green sour cocktail

40 Types of Bars New Bartenders Should Apply At

It’s nice to go out on the town and enjoy a few cocktails. Fortunately for all of us, there’s plenty of different types of bars out there for us to enjoy. A lot of them!

In this article, I look at the 40 types of bars new bartenders should apply at. For inexperienced bartenders, it’s a numbers game. The more places you apply at – the better chance you have at landing your first bartending job.

Just how many types of bars are there? Hundreds. Maybe even thousands. I have a list of about 40 common types of bars below. Keep in mind that these are general categories – every bar is different, and you could probably come up with a list of hundreds of ‘types’ of bars.

Many bars and restaurants combine different themes and concepts, and they all have a unique feel or ‘vibe.’ Many will fall into a couple of different categories, while some will fall into that “This is the most unusual bar I’ve ever been in” type of bar.

And let’s not forget about the folks who work in these bars. Bartenders are unique – just as bars are. They play a huge role in the success of their bar, and bar owners are constantly on the look-out for new bartenders that ‘fit in.’

What Kind of Bars Can Bartenders Get a Job At?

Let’s take a look at some of the types of bars out there, their basic concepts and working conditions, and what you might expect, generally speaking, to encounter on a day-to-day basis.

I have also included some general tips on how to apply as a bartender at these places if you are so inclined, as well as the difficulty level brand-new bartenders may run across getting a job there.

Airport Bars

I’m referring to bars that are actually inside the airport. Very busy at times. You may have some regulars – those that travel on a weekly basis, but you’re probably going to see most people just once. Is it a hub like New York or Chicago? If so, then it’s going to be much busier than your ‘final destination’ airports like San Diego or Tucson.

You will encounter a very diverse clientele. Lots of folks traveling internationally, and of course you’re going to see people from all of the United States.

Kind of a hassle to apply at. Parking, security, background checks. Yuck. The money, however, can be fantastic. Many people traveling are on expense accounts so tips can be really good.

A nice bonus is that there can be many different types of bars and restaurants inside the airport. Sports bars, corporate theme restaurants, and family restaurants. Apply at all of them, or one application may be all you need.

Airport Hotel Bars #2

These are the bars, in hotels and motels, that surround the airport. Every city has them. Yes, hotels can be on a ‘strip’ several miles away, but nevertheless – and airport bar.

Besides travelers, many hotels have a regular clientele – nice. They might have a piano bar or live music with local bands, and can get very busy at times. A smart bar manager will have promotions that attract locals.

Usually chain-type hotels, and you’ll probably have to apply online first. A fun place to work, and there’s many other positions you could cross-train for.

Another benefit to these types of hotels/bars is that they probably have a banquet department. Many travelers are simply in town for a week-long conference, so they need to eat and drink. Enter the banquet department.

A great way to get your foot in the door as a bartender. They probably also do weddings and what-not on weekends. Besides working your way up to a bartender position from your position as a food server in a theme restaurant type of place – this is probably the fastest and easiest way to get started as a bartender.

Banquet Bars

We’ve all been to these bars. Most likely while attending a wedding or business seminar. There’s usually a limited choice in your beverage favorites, but it gets the job done. You probably know many the people in attendance.

Located in almost every hotel in the country. Probably one of the best (if not the best) way for a bartender to get that first job. Most banquet-type settings have portable bars with a minimal selection of alcohol, beer, and wine. Easy stuff.

Shorter shifts, and bartenders may be on call for many events. The downside is that many functions may have only 20 or 30  people. And they don’t drink. Ouch. Take it with a grain of salt – you’re getting some experience.

Another benefit with working banquet bars is that you get to wait on and socialize with people that don’t generally frequent bars. For more on that subject, check out 25 types of customers bartenders deal with.

Tips are usually built into the overall cost of the meals and functions, so all gratuities will most likely be pooled between the servers, bartenders, and banquet captains. However, if allowed to put out a tip jar you can make some extra money. The double-dipper.

Another bonus is that although the banquet department is usually separate from the ‘real bar,’ you have an advantage of already being employed and can request to transfer to the main bar if a position opens up. Nice. It can get crazy busy in hotel nightclubs.

Beach Bars

One of my favorites. Casual, heavy party drinkers – and lots going on. All kinds of contests and promotions. Fun atmosphere with an informal dress code and semi-loud music.

Many regulars travel to and from by foot or bicycle, so expect a little bit of ‘over-serving’ going on. These bars can be ‘touristy’ during certain seasons. I may have “misplaced” a few bicycles during my time cruising beach bars.

