the guys."
Hall was a bartender at Martini Ranch. We were pursuing the topic of drinks and gender.
21 Chris Zielke
"The reason why an alcohol is associated with a particular country or region is because the people of those countries used local resources and perfected a process over hundreds of years. But at the same time, it's absolutely possible to make whiskey in Japan."
Now part owner of Bolsa and Smoke, Zielke at the time of this quote worked as a bartender at Nikita. We just like the way he spoke so lovingly of tradition--and then said 'fuck tradition.'
20 Heather Wood
"We sell most of it to women who don't want to drink, but their friends are drinking so they don't want not to drink."
A bartender at Champps in 2002, Wood slipped into a Berra-esque trance when answering our question about flavored malt beverages.
19 Danielle Tatum
"If men see a body they like, they open their wallets more. And the more you show, the more they spend."
She was cocktailing at the Whisky Bar and speaking of the correlation between cleavage and tips.
18 Kurt Mosley, bar patron
"She's the mom you always wanted. You can talk to her, but she's younger and better looking and lets you drink."
Think we caught up with him sitting at the Pappas Bros. bar. He was speaking about female bartenders.
17 Clate Bowen, drinking at Lee Harvey's
"A dive has a mutt quality to it. A mutt is not perfect, but it is usually the pet that's more devoted and lovable than any other pet."
And as far as any definition of a dive bar, this is the best we've read.
16 Tim Tremoni
"I hope if I ever walk into Champps, no one talks to me."
Tremoni managed a Greenville Ave. bar called Shade. And he didn't like Addison.
15 Eddie Germann
"It's hard because it's in your hand every night."
Yeah, we're taking this out of context. But how could we resist? Then Fuse bartender Germann was discussing the problem of alcoholism in the service industry.
14 Roya, a woman drinking at Nikita
"Can you? Yes, I'm sure you can. Have I? No, I haven't. Why not? Because I'm wasted."
The question? Can you meet decent men in a bar.
13 Kenny Daniel
"You see a guy drinking wine and you think 'I could take him.'"
Daniel was (and may still be) a bartender at Primo's. He apparently doesn't think much of men who order wine at at bar.
12 Karyn, drinking at The Quarter
"On the contrary, wine drinkers are very elegant because they know their shit."
After interviewing Daniel, we popped next door and asked this woman about his comment. Elegant shit, ain't it?
11 Todd Wright
"They'll say 'My boobs are perky tonight.'"
Wright is now a bouncer for Sambuca 360 in Legacy. He was then a bouncer at Seven, telling us what people do to get past the velvet rope.
10 Will Morgan
"If I'm ugly, I want a good-looking wingman so I can pick up the scraps. If I'm dumb, I want an intelligent wingman. You must bring balance."
Morgan's thoughts on what it takes to be a good wingman were delivered while he was bartending at Champps in Las Colinas, once a center of desperation and a very desperate part of town.
9 Matthew Giese
"There's a difference between gentlemen enjoying mint juleps on the veranda and people in a crowded bar trying to get action."
This was in the heyday of Samba Room, where Giese served as a bartender. Don't know what we were discussing at the time, but he's right.
8 Jordan Lowery
"A lot of times it's just easier to say 'Here's your fucking drink.'"
Lowery managed Whisky Bar back when it stocked whiskey. He was addressing the many scams patrons use to get a free drink. Bartenders must either fight them or cave.
7 Matthew Giese
"There's a line in Ecclesiastes which says we're born to suffer and die. That's an individual's plight, so you enjoy the wine and food you earned that day."
We all seek to justify our drinking habit at some point. But Giese--then bartending at Dralion--found the ultimate justification: god said to get drunk.
6 Ashley, drinking at Nikita
"I thought 'Look at how sophisticated I am.' But later I thought 'I'm 10 times drunker than if I had beer.' Thanks, juniper plant."
Speaking about the evils of gin by describing her first bout with the spirit.
5 Ian Green
"The first stage is 'hello,' then they get closer and I think 'You're not going home to shag that.'"
Bartender Green on the usual steps leading up to a one night stand, as viewed from his side of the bar. He's now at Idle Rich. Then, he worked at The Londoner in Addison.
4 Todd Lincicome
"It's easier to become a neurosurgeon than a master sommelier."
Lincicome was--and still is--wine director at Al Biernat's. And judging from the numbers alone, he's right. At the time he made this comment, there were 50 master sommeliers in the U.S. and 3,830 neurological surgeons.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
3 Chris Zielke
"There's something sinister about someone who orders grappa that's difficult to articulate."
Think the now famous restaurateur was tending bar it Bali Bar back when the subject of grappa came up. Probably true, too, since big guys back away when there's a grappa drinker around.
2 Paul Rodriguez
"Frozen margaritas--that's where misimpressions start and standards are lowered."
The late Rodriguez was part of the family that started Mia's. His brother, Mico, didn't give much credence to the frozen stuff, either.
1 Curtis Cheney
"When a woman orders a scotch, that's the sexiest thing a woman can do in a bar."
Hmm...maybe. But that was the opinion of the Carson's bartender back in 2002.
Well, as I wrote back in 2001: We remember these thoughts as significant, although our notes from the evening resemble a road map of Thailand. Be assured, however, that we did indeed have something more to say.