So this is a pretty weird time to be a human in society. I’ve been struggling with it, as I’m sure you are as well. First of all, apologies for the radio silence. It’s been a bit of an adjustment for me too. I typically do in person interviews, but as you can imagine, that’s not possible right now, not to mention everyone in our industry is a little preoccupied. I’m working on a system for remote interviews, and hopefully we’ll have some conversations in the coming weeks about how people are handling this crisis. In the meantime I wanted to just share some of my thoughts about what’s going on, how it relates to our industry and some internal work we can all do.
As you might expect, both of the bars I work for are closed, which is a bit of a reality check. I usually feel like, “Well, if things go sideways I can always pick up shifts.” And now here we are. I know this is a scary time, and one of the scariest things is the uncertainty of it all. It’s such a bad feeling to be powerless and have no control over the situation. Will we have to shelter even longer? Will we have a job to go back to if and when this ends, will we get sick? Will someone we’re close to get sick? What is the world going to be like on the other side of this?
It’s scary to think about and we want to do something about it, but there really isn’t anything we can do, on the outside anyway. Hoarding toilet paper and pasta isn’t going to change anything, except maybe the amount of available space in our closets.
What we can do is work on what’s going on inside of us. I’ve done a few episodes about different mental tools that help us get through our shift behind the bar, and those are absolutely applicable to our current situation, even though we are not at work. Listen to this episode in the player below and Episode 31, Episode 24, Episode 22 and Episode 19.
One thing that has really been helping me is focusing on all of the positive things I see, and you aren’t going to see those things in the news. That’s just not what the news reports. So if you must read the news, it’s important to keep in mind that all of the news is going to be bad. It doesn’t mean that everything happening in the world is bad though. In fact, I believe there is a lot more good happening that we think.
Hello everyone! I hope you are weathering this storm well. This is a challenging time for our industry across the world and we need to stick together more than ever now. We are only beginning to see the effects of this and we will all have to continue doing our best, day by day.
I’m doing my best to continue to support our industry through You’re 86, and I wanted to share a list of COVID-19 resources for the bar and restaurant industry I received today from the United States Bartenders Guild, in case you don’t receive their mailing list. Some are San Francisco Bay Area specific, but most are applicable to everyone. I would also recommend joining your local chapter of the USBG, as it’s an invaluable resource for our industry.
Scroll down for the list of resources and please do stay connected. Feel free to reach out to me and share You’re 86 with your friends and colleagues. This is a great time for learning and personal growth when we can’t be behind the stick, and our guests in past episodes have so much amazing experience to learn from. I’m getting a system for mobile interviews set up and hopefully we can start sharing conversations soon. Please reach out if you would like to share what’s going on in your area. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong and stay connected. We’ll get through this!
Resources for bartenders
Hello everyone. The world is a bit crazy and uncertain right now, and I wanted to let you all know what’s happening here at You’re 86. Both of the bars I work for and use to record in person episodes are being forced to close for now. Everyone in our industry is struggling right now, and it has been understandably difficult to schedule interviews. We are all going to have to take this day by day.
I am working to implement a remote recording system and I intend to continue to produce episodes, especially related to our current situation and the immediate struggles our industry is facing. Please stay tuned and bear with my as the situation unfolds.
We will all get through this together. The community and camaraderie is see in this industry is what keeps me serving. This is a time to stay connected and support each other and our communities. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or if you would like to share what’s going on at your bar or in your market. I will do my best to help from home.
I know one of the biggest concerns we have is financial hardship. I will continue to post resources as I find them. California at least has waved the one week waiting period for unemployment benefits to those of us affected by this emergency. Also The USBG National Charity Foundation has set up an Bartender Emergency Assistance Program which you can apply for whether you’re a member or not.
Stay strong, stay healthy, wash your hands and we will all get through this together.
Things can get dicey when we borrow elements from other cultures for our bar programs. Is it ok to use ceremonial fabric as a tablecloth or put tropical drinks in cups shaped like religious icons? Cultural consideration in bar programs is very important, but it is challenging when we don’t have an understanding or even exposure to those cultures. It’s easy to misrepresent someone else’s culture when you don’t have any knowledge about it, even if you are well intentioned.
My guest today is Samuel Jimenez. He has been in the industry in the Bay Area for many, many years. He is currently the bar manager at Novela in San Francisco, and he was recently chosen as one of Imbibe Magazine’s 75 People, Places and Things that will shape the way you drink in 2020, after spending 2019 educating the beverage world about Polynesian culture and history and how it relates to tiki. Samuel believes that the key to running more thoughtful bar programs is having a better understanding of the cultures you’re representing.
As a fist generation Samoan American, Samuel has a deeply rooted connection to Samoan culture, which many Americans have little understanding or exposure to. Samuel had so much to say about cultural consideration in bar programs and the importance of knowledge and cultural exchange. Listen to the episode in the player or wherever you get your podcasts, and don’t forget to subscribe and stay tuned for more. Also be sure to check out our homepage for more great advice on some of the biggest challenges in our industry. Cheers!
Many of us, myself especially, wonder where to go next with our careers. One exciting option is to start an import business. It seems like an exciting career of traveling to far away places and shaking hands with bearded men in exotic marketplaces. While there is some measure of that, becoming a wine importer is not without its challenges, particularly when international trade disputes happen.
My guest today is Ian Adams, Director of Spirits and Fortified Wines at Merchants of Thirst, an importer of wines and spirits from Europe. Ian has been in the hospitality industry for more than 15 years managing bars and restaurants, including 15 Romolo. A couple of years ago he and some colleagues started Merchants of Thirst, and he had a lot to say about what he’s learned along the way and how he’s facing obstacles like the tariffs that were imposed in October on goods from the EU.
Check out our conversation in the player or wherever podcasts are found to hear what Ian learned about becoming a wine importer. Be sure to also check out our homepage for much, much more, and don’t forget to hit subscribe and stay tuned. I’ll see you next time!