Usually sports-oriented with lots of house specialty drinks. Bartenders are fast and knowledgeable. Great money. Regular, solid shifts. Employees tend to be on the younger side, and ‘pick-up’ artists thrive.

having fun at a beach bar

Easy to apply if it’s a ‘Mom and Pop’ type place. Otherwise, for chains you can apply online. Because of the pace and clientele, turnover may be frequent – but that’s not written in stone. Great places have great management – and the bar manager is probably very experienced.

Bartenders that work at these types of places are usually top-of-the-line. Fast. Lots of experience. Things happen fast in beach bars, and there’s always something going on. You really need to be on your toes to work here.

One of the tougher places to land your first bartending job. Besides being a fast-paced environment, bartenders here will run across a lot of “weird” situations – and the bar managers are most likely looking for some experience.

Beer Gardens

Who hasn’t been to a beer garden? I wasn’t sure if I should even add this type of bar to the list; however, it’s a great place for brand-new bartnders to be able to add “experience” to the resume.

Beer bar areas are usually roped off and offer strictly beer. Maybe some wine. Very informal, and usually found at county fairs, racetracks, conventions, and the like.

Yes, it does qualify as experience, but bar managers will look at this as simple work experience or customer service experience. It depends on how you state the experience on your resume! You’ll probably get the job through an event planner or word of mouth.

You’re dealing with people and alcohol here, so the experience is invaluable. Checking ID’s, monitoring liquor consumption, setting up, tearing down, and probably changing a whole lot of kegs – all contribute to your resume.

Beer and Wine Bars

Fun places. Usually a very loyal and local clientele. The owner may prefer not to serve hard alcohol – thus no license for it. Or, he’s unqualified for a full liquor license – or the local authorities won’t issue one for whatever reason.

A great place to start as a bartender, but be aware of the fact that in your future bartender interviews the bar manager is probably going to treat this experience more as good customer service than actual hard-core bartending.

That’s OK, and don’t sell yourself short. You’re still dealing with people drinking, checking ID’s, and probably serving a lot of food. This is all great experience and may just be the over-riding factor in your getting hired at a full-service bar.

Tips? Well, it depends on where you work, but they’re certainly not as good as a full-service bar.

Bistros

I’ve heard these types of bars described as “Casually Elegant.” OK. They’re usually small and are known for special types of food dishes surrounding a particular countries’ cuisine. Plenty of specialty drinks.

As a bartender, you’re probably going to serve a lot of food. They may specialize in, for example, Scotch whiskeys and have 50 different brands. Or 100 wines. Either way, your food, alcohol, and wine knowledge will skyrocket.

Some are busy – some not so much. Usually locally owned and operated with hands-on management. They’re probably going to want some experience, so starting as a food server would be a great idea. A busy place would be a nice moneymaker for you.

Brew Houses

BrewPub, Taproom Brewery, Micro-Brewery, etc. They’re basically the same thing, but are regulated by law to serve a certain percentage of their beer on-site. They may also be distributing their beer to other establishments. The law is all over the place on these types of bars.

This may be a bit confusing, as they’re sometimes referred to as ‘Craft Bars’ and the like. Either way, they’re usually busy, plenty of television’s for sports, and great food. A great place to work with good tips.

This type of bar is generally a little tougher to get into without any experience. Apply anyway, as you never know. Starting as a food server is probably the way to go.

Casino Bars

Fun place to frequent – especially in Las Vegas. Besides great drinks, you can gamble to your heart’s content. Most casinos have tons of promotions. Live bands, DJ’s, you name it. They probably have some sort of ‘theme.’

Gambling Casinos are everywhere these days – and a great place to work. You’ll see bartenders of all ages in working in bars like this. Another advantage of working here is that they may have multiple bars on location as well as a banquet division.

You’re probably going to be background checked. No big deal. Winners and losers – that’s your clientele. Many casinos have great, inexpensive restaurants and buffets, and are well-known for comping a lot of drinks.

Good tips, and many casinos are union houses with great benefits. Start as a food server – or a different position to get your foot in the door.

It can be hard getting your first job as a bartender at a casino if you have little or no customer service experience. Brand-new bartenders especially may struggle in getting their first job at a casino because it’s a highly desirable place to work; however, don’t overlook this job opportunity.

Coffee Shop Bars

What is a coffee shop bar? Don’t confuse this type of bar with your local coffee shop, a diner, or a place like Starbucks. Coffee shop bars are just that – they may specialize in coffee, but also have a full-service bar.

