A group of friends and I recently attended a show at Jimmy Mak's, as we were there to support one of our friends who was the performing artist for the evening. We arrived well before set times, and were barked by the door attendant that we'd have to stand up, as it was sitting room only and glared at us as we headed toward a table that had been previously reserved by a member of our party.
When we went into the side room to order drinks, one of which was a Moscow Mule, the bartender replied, ""What's in it?"" The person making the group's collective orders (as to not create a huge line for other patrons) didn't know off of the top of his head. The bartender proceeded to give him an elitist speech about she didn't know what was in it, that maybe he ""could order it at a local dive bar, but that we're a high class bar, and we don't serve drinks like that."" She'd been ""bartending for 13 years, and had never heard of it,"" but was willing to make it despite it being ""not that kind of place.""
Had he ordered ""duck fart"" shots or the kaluha based ""blow job"" shots, I could understand her reaction. The problem is that a Moscow Mule is a 70 year old drink made with vodka, ginger beer and lime, invented in the 1940s, marketed in mass media by vodka companies, and served and easily made at Portland area establishments such as the Gilt Club, the Montage, the Secret Society, the Heathman, and the Portland City Grill. So what was up with the inexcusable snobbery and rudeness of the bartender? It was completely uncalled for and really soured our experience there. We refused to go back to the bar to order drinks if the bartender was going to insist that we didn't belong there because she couldn't understand her liquor history. Shocked that she would say this to a paying customer, a couple of other customers standing by starting discussing the woman's incredibly sour attitude to guests all night, but that comment was the ""cherry on top."" There was no basis for this comment or her attitude -- we had all dressed up for the evening, didn't look like bums, didn't order a ""dive bar drink,"" and because of the absolutely uncalled for snobbery, didn't tip very well.
We wanted to speak with a manager but felt that our commitment to support our friends' music was more pressing. However, in the future, I'd suggest not treating your patrons as though they are uneducated low class hicks who randomly stroll into your fine jazz club for a ""high falootin' time"" when they order drinks that are readily and easily served at many other four star Portland area bars and restaurants.
Pros: good music
Cons: treat you like a second-class citizen