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November 10, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Dos and don'ts of being a regular

regularsIf I had to guess, I'd say I'm a regular at a couple South Baltimore bars, just because I live in the neighborhood. I'm not a fixture -- I'm a firefly, as Owl Meat would put it.

Here, Owl Meat reveals the ways to be the best bar regular:

I am guilty of extreme bar monogamy.

I tend to stay in relationships long after it's time to pay the tab and move on.

There is a slippery slope where the bar regular slides from rock star to family, lickety-split. "Family" sounds great. Wrong. It means short tempers, grudges, and drunken shouting matches, well, at least in my experience.

As one who has committed the bar sin of being too regular, I offer some humble advice on being an awesome bar regular ...

It's good to have a home base, just don't be a fixture. Get out of the neighborhood, change it up.
If you want to maximize your bar awesomeness, move around. Flit about the scene like a firefly. Now here, now there. Be an enigma; don't be too well known. You're not that interesting.
If you pop into a place every two or three weeks and don't stay too long, they will be happy to see you every time. Less is more. Come up with a signature cocktail. Bartenders remember people by what they drink. Don't be Bud Light Guy. You're him at your home base. Be Bushmill's neat with an olive on the side guy.

For some reason, I get different things when I go to different places. I might not visit a bar for months, but the bartender will remember that I had a Jack and Coke the last time and then I'm Jack and Coke Guy. Better than at my home base, where I'm annoying guy with laptop who tells the same stories over and over. Nope, I'm Jack and Coke Guy tonight.
Whatever you do, don't be these guys (or girls):

1) The hit-on-the-bartender regular – flirting is okay, but don't be the guy who doesn't get the message day after day. You are amusing in a pathetic way, but it is the bartender's workplace, not a brothel.
2) The entitled regular – Gimme gimme, me me me. You're still a guest. If you want to play your music, watch your TV shows, and monopolize the atmosphere, buy your own bar.
3) The special needs regular – The bartender doesn't mind getting some jalapeño juice from the kitchen for your Mexitini when it's slow, but don't be a pest when he's slammed.
If you want to be a well-loved casual regular, avoid these topics in addition to religion and politics:
1) Your job. No one cares. Replaying all your stress as Whine Theater just makes everyone else stressed. Your boss is a jerk. Let it go.
2) Your house, your mortgage, blah blah. Shut up.
3) Fantasy football. We get it; you don't have a girlfriend.
4) Medical stuff. No one wants to hear the details of your splenectomy or root canal. Zip it.

If you do become bar-family, don't be the man-child who lives in the basement. Be the well-traveled cousin who plays "Santa Lucia" on the concertina, cage fights monkeys, and drops in just now and then. Be the Dos Equis guy, not Norm from "Cheers."

Yo DJ, drop a beat for my exit. How about "Here Comes a Regular" by the Replacements? I like this version by John Doe.

(Photo by Getty Images)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:47 AM | | Comments (24)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays


Yes, Fantasy Football, you don't have a girlfriend, but you probably have a wife.

By the way, I'm 7-2 this year...oh who cares.

Bushmill's neat with an olive on the side guy

An olive? With Whiskey? What are you, a barbarian?

An olive? With Whiskey? What are you, a barbarian?

People will remember you. Of course, I wouldn't do it.

Here's the original photo before I turned it into a David Lynch day dream: The Owl Meat Apocrypha

An olive? With Whiskey? What are you, a barbarian?

RoCK, you have to have dinner with your drink, right?

Nice job, OMG. Especially fine ending with the link to John Doe.

She looks like the shade of Dorothy Parker.

Another thing to add to your list of things to not do:

Don't get pissed when someone is sitting in "your" seat. Yes, we know you sit there every time you come in and it gives you the perfect angle of everything you want to see, but is it really "your" seat??

Bartender: "So, how's your day going?"

Customer: "Great! I wasn't selected for the jury pool. Now I've got all this free time on my hands."

i would even boldly suggest that you make room for other people when you are in your special seat.

Yes, when listing "Furniture & Fixtures" in the Asset column of their Balance Sheets, the bar owners/tenders did not have you, the patron in mind..

LQTM (Laughing quietly to myself), SushiGirl. I am a Lazy Boy. I used to go to Minato's old location so much that they called me Sashimi Bob.

The way bars treat their regulars go a long way toward keeping them that way.

I used to have a bar (in another life) that I used to come in after work, a couple times a week. It would just tickle me pink when, at the first sight of me, the waitress would just bring me the drink she knew I wanted and put in an order of hot wings. Used to make me feel like a million bucks.

The worst part about moving from that city was leaving that particular bar. Took me about 15 years to find another one that was even close.

LCAM (Laughing curiously at myself), BTW i did get the LQTM, but thanks for the translation.. =)
Perhaps i would recognize you.. there's a lot worse things to be called than Sashimi anything.. i went to the old one a half dozen times, but have been to the new locale more frequently, great place to dine pre-movie (Charles) or pre show (various).. i started eating sushi over 20 years ago when i over-stayed my welcome many a night at Kawasaki , still miss that place..

Perhaps we do know each other Sushiko. it's Baltimore, after all.

Ah.. Sushiko on Wisconsin Ave., been there many a time..
My fav place for the past few years, hands down is Sushi Sono at the Lake in Columbia.. i think they are rated a 30/30 on Zagat for food, and i concur.
Ever been to Tako (Octopus) Grill in Bethesda?
Guess this has veered off topic, sorry Sam!

Don't know Sushiko. I was just flirting. "ko" is a feminine diminuitive in Japanese added at the end of many female names, like "ita" in Spanish. So, I was making SushiGirl into Sushiko. I don't get out of Baltimore much for sushi, so no to all of those. They sound great.

Owl Meat Gravy - San,

"What fresh Hell is this?" - Dorothy Parker

Interesting image manipulation that evokes way past closing time, a little lurid.

Kind of an accident. Had a spooky David Lynch feel. Lurid indeed. Not as spooky as a werewolf bar mitzvah though.

I have another don't for ya.

Don't come in with a political ax to grind every time. Yes I know you think politician X is better then Y. You have never talked about anything else. Shut up, no one cares, this isn't a rally.

Has anyone ever converted someone in a bar to their political cause? I think not. might as well try to get them to switch sports team allegiance. If you do have a debate about anything at all your opinion should be as malleable as silly putty. Conversation in a bar should have no real purpose except to entertain and divert yourself from the tedium of iife outside the bar. And to the guy who always wants Fox "News" on the TV – really?!?

Just don't try to tell me the truth about anything in a bar. Truth has no business being there or my name isn't Baron Von Flugelpuss, the legitimate heir to the Hapsburg Dynasty ... ladies.


Do you think God is a Democrat or a Republican?

Not original

I don't know, GDA, but She has the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen. It's like I can see the Universe in them. That's right, I'm hittin' on God.

OMG- Oh, well in that case, pretty ironic a Sushiko actually exists. Never been to Sushi Sono?? You ARE missing a lot! Meet me there, i'll show ya the ropes ( i mean rice)...

Color me there, Sushiko. Have I ever told you how beautiful your eyes are? They are like golden sunflowers.

OMG-oodGrief CharlieBrown!!
Ha! Ha! Golden eyes .. with Brown Pupils! cool. I'll Color you there ..
Sushiko ..

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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