These are interesting places to work. Lots of coffee drinks as you might expect, and may specialize in a vast array of wines as well. Upscale clientele.

I’ve never worked in a place like this, but I’m told the tips of pretty good. And, it’s more of an entry-level type bartending job – perfect for inexperienced bartenders. If you have experience as a barista – you’re gold.

Chain Local/Family Bar

This type of bar is really no different than other national chain-type restaurants and bars. The main difference is that there may be just a few places in the ‘chain,’ and it’s locally owned and managed.

Fun bars. Lots of regulars. Casual, and customers can get away with a little bit more than usual. Probably plenty of TV’s, a jukebox, and live bands on weekends. Prices won’t break the bank.

The quality of the bartenders is deceptive. They’re good. Very good. These types of places can be easy to get your start as a bartender – or not. Bar owners can be fickle. They can get extremely busy.

A great type of bar to get your feet wet – probably as a food server. Effective ownership is the key here, and if they have multiple locations you’re probably going to want to check this type of place out.

Good money, a friendly place to work, and another place to start off your career. Like other chain restaurants and bars, your tips and wages will depend upon how busy the place is.

Cigar Bar

This is a very different type of bar. Most patrons are more interested in enjoying a fine smoke rather than drinking. Usually a higher class of clientele. Mostly a laid-back, ‘slower’ type of atmosphere.

I have never worked in a cigar bar, but this looks to me like a pretty good place to start your career as a bartender. You’re probably not going to deal with an overwhelming amount of people, so it’s a good starting point to hone your skills. If all the smoke doesn’t bother you that is.

Laws vary around the country regarding these types of bars. As we all know, smoking in bars is prohibited almost everywhere, and it’s my understanding that Cigar Bars usually need to sell at least 51% tobacco products.

Cocktail Bar

Really, I don’t know why a bar owner would call his bar a “Cocktail. Bar.” I guess these types of bars could be classified as a “Craft Bar” or something like that.

Usually a more expensive type of place. Higher class clientele. Fancy drinks, “it” people and the like. Probably food on the more exotic side.

This type of bar is not going to be easy to get your first job at. Generally very busy, and the bar manager is going to be looking for experience. Start as a server or some other position and move up.

Similar to a craft bar in that the tips will be good. Probably open all day, with a switchover for nighttime DJ’s, piano bar, Karaoke, and live music.

College Bar

College bars are fun. Usually located near the local college, and do most of their business during the evening and late-night hours. Drink specials 24/7, noisy, and a majority young crowd.

These types of bars probably have multiple TV’s, loud music, live bands, and generally just a lot of crazy stuff going on. It’s not unusual to observe someone vomiting while using the restroom.

A great place to work as a bartender – if you’re young. The bartenders here probably know a lot of their customers from the college campus. Or, at least have seen their faces before.

You’re going to need some bartending experience to get a job here. College bars can get extremely busy – and bartenders need to know how to handle sticky situations. Pretty decent tips.

Country Western Bars

You gotta love Country Western bars. Fun place, country western music, of course, and a lot of line dancing. Heavy beer drinkers. Lots of local bands on stage.

A fantastic place to work. Good tips, fun crowd – and plenty of regulars. You’ll enjoy the music if you’re a country western music fan.

It could be a bit difficult to get your first bartending job here. Some places are extremely busy and the owners are going to look for experience. On the flip side, as with any type of bar, business could be somewhat slower – thus providing you with a good opportunity to secure your first job.

Craft Bars

Fun places, and these types of bars really focus on customer service and offering unique experiences. Some bartenders will even interview you to see what kind of cocktail might fit your type of personality. OK.

I’ve seen where some of these bars kind of work in a nightclub type atmosphere. Either way, craft bars are very different from your normal neighborhood and nightclub bars. Expensive, and tips are good.

A great place to work – if you like detail and ‘hand-crafting’ your cocktails. Probably strict uniform policies. You’ll prepare a lot of fresh fruit – and get used to shaved ice, premium liquors, and colorful drinks.

Dance Bars

You may think that there’s really no difference between dance bars and discos. Guess again. Dance bars, not to be confused with strip clubs, offer a lot of fun. I’ve noticed that an older clientele frequent the joints.

These types of bars may not start out as a strictly ‘dance’ type of establishment – they just seem to evolve. Dance contests, flappers, etc. Kind of cool, actually.

