Bartenders have seen it all, from unbelievable successes to world crumbling failures. Here, 30 bartenders tell us about the times they seen the most incredible pick ups on the other side of their bars.
One Point For The Lady
“I was bartending and I heard one guy say, ‘I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t ask for your number.’ The girl said ‘Sure. Want it now or tomorrow morning?’
He looked at me bewildered. I nodded him on. Smooth move girl”
She Knew What She Was Doing
“This stuck with me through the years. I worked at a restaurant/bar that went crazy on Friday and Saturday nights. Sunday was industry night and local bar staff would come hang out, play pool, and enjoy half price drinks. A girl showed up that I had seen before but couldn’t place. She was kind, engaging and she was giving off signs. Midway through the night, she asked about playing pool. We would open the table for staff night, but the process required you to crouch down and unlock a side panel to access the balls.
While I was kneeling, she walked past me from behind and casually ran one finger from shoulder blade to shoulder blade. I was surprised, but there’s no missing that sign. When I stood up and met her eyes I understood. There she was with a knowing, playful, slightly mischievous look on her face. I’ve never been picked up so well, so confidently, and so elegantly before. It turned out she was a bartender from a spot a little further away that I’d been to a few times. She found out who I was and came with intentions. We dated for several months and I liked her more than most. In fact, I’m going to creep on her social media now”
The Subtle Art Of Persuasion
“I work a pretty nice, tropical mixology bar. One night we had ‘casual night’ so to speak. So instead of my usual button-up shirt, I wore a sleeveless tank that said, ‘Sleeping with the bartender won’t get you free drinks, but it’s worth a shot.’ I saw it online and I printed 3- one for me and two for my fellow bartenders.
I did it because I thought it would be funny. Well, crap, it worked. Not only did we get a stupidly high amount of tips (like 200 bucks each) but we all went home with a girl that night.”
Lucky Smoke Ring
“I was not a bartender at the time but have been for over 15 years. A friend and I were having a beer or 7 while waiting for our pool league to start. The bartender was really cute (personality cute) with a fantastic smile. We were all a bit smitten. The bar was slow and she was leaned over talking to us and I could tell he was on fire.
He asked for another beer and as she reached for it, he blew a smoke ring that seemed to slowly grow in size. Her back was to him when he released this majestic ring. As she turned around, the motion of her body caused it to slow down (I swear time almost stopped here), and as she set the beer in front of him the ring just hovered ever so gently over the bottle then slid slowly over the bottle, down stem growing just enough over the shaft and hit the bar. Gently dissipating.
When she looked up he was staring into her eyes. She said softly, ‘That’s the sexiest thing I have ever seen.’
This smooth mother says, ‘You should see what else I can do.’ Then with a slight pause and a grin, he winked and slapped a 5 on the bar. We walked away to meet some friends who had just walked in. He leans into to me and says, ‘No way in hell I could pull that off on purpose.’ I just lost it and we shared a laugh. Next thing we knew, they were together. Time passes by and friends grow apart. Last I knew they were still together. 20 years later and I still remember that as the smoothest thing I have ever seen and I am a grown man.”
The Dog Whisperer
“I was in a very strange bar, it was my going away present from my coworkers. One of my older coworkers, like 40-50ish, sees this lady enter with a dog (the bar allowed dogs, it was freezing cold and dogs were everywhere). He changes the conversation to, ‘What kind of dog do you think that is?’ I think the group settled on cocker spaniel mix.
He gets up, asks the lady if her dog is a cocker spaniel, asks if it likes treats (what dog doesn’t). He had saved dog treats in his coat pocket for some reason, the dog is stoked. He’s going on about how he used to have one (pretty sure he didn’t) and for the rest of the night they were hitting it off. I was the only person in our group that noticed his insane success. Miss that crowd of people, not the job, though”
Saved By The Beer
“Not a bartender but watched a buddy pull this off.
So there is this beautiful chick and this dude is trying to talk to her and clearly she is not into it. So my buddy buys two beers and walks right up to her and sits down and says, ‘Hey babe, I got you a beer.’ I saw the words come out of his mouth from across the noisy bar…and there was a split second moment of suspense. She immediately grabbed him by the arm and replied, ‘Thanks babe.’ I was utterly shocked that it worked.
The first dude promptly bailed and like 20 minutes later my buddy was making out with that chick haha. There you have it, folks! Confidence!”
Kiss The Girl
“My buddy has a stupid good voice and plays in a Hawaiian Reggae band. In the town we live in EVERYONE knows who he is. He’s a good guy with a ton of personality. One night he finished a set and a girl walked up and said, ‘Jeff, how come you never sing me a song?’ She asked this because he had dedicated a song to a friend that night.
