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Becoming a bartender.

Food?Food? Registered User regular
edited December 2006 in Help / Advice Forum
Honestly, I think it'd be a terrific college job. I'm going to be attending Indiana University starting this coming semester, so it's a big college with a few bars around. I'm 18, so that means I can server liquor, correct?

Anyways, what exactly do I have to do? The Midwest Bartending School has a location in Indianapolis, which (I think) is about an hour away from Bloomington (where IU is). The website says that you can complete training in two weeks. How much should this cost? And then what?

Food? on


  • Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    A bartending course is not compulsary, though it does help. I'm lucky, I'm Australian, all I need to do is go to a different country tell them where I am from and they will build a pub around me for me to work at. Every person I know who has worked overseas has worked in a bar at some stage.

    A bartending job is just like any other job, keep sending resumes in to places you want to work.

    Keep in mind though, as fun as it may seem, you will be working when everyone goes out because that's when a bar is most busy, so expect to kiss you wednesdays, fridays and saturdays goodbye.

    Blake T on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Whether or not you can serve depends totally on state law. The only two states I know for a fact are California (where you have to be 21 to serve) and New York (where you can serve at 18).

    Thanatos on
  • NucshNucsh Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I know in NC 'serving' does not mean 'making.' You can serve at 18, but you can't bartend until you hit 21. I could bring the drinks to the tables, but I couldn't even pour a glass of wine.

    And I know that Indiana bar laws are pretty strict (not even being allowed into a bar until 18. Period.), so I suspect that the bartending/serving/making laws are just as strict.

    Nucsh on
  • World as MythWorld as Myth a breezy way to annoy serious people Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Yeah, you have to be 21 to bartend here in Indiana. Sorry, man.

    World as Myth on
  • Food?Food? Registered User regular
    edited December 2006

    Food? on
  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Though for those interested the most common way I've seen is for a person to start out as a waiter or busboy at a restaurant with a bar, get promoted to said bar, and then have the necessary experience when applying at a normal bar.

    Quid on
  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    The easiest way to become a bartender, if you're unfortunate enough to be born with a Y chromosome, is to get in good with a bar owner/bartender and convince them to let you get some "learning" time behind the bar.

    You have to be 21 to bartend in Indiana, and it would be hard to get a job at any of the bars on the strip (Sports, Axis, Bluebird, etc) or on Kirkwood unless you're in good with the people there. I didn't bartend, but I wanted to bounce at a bar while I was down at IU. I knew a girl who dated a door guy there and that got me in good.

    Congrats on going to Big Red. Expect not to be able to find a job down there, as it's a small town with a whole lot of people looking for work.

    Raggaholic on
  • HeirHeir Ausitn, TXRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    The main thing I found when in College was that becoming a bartender in a college town is not an easy feat.

    But like others have said, try either becoming a busboy/doorman at a bar or work your way up to the bar position at one of the mid-level restaurants in the area.

    Heir on
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