Tips are average, but, again, some places are busy with a great clientele. I could be wrong, but it seems to mean that everyone is either dancing or observing others dance – instead of drinking. It would, however, be a great place to start.

Disco Bars

Are they still around? Yep. Many people believe that they’re going to come back with a vengeance. Always fun – but I can’t get past the bell-bottoms and silk shirts of the 70’s. Maybe they’ll make a comeback too.

In all honesty, Discos never really ended. The music just changed, and almost any kind of “dance” bar could still be called a Disco.

A great place to work if you like loud music and lots of ‘funny business’ going on with the crowds. Great tip money for bartenders, and if I was younger I wouldn’t hesitate to work at one of these places.

You’re going to need some bartending experience to get a job here. Maybe start as a barback or a food server during the day. The pace is fast – speedy bartenders wanted.

Dive Bar

My favorite. Most people get the wrong impression when someone mentions a “Dive. Bar.” Sure, there are some really seedy bars out there where the clientele is questionable – but that’s not really what a dive bar is.

Dive Bars are usually locally owned, very successful bars. Open all day (whatever the liquor license allows), and do a very nice, steady business. Casual, reasonably priced food and drinks. Very dedicated, local clientele. Probably known for their lunch burgers, and more “down home” menu items.

I’ve bartended at a couple of these types of bars. And managed. Great, regular lunch crowd, a roaring Happy Hour, and then a DJ or live music at night. Busy bars, and owners are making bank, believe me.

Kind of tough for new bartenders to get hired here. However, if you hit it off with the bar owner you have a pretty good chance. You’re definitely going to go through a training period, and regular customers will be very helpful – when they’re not trying to hit you up for free drinks!

Tips are great. Hours are steady. Probably not a lot in the way of benefits. Likely a bit of drinking on the job. Using a jigger is almost unheard of in these types of bars, so get your pouring techniques down pat.

Fine Dining

Fine dining establishments are known more for their food and wine than the crowd and music. Fairly quiet with a slower-paced atmosphere. The bar in these establishments is usually just a place to wait for your table or have an after-dinner drink.

fine dining steak menu item

Nevertheless, a great place to work as a bartender. You better know your wine! $100 bottles of wine are commonplace, and $10 well drinks are the norm.

Normally, I would say start as a server – but you really need to know your stuff to even get a job in that department. I know that most fine dining establishments want a lot of experience – and will verify it before making any new-hire.

“Full of Itself” Bar

Really, any bar could be called a “Full of Itself” bar. Usually expensive and, to me, an aloof sort of staff and clientele. $10 – $15 drinks, and you better tip well or you’ll get some attitude from the staff.

This is just my opinion, of course, but I put bars in this semi-category when I get that vibe where people seem to be hanging out ‘just to be seen.’ A lot of nightclubs seem to be this way.

Local live bands, loud music, and a diverse clientele that really doesn’t cater to regulars – unless you’re living in that ‘artsy’ area just around the corner. These bars are generally busy, and things can get crazy.

Still, a good place to work. Tips can be large and consistent, and the bar probably serves a lot of ‘craft’ type of cocktails and fancy food. You’re going to need some experience, so starting as a server or barback would be perfect to help get yourself in the door.

Gastro Bar

Sometimes called a ‘Gastropub.’ It’s my understanding that these types of bars are still a big thing in Europe and other parts of the world. Good for them.

Interesting bars they are. The newest cuisine, specialty drinks and aperitifs – something for everyone. Fresh food ingredients, never-heard-of-before cocktails, and a lively atmosphere.

I don’t believe I’ve ever been in a bar with the name ‘Gastro Bar’ attached to it – but there sure are bars that come close. I guess anyone could call their bar by this name if they were into the newest, freshest food around – and served drinks.

If you’re looking for a job in this type of bar, I would compare it to a local pub, really. You’re probably going to need some experience, as these place can get busy.

Golf Course Bar

A lot of golfers, of course, and filled with those just finishing their rounds – or filling up on a few Bloody Mary’s before they hit the links. I’m a golfer (not a very good one), and I have seen these bars get very busy.

Lots of promotions and cheap Happy Hour food and drinks. Very casual, and they usually pour a pretty good drink. Not a lot of ‘specialty’ type drinks or live entertainment. TV’s of course, showing a lot of sports.

The sport of golf is slowly declining in popularity. The problem with these types of bars is that there can be periods of really slow time. And, they can close early.