Anyway, his response was to sing her ‘Kiss The Girl’ from the little mermaid. She melted. After the chorus, he leaned in and kissed her…it belonged in Barney Stinson’s Playbook. To this day I am amazed it worked”
“I was visiting a friend at another college when we went to a huge party with an open bar. I was making a drink when I noticed the ice bucket was empty. I went to the freezer, emptied the ice tray into the bucket, went to the sink and filled the ice tray with water, and returned the tray to the freezer. One of the girls living in the house came over and said it was the sexiest thing she had ever seen.”
Now Accepting Applications
“My ex is one of the most prolific bartenders in our city; everyone, everyone knows her and she never dates across the bar. Two July 4ths ago I asked her, ‘Are you taking boyfriend applications?’
Right Place At The Right Time
“I was walking up a train station and this cute girl wearing heels fell backward and I caught her. All I said was, ‘I don’t like girls who fall for me too fast.’ She ended up chasing me and we diddled. So uh, if you want to find love just wait for someone to end up in a dangerous situation and do something about it”
I Love Your Accent
“An Irish guy walks in and orders a few shots. The ladies go crazy for his accent and he starts telling them about Ireland, his favorite Irish bands, and things he likes about the States. A few drinks in and he started sounding a little less Irish. After he was completely sloshed, his Irish accent was a full blown southern drawl. The girls were so messed up they didn’t even notice. Saw the guy at the same place a while back and he was an Aussie. Idk who that smooth mother was but he reminded me of Robert California. He pulled more babes than Bill Cosby.”
The Power Of Attraction
“I once knew a guy who could stroll into any bar in our city and come out with at least one very attractive girl to go home with.
His trick? He’s attractive. Absurdly attractive.
Pretty easy to do, really. Once you become attractive. Want to learn his trick? You can’t. You’re not nearly attractive enough.”
Just Be You
“If we’re talking about ‘moves’ with a high success rate, the best technique seemed to be striking up a casual conversation. It’s also been the most successful ‘move’ I ever made and is responsible for all my recent relationships.
People who try to use some ‘special’ trick, mostly guys, come off as obvious to me and I don’t think the women are fooled either. Then they get shot down, and turn to me and make some comment about how it must be something off with her”
Riding The Karma Bus
“About two years ago, I was taking the night bus home after a night out. The bus was full and I saw a 40ish guy who looked really drunk and shaky with his friend trying to hold him up. They looked like they were struggling super hard so I told them they could take my seat. So I stand next to the next row of seats and this one girl starts chatting me up because she saw what I did. We took the bus to my place. Really reminds you that sometimes good karma pays off”
Need A Light?
“A few years ago, a cool guy I worked with pulled a move I found really smooth! While a pretty lady with friend in tow is about to light a cigarette, he literally jogged over saying, ‘Whoa! Yo!’ The two girls along with everyone present are a little startled as he snatched the cigarette out of her mouth. It turns out, the cigarette was backward; he held it up with his eyebrows raised cheekily, flipped and lit it, then handed it back to her with a beaming smile. Really could have gone the wrong way, but somehow he pulled it off.”
The Long Build Up
“I tended bar for a local youth ‘club’ of sorts for a couple of years on weekends. There was one guy who was trying to hook up with one particular girl I knew. He tried over the course of several weeks. Every time she’d come up to the bar, he’d be somewhere near, or in another spot at the bar and he’d just smile whenever he caught her eye like he knew her.
Eventually, she went up and talked to him to try and figure out where he knew her from. He didn’t, it was just the slowest, most deliberate game of, ‘Don’t I know you from somewhere?’ I’ve ever seen.
The weren’t together for long but still.”
“The smoothest move I’ve ever witnessed was a guy we were out with walked up to this stunning girl in a nightclub (the sort that even the most trying of guys didn’t bother with because she had ‘high-maintenance and WAY out of your league’ stamped all over her) and went: ‘Not looking for a relationship, just casual hook-ups, fancy coming back with me tonight?’ He was confident, and cocky, but certainly not the best looking lad in the world.
She looked him up and down, chuckled, and went ‘Alright.’ That was the last we saw of him that evening. Group of about twenty guys left speechless after it happened”
Not Into PDA
“I was nearby while a friend of mine was chatting with a girl. Things were going well and he tried to kiss her; she shied away and says she isn’t into PDA. His response was, ‘Good thing my bedroom door has a lock.’ They immediately left together. I was in awe”
“I am a bartender in a college bar at a school often ranked number one party school. Word of advice, seeing as many of you seem to be seeking it. If the bar is busy, and you think the bartender is cute, that is NOT the time to talk to her. She will be simply annoyed and any chance you may have had is now down the drain.
