Everyone always expects bartenders to throw one hell of a party and being the top bartending school in Canada we knew we had a world of pressure on our shoulders’ with the concept of hosting a graduate party in the summer of 2011. We wanted to bring all our past graduates together to mix and give them a chance to bartend for other graduates – yes you read correctly, our graduates were bartending at the party for other guests, pretty neat idea!
On the night we had 48 bar staff on hand to work rotating shifts of thirty minutes on six bars – eight shifts in total. Each of those six workstations were kept busy, bustling in fact for the entire night since the guestlist overflowed. Everyone wanted to get in on the BartenderOne action and let’s be honest why wouldn’t they want to?!
The party itself kicked off at 9pm with some kicking tunes and the line of guests was out the door, down the street. The first shift of bartenders were standing by with their speed rails at the ready rearing to go. During the night only four cocktails were present on the menu, fresh of course, we practise what we preach thoroughly.
Each guest that arrived through the doors of Empire Lounge – bartenders included were dressed to impress and impressed I was, amazed in fact at the effort that each and every participant went to.
On the half hour, every half hour each shift of bartenders rotated and the new teams were assigned – randomly, nobody knew when they would be called up to perform. Once the student graduates were finished bartending they brought their tips to Sarah who counted them and monitored the intake as part of the giant giveaway that was to happen later that night. Up for grabs unbeknown to each guest on the night, was an IBC course, two Molecular Mixology workshops and an iPad 2. This was our small way of saying thanks to our graduates for choosing BartenderOne and attending the party – presents for attending the party, really we are just the best, right?
As soon as 11.30 rolled around the familiar hum from the usual competitors from the TFL could be heard, we knew before any flips were even made, this was sure to be an epic competition. Some of our boys from BartenderOne were itching to show off some flair moves to the beautiful audience and once the spotlight was thrust upon them, they did not disappoint. The stand out for me by far was the fire move performed by our very own Dave Jennings, I’m pretty sure there were quite a few jaws touching the ground when he whipped this move out. The winners were chosen by the applause from the crowd and the popular guy that he is, Mr. Jennings ran away with the prize.
Downstairs the party guests were treated to some spectacular IBC cocktails from graduates Alysha, Tyler and Jeannine. Even Ryan from BartenderOne made a guest appearance whipping up some delightful concoctions with the help of some wicked dry ice.
At 1.30, bang on the dot, an announcement was made for all to come upstairs for the grand giveaway, the tips had been counted and the decision had been made for the winning participants. Coming first in the tip competition and grabbing the IBC course was Sandra Bendzel who managed to make a whopping $108 in thirty minutes – now that’s high speed bartending! The Most Entertaining Bartender award went to Matt Conway who enticed his customer with some quick flair moves! Finally the iPad giveaway, well you could sense the excitement in the crowd and after 3 tickets were pulled with no winner to step forward finally the prize got awarded to a very excited Peter Dean.
It truly was a long day in the world of BartenderOne but what a day, seriously. For our first event at this magnitude it went off without a hitch. A special thanks must go out to Matt Holtom from us all here at the office, he took the project on with both hands and ran with it and what a spectacular job he did! This is only the beginning for the BartenderOne graduate parties and yes you heard it here first.