Because I’m such a lightweight, I would be passed out behind the bar from my own products. My tip jar would be empty, the bar would be raided and there would be a half naked bartend laying on the floor. Thankfully I write and not bartend. Honolulu bartender Aria Kamahoahoa, who excels at both, shares her stories in a laughrageous Q&A that exposes the pitfalls and triumphs of serving the thirsty in Paradise.
How did you go from bar patron to bartender?
Long story short, when my ex and I split up, I worked a second job to survive, but I was spending more money in a bar than I needed to. Coincidently my girlfriend told me a bar was looking for a server and suggested I apply there. Her words were “you’re always in a bar, why don’t you work in one?” I was apprehensive at first but when the owner told me in the interview about nikohana(high commission), I was all about it. Drink and get paid to do it?! Fuuuck. Sold! Sign me the fuck up.
Bartenders are known for lending an ear. What stories stand out among the rest?
Geez. Really? I’ve heard it ALL. Stands out…This guy who comes in once in a while with a different chick almost every time told me once that he has a goal of fucking 100 chicks before he reaches the age where he has to use Viagra. He told me he had fat pussy, old wrinkled pussy, married pussy, fresh 18 year old pink, threesomes, orgies, all kine. Braddah(dude) was proud of it. AND he had the nerve to hit on ME even AFTER I told him he was disgusting! I mean, braddah was good looking, I give him that but fuck! So when he’d come in by himself he would tell me how the last chick he brought in was. I gotta say, it’s pretty entertaining to hear his stories tho. It’s like he’s warming up my engine before I go meet the boo to let him drive me. Hard.
It is common for Bartenders to make more in tips than an hourly wage. What are your tips to fill your tip jar?
Awesome customer service, a sense of urgency and professionalism. Sike! Flirt, flirt, flirt! I treat all my male patrons like I have the biggest crush on them. Eye contact. Smile. Throw a wink out here and there. Touch them on the hand or the arm when you talk to them. Call them good looking, honey, babe, handsome, shit like that. Men like their ego stroked. If you stroke their ego enough, eventually they’ll blow their load on you. No pun intended.
Use a high elbow the first 1-2 rounds if they’re drinking liquor. Pull back after that just to get their taste buds working they way I want it to work. Throw in a free round if it feels right and tell em “just because I like you” And here’s a key tip that’s VERY important especially for female bartenders: do NOT ignore the female patrons in a group of mixed genders. Give more attention to them than the males. Females are catty ass bitches that will sway the weight of your tip depending on how you treat THEM rather than how well or how quick you made their drinks.
Everything else, observe and adapt.
There must be hundreds of them, but what is the most wildest night you had behind the bar?
Easy question. I had a bunch of friends in one night. Half the place was all my friends. So of course I was drinking more than usual. One of my girlfriends was feeling good and she climbed on the bar to kiss me. So we put on a show for the guys and shit and eventually started groping and grabbing and shit. She and a couple other friends stayed inside while I did my closing shit. Did some yay, popped a few more beers open and just partied after I was done closing. Me, her and one of my waitresses got hot and heavy together as the boys watched and eventually got one of the guys involved. Only because I was so fucking wet and needed some dicktherapy. The rest is pretty much history. And caked onto my shirt.
Any awkward moments?
HA! Yeah. When 2 of my boos showed up one night. Acting like either was just a friend wasn’t easy. Now I know where the term “pimpin ain’t easy” came from. Fuck.
If I was a tourist, what drink would you recommend and why?
Heineken. You wanna feel like a local? Drink that. Everybody and their mom drinks that shit. Did you know that per capita, Hawaii consumes the MOST Heineken in the nation? Google that shit.
If I was at the bar sulking, what drink would you recommend and why?
Milk. Cause that’s what babies and pussy(cats) drink. And if you’re sulking to me in my bar, you’re being one or the other.
Coyote Ugly or Cocktail?
Cocktail. Hold the tail.
Name your favorite beer, wine and hard liquor.
Free beer is my favorite beer. Just kidding! I can’t just give you one! Corona, New Castle, Peroni and Modelo are probably my top picks. But in all honesty, as long as it’s cold, I’ll drink it. And I’m a country girl/tita so I don’t really drink wine. Give that shit to the city bitches. But hard liquor?! Send that my way. Pendleton and Crown is my poison. Throw in some Patron too. Back that shit with some shoyu(soy sauce)/vinegar and lemon wedges and hooooo braaahhh! Winnah!!
Any recommendations or final thoughts?
Do NOT mess around with a patron. They will FUCK your game up. Showing up every night you work, watching you work your magic with a group of male patrons and leave no tip. DONT do it!!
Glass half empty or half full?
Half full all the time, for two reasons:
1) Staying optimistic is key to a happy life.
2) Refilling cocktails for a living doesn’t mean I always want it to be empty. My duty is to make sure you have a good time. Not to get you fucked up. I think that’s the difference between a good bartender and a great bartender. I don’t wanna toot my own horn…. But toot toot muthafucka!