Personally, my favorite customers (and the only customer I’ve ever given my number to) are the ones who come in on weekdays and actually get to know me, not annoy me with their drunk antics.
Overall, don’t be afraid to hit on the bartender, there are often guys that I am checking out just as hard as they are me.”
To The Point
“When I was shoving beer across this bar a few years back, I had two quite hot girls sitting at my bar.
One of them gave me a few looks that was a little beyond, ‘Maybe we’ll get some free drinks?’
It wasn’t really crowded, so I overheard a bit of their conversation.
The girl who gave me the looks said something like, ‘Isn’t it really crowded here today. I don’t know where this is night is gonna lead to.’
I looked over to her and said, ‘Well, how would like this to end?’
She looked me straight in the eyes, waited around a second and just said, ‘Simultaneously'”
Buy Me A Drink
“My best line:
Want to buy me a drink?
I’m a guy. Failed only once, I was amazed”
Did You Say Ex Boyfriend or Next Boyfriend?
“I was flirting with the bartender at my favorite bar on my 21st birthday. She was new-ish, and I was drunk as heck. Before I left, she told me that I looked exactly like her ex-boyfriend. I asked her if she was sure that I didn’t look like her next boyfriend. Then I did finger guns and walked out. Literally the smoothest I’ve ever been”
“The smooth lines I’ve had written to me on the back of the receipt are priceless. My favorite one was, ‘I bet you’re as strong and deep as the Rioja you recommended. Call me. Sarah x.’ Helps if you specify which one you are if you are sitting at a table with multiple women, but hey, gave me a chuckle and boosted my ego. I never called because they were all a bit older than me and I just don’t fly that way”
All The Smooth Moves
“NYC bartender UWS neighborhood spot. I got a few witnessed moments that have stuck with me. I’m going to try and post them from impressive moves to heartfelt.
I’ve been working there for 6 months, A neighborhood regular is there who is a former Ballerina now making her own way with her own studio. One of her dancers, a Polish super model looking type is with her. She asks her boss if she’d go buy her cigarettes and as soon as she’s gone she asks how do I feel about taking a walk with her. As I was taken at the time, nothing happened, but It was my most flattering moment.
My favorite personally, but we put candles out during winter. Irish Pub so no pretensions of fanciness, just a nice muted light kind of thing. We’re winding down, and collecting the candles. Guy is on a date in the corner with a girl, no idea the situation. He comes up 10-15 minutes after we pull the candles, drops a $20 and says, ‘I’m gunna need one of those candles back’ smooth, slick, and he didn’t pull the far too seen crappy move of throwing a drink or shot at a date. Play on Gentleman.
After finishing a crap and having a beer, had a girl turn to me and say, ‘You seem like an interesting person! You should meet my friend!’ Already expecting the worst, she introduced me to her friend next to her who was too shy to introduce herself. She was uncomfortable with how tall she was (like 6’3″ish) incredibly pretty, and had her PhD in Applied Math. Took a lot not to laugh while we were talking that she was nervous to meet me.
Had a woman walk in, late, order a beer then start sobbing. Normally a red flag. About 2-3am at the time nobody could ignore it. I ask her if she’d like a cigarette and she’s down, and another regular steps outside with us. Very good guy. She tells us about her fiancé who’s been diagnosed with cancer and been hiding it from her hoping it would go away, but now he has six months no questions. Regular guy and I do our best to console, bring up situations in our lives that she might relate to as best we can, etc. She heads out, drink is on the house. Just found out (now 3-ish years later) the gal and the guy kept up a little bit on Facebook (strangely similar circle of friends), met up, and are starting something up between them now. We’ll see.
Also yeah you know them nasty shameless hook-ups happen, but waay less nowadays because the internet ya know?”
I’ve seen many guys try to ‘play up’ (go after a woman who looked out of his league) and get shot down hard but this one guy stuck out. He’s average Joe at best. But he pulled up the the busy bar beside this absolutely gorgeous girl. Then proceeded to ignore her completely. He knew a few people there and was talking and being friendly to everyone but looking past her like she didn’t exist. She could only take about 30 minutes of it before she basically demanded he talk to her. They left together an hour later”
I Think You Dropped Something
“I have not tended bar for a good few years now, but this was one of the coolest things that’s ever happened to me.
