Hi, I’m Dave, TheRealBarman. I am the owner and CEO of Bar Patrol, as well as an author, blogger, father, husband, and reluctant cat owner.
Before we get to know each other, I must warn you that I can be offensive to some, or so it has been explained to me. How exactly? Mainly because I’m real. Not like “poke me” real, but more like, “Look out! He’s going to say something honest that I might not agree with! Arrrrrgghhh!!!”
In other words, I state things the way I see them, without apology, which I guess gets some people’s panties all topsy-turvey.
I have found that the ones who get offended the most are the people who have decided that since I’m a business owner that I should behave in a more uniform and sterile manner, like an accountant I suppose, or a real estate agent, but I’m simply not wired like that. I come from the bar industry for Christ’s sake. I don’t dummy things down and I don’t make promises I can’t keep. I’m sure at some point I’ll say something to really offend someone and end up at the bottom of lake with a bunch of rocks tied to my ankles.
The point is, if you don’t like real, then I am most likely not for you and we probably shouldn’t work together. That might sound rude, but I’m just being honest. Why should we waste each other’s time if we aren’t aligned in our thinking. What is the point if we don’t cut through the bullshit and find out if we like each other?
Where am I going with all this? I’ll sum it up: If I had one message to share with those of you seeking my counsel, I don’t screw around! I believe in order to be successful in the bar and restaurant business that we need to make things happen and move the needle. That’s the only way to get where we’re going in life and business.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I swear sometimes. Maybe it’s not the “real” part that offends people. Maybe people are offended that I swear, which would be really sad because some of the greatest humans who ever lived cursed like a drunken carnies working the ferris wheel at the county fair. Like Scarface. How awesome was he?
Ok, now I’m just getting off course. Back to my story…
Like all good stories mine starts in a bar, or more accurately a greasy Chinese restaurant that had a bar, where at the age of 16 I bussed tables for a bitter Chinese lady who scolded me in words I couldn’t understand while pointing out my mistakes by rat-tail snapping me in the leg with a wet twirled-up bar towel every chance she got.
This was back before corporal punishment was really frowned upon, and in management this is what we call “Enforcing the standards set by ownership”, but I encourage less lacerations in my bar.
That’s Me, Training Bartenders to be Better Human Beings
Yep, that’s the fam. I have a drop-dead gorgeous, infinitely patient wife who I’ve been with for 21 years, and two remarkably kind and talented kids, one girl, one boy. My wife wanted more, but anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a true man-to-man defense guy, and if you go beyond two kids, you have to go to zone, and everyone knows that zones never win championships. So instead we got a cat who runs away every time I try to pet it.
My wife and I met at Chico State and within 3 months we had adopted a 100 pound rottweiler, moved in together and purchased a $3,000 stereo system, so needless to say, we far exceeded the required agreement necessary to stay together forever.
Some braggy stuff: My son is GATE (which I don’t really understand but they tell me it’s good), my daughter is a basketball phenom, and there is not much my wife can’t do. She actually runs our house like a successful business and even tells me how I should run mine better. I would be super annoyed, except she’s usually right, which is actually the annoying part, so I’ve simply surrendered. I just nod my head like Tim Robbins in Bull Durham after Kevin Costner makes him look stupid by telling the batter what pitch he’s throwing and so the guy blasts a home run that hits the bull in the ass. That’s me now, because I don’t want to get blasted doing something stupid. I just nod and smile. Nod and smile.
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6 Useless Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Me
1. Even though I’ve never been anywhere near North Carolina, I bleed Duke basketball. I want to retire in Krzyzewski-ville so he can bring me donuts and coffee every morning while I camp out in a giant 12-man tent so I can buy tickets to the big game.
2. I was a starting shooting guard at Chico State University where I launched a horrendous amount of 3-pointers at the basket, and even made a few.
3. I was once on the front page of a Hawaiian newspaper for saving a lady’s life by ripping a decorative surfboard off a resident wrought-iron fence, and then swimming out 300 yards to grab her just before she went under after she had been treading water in a rip-tide for 45 minutes. Yep, me and David Hasselhoff, we save lives.
4. I can be a bit sarcastic (apparently), so I have to constantly alert people not be offended by my razor-sharp wit, which my wife has informed me that if I have to alert people to my razor-sharp wit that it might not be as razor-sharp as I believe it to be, but she’s just jealous because she doesn’t have a blog.
5. Before we had kids, my wife and I parented three Rottweilers. At the same time. In one tiny house. Which is to say every day my wife vacuumed up garbage bags full of dog hair while I picked up 15 piles of crap. I miss my dogs.
6. My dirty little secret is that I love Jason Bourne and often fantasize about being him because of his ability to escape CIA agents by walk-running from place to place, and because of his ability to beat up and kill other top assassins with a rolled-up magazine.
My real fantasy is to take down evil oil companies and bankers, but fantasizing makes me sleepy, so I usually take a nap.
I’ve spent more than two decades in this industry, not because I chose it, but because offices and cubicles make me grumpy.
I have been a busser at a (previously mentioned) Chinese restaurant and later at a popular Mexican Cantina in Chico, CA where I went to college.
After moving to the Bay Area I secured a job as a server at Claim Jumper where I had to wear a bolo tie and a badge with my name on it like I was a character working in Frontierland at Disneyland. After three embarrassing years of wearing that getup, I moved up to the big time by landing a bartending job at P.F. Chang’s (before it went corporate and sterile).
From there, I started working at multiple bars at the same time, like a prostitute with multiple Johns. I’ve spent time at fine dining places, high-volume clubs and classic mixology bars. In other words for 12 years I was IMMERSED in bartending, until I finally took a management role and moved my career into another direction, which is helping train people to become bartenders, as well as help bar owners & managers run a more profitable bar.