There is a bright side, however. Many Golf Course Bars have dining rooms and banquet facilities. A great place to get your feet wet and ad experience to you resume.

Golf Resort Bar

There can be vast differences between this type of bar and the Golf Course Bar mentioned above. Generally, higher class and more expensive.

More tourists than locals frequent these bars – and drinks are expensive. I’ve seen many of these bars get crazy at nighttime.

This is a great place to get you foot in the door through banquet bartending. Then move up to the main bars.

High Concept Bar

These bars are usually close to a very busy section of a large city. Unique concepts, and high-priced drinks. Think “Craft Bar” type of place. Probably serve lots of food.

Bars like this open up and close down all the time. They’re looking for some sort of unique concept to catch on – on miss fairly often.

These are very good bars to work in. Busy, good tippers, and a place where if you can get a foot in the door you can easily move up to bartender.

Hotel Bars

Not to be confused with airport hotel bars. Hotel bars can be anywhere, and they come in all varieties. Out-of-town clientele, of course, but many can be a favorite hangout for locals.

Lots of local bands and DJ’.s. Tips are all over the place depending on the type of bar. Where is the hotel located? Small town hotels won’t be that busy – but a great place to get your start.

Most hotels will have stricter pouring policies than you pubs are dive bars. Much will depend on if it is locally owned or not.

Most hotels will have a banquet division, so it’s worth exploring that possibility. As you’ll see me mention over and over again – banquet bartending is a great place to start.

If you can get into a busy, 4-Star hotel – wow. These are some of the very best places to work. Flexible hours, cross-training, and fun.

Irish Pub

The name says it all. However, it is a pub, after all. When researching this article, I did a little research on the History of Irish Pubs. That link goes to a very informative article if you’re interested.

The Irish Bar is pretty much the same as any local pub/bar. Usually locally owned – and very busy. Sports, Irish Whiskeys, of course, and a very loyal local clientele.

Nice tips. Lively atmosphere, and something always going on. Probably serves great burgers and other casual fare.

Tough for new bartenders to get their start here because they can get very busy. Especially during Happy Hour. Work hard to get your foot in the door – start as a food server

Karaoke Bar

Yep. There’s plenty of them out there. You really want to work in this place, and enjoy Karaoke – or it will drive you nuts.

Lots of Taylor Swift and Bon-Jovi wannabes. Loud, and sometimes can be very boisterous when you get a large group together doing just Karaoke.

Personally, I have never worked in this kind of bar. Sure, I’ve worked weddings and other events where there was a “one time” Karaoke setup – but it’s not for me.

Generally speaking, tips are decent. Many bars have “Karaoke Night,” so you might run across this kind of set-up in any bar. The same is true for piano bars – expect the bar patrons joining in and having a good time.

Getting a job at this top of bar is about the same as a Sports Bar or local theme bar. Kind of middle-of-the-road, but you never know until you apply.

Live Music Bars

Just like the name implies. These kinds of bars could have any type of theme. Could be a nightclub, “new disco,” or a dive bar.

Generally pretty busy with a younger crowd. Most likely a cover charge and pricier drinks than your normal, everyday bar. Sports and TV during the day – if they’re open.

Tough to get a job here – for inexperienced bartenders. Start as a bar back or food server and move your way up.

Martini/Margarita Bars

Also called “Specialty” Bars. The name says it all, “Bob’s Martini Bar.” “Margaritas-R-Us!” You get the picture.

Usually fairly busy bars, and, basically, no different than a sports bar or theme restaurant and bar. Younger crowds, and probably have a pretty good lunch crowds.

Lot of flavored drinks. They probably have all of the flavored vodkas, tequila’s, and schnapps. Maybe even “Sno-Cone” type flavorings

Not REAL hard to get a job here, but they’re probably going to want some experience. Good money, busy, and always something happening. A great place to work and get some really good experience.

Nightclubs

Busy bars. Sometimes crazy. Can be a local hangout – or a bar downtown with a long line of people waiting to get in. At least that’s what we see on television.

40 Types of Bars New Bartenders Should Apply At

When we think of nightclub bars, we think of the ones that open at 10:00 pm and go till whenever. That’s true, to a certain extent, but many “nightclubs” are just your ordinary, average bar during the day.

Local “Dive Bar” nightclubs are my favorite. Smaller, with DJ’s or live bands, and they have a loyal regular customer following.

On the wish-list of brand-new inexperienced bartenders. Unfortunately, a nightclub is probably the most difficult of all bars to get your start at because they’re, generally speaking, very busy.