It was a really cold December about 4/5 years ago and we had a company hire out most of the bar for their Christmas party. The night goes on fairly well and some other customers come in for a drink. This one girl, cute as hell, sits at the bar and we start chatting about the usual stuff. This goes on for a good few minutes and then all hell breaks lose at this party, chairs being thrown everywhere, pool cues being used as swords, a Polish lady who looks like Arnie throws a man across the room. Crap got real, we called the police.
Everyone’s cleared out except two other people and this cute girl. Call last orders, go round the bar to collect some glasses come back and this happens; ‘Hey, Phil. You dropped something.’ She the hands me her business card with her number and address on it. Gooooooalllllllllllllll! Awesome night and a few following months as well”
I Have A Goldfish
“I was bartending and a guy asked for my number, the conversation went like this:
Him: ‘Can I get your number?’
Me: ‘I have a boyfriend.’
Him: ‘I have a goldfish.’
Me: ‘Um, okay?!?!’
Him: ‘I thought we were talking about crap that doesn’t matter…’
Best pickup line in 11 years of bartending. He wasn’t super attractive, but his timing and execution were on point”
In The Spotlight
“When I was working at a bar I had a pretty smooth line, way smoother than my usual awkward self. There were two ladies seated at the bar, typical cougar types, they were making a small amount of talk with me in between their drinks, nice people. All of a sudden the house lights go up, and one of them comments on it. ‘Oh well I asked them to turn them up’, ‘Why did you do that?’ ‘Just so everyone else in the bar can see how good you two look tonight’. They did the I’m flattered hand movements and I think one gave me their number”
10 Drinks On Me
“I worked at a fancy restaurant where the drinks were about $15 a pop. We would get celebrities and sports people on a regulars basis.
However, the majority of our bar customers were regulars who came in 3-5 times a week.
One slower night some douche sports dude came in and sat at the bar. He got a drink and asked about the cute girl on the other side of the bar – before I could even say anything he was all blustering, ‘I’m gonna take her back to the hotel.’
I laugh at him, because screw him.
He tells me to send her a really expensive drink. He doesn’t ask what she’s drinking already or if maybe I know what she likes. He’s just abrupt and says send her a drink. I don’t even have time to say anything before this douchebag says, ‘You know what, send her 10 drinks.’
I snort so freaking hard because this is just magical fun time for me at this point.
I should point out that I have a fair amount of autonomy in my job and as long as they are being a douchebag first I can kind of play the whole thing how I want (best job /worst job).
I tell him she’s not going to be into this sort of thing and maybe he should just say hi first. This fricking guy though he tells me this works every time.
I offer him a few expensive choices and he just says the good stuff, the good stuff.
So I walk over to Carrie and tell her what’s the guys doing. I’ve known Carrie for around five years at this point. She comes in with her family at least twice a week and she’s like a little sister to everyone. A hot little sister but a little sister none the less – she also has a fiancé who is pretty cool.
She is appropriately creeped out and I offer to do whatever she wants because again, screw him.
She says to tell him she’s good but thanks for the offer. She even smiles and waves with her glass showing him it’s full.
I go and tell him what she said. The dude is a douche nugget but I don’t want to make 10 $50 drinks just to be a douche.
Oh my lord this poor loser says make the drinks and send her 10 pieces of chocolate cake too.
I shake my head and tell him she’s not interested whatsoever. Little sports ball man looks at me like I’m an idiot and tells me to just do it.
Screw it then, let’s do it.
I go back to the kitchen and let them know what’s going on. They know Carrie too. Chef gives me a smile and says he’s on it.
I go back to the bar and pour 10 neat shots of some overpriced scotch (I can’t remember what it was!) and lay them out for her. The chef and the GM of the restaurant come out in tuxes and chefs whites to deliver the cake to her.
I kid you not, her family shows up while we are in the middle of laying things out. And her man comes in a few minutes after that. They are having fun with the booze and the cake while sports ball is sitting on the other side of the bar alone.
Her fiancé went over and thanked the guy for all of the stuff! After that the sports guy asks for his check without looking at me. I drop it and he lays out some cash and walks away without saying anything. He tipped about average.
I had some scotch and chocolate cake”
“I worked one night and saw a couple of friends, who obviously didn’t know each other that well before that night. One of the girls didn’t care much for one of the guys. One of the other guys told him, and he went to ask her why she didn’t like him. He was so drunk that he asked some random girl on the dance floor why she didn’t like him. Somehow that worked… 20 minutes later, they took off to his place…”