Bar managers at busy nightclubs want experience. Period. Starting as a barback is an option, but even then management might require experience.

What, exactly, are these Bar Managers looking for? You need some major skills, my friend. I’ll tell you exactly what they’re looking for here: 7 Skills and Qualities Bar Managers Are Looking For.

Great tips. Usually shorter hours. But you better be able to move. 3-deepers are common, and get your hearing checked regularly.

Nostalgia Bars

Bars that have been around for awhile. There are great bars around the country that are considered historical sites – and very busy.

Usually busy, great food, and pricey drinks. Very nice tips, and get you foot in the door any way you can if they’re doing any sort of volume.

Probably a lot of classic cocktails and draft beer. Laid back, and employees have been working there for a very long time.

Piano Bar

A great place to work, but sometimes seems a little “slow” because people have a tendency to watch all the action going on around the piano.

The piano could be located anywhere: Dining room, main bar, lobby – anywhere on the premises. Wherever. It’s usually a fun place to work, but locals can go “Karaoke” on you and start butchering show tunes.

Probably great food. Start as a food server if they’re not hiring bartenders at the time.

Pool Bars

I’m talking about billiards here. Most beer bars will have pool tables. So do Strip Clubs. And all kinds of bars. These places can get busy.

There are some very large pool bars around the country, and they cater totally to the “billiards” scene. Many sell just beer and wine.

Known to be a “rougher” kind of bar, be prepared for some questionable behavior on the part of the bar’s customers.

One of the easier places to get you first bartending job. Not the best tips, but you should do OK.

The Pub

Really, this kind of bar could have any kind of concept. Might be considered a Sports Bar, a Dive Bar, or an “Irish Pub.”

Probably lots of sports and beer. Tap beer. TV’s all over the place – and great food. usually local – kind of like your neighborhood bar, but may be owned by a large conglomerate.

Fun places to work. Good money, but a bit hard to get a job as an inexperienced bartender. Again, get your foot in the door as a food server.

Racetrack Bars

I’ve never worked in this type of bar – but have been to many racetracks and may or may not have frequented the bars there. Some are extremely busy.

Busy place, and tips can be fantastic. Shorter hours/shifts, so make the most of them. May be seasonal, so have a back-up bartending job.

Kind of “medium-hard” as to getting your first job as a bartender there. They probably want experience.

Resort Bar

This could be a golf course bar – or simply a resort. Sometimes busy, but probably seasonal and you never know what’s going to happen. Money can be fantastic.

Easy to get your foot in the door, but it all kind of depends on how highly rated the resort is. Some of these 4 and 5 star resorts are very picky as to who they hire.

Get your foot in the door through banquet bartending. Or food service. Like all banquet work – it’s just a matter of time before they run short on bartenders – and ask you to step up.

Seafood Bars (Oyster Bars)

Usually, an oyster bar is located behind the actual bar. Sometimes not. This type of bar and restaurant will most likely specialize in seafood. Duh.

Great place to work. One of my first jobs was at a piano bar which had a small oyster bar behind the bar. Great experience, and I learned a lot.

Good tips, because there’s going to be a lot of food going across the bar. You’re probably going to be shucking some oysters – even if you’re not the cook.

Like all bars, this type of bar will probably have TV’s all over the place – and might even be considered a Sports Bar or Pub.

For inexperienced bartenders, this might be one of the tougher places to get your start at. Lots going on behind the bar, and the Bar owner is going to look closely at your customer service experience.

Sports Bars

Great places to work. High-energy, busy, great tips. Always something going on, and large, boisterous crowds. Good food, and reasonably priced drinks.

One of the most desirable places to work for bartenders, but kind of tough to get your foot in the door. Many of the best sports bars are your local Dive Bars

As with any busy bar, you better be able to move. Bar owners are going to prefer experience, so go to Bartending School and try to get hired as a food server.

Strip Clubs

Yes, I’m talking about “Gentlemen’s Clubs” here. Or whatever you want to call them. I’ve found that Strip Clubs will hire inexperienced bartenders – especially if you’re female. Yes, I know there’s strip clubs for female customers, too – they’re just not as prevalent.

Great money, but, when applying make sure that you’re applying for the bartending job only. Unless, of course, you have other ambitions.

These types of bars can get extremely busy. Many bouncers double as bartenders. So does the “talent.” Probably serve food. At least the ones I frequented did.

Wine Bars

Just like the name suggests. It’s a bit misleading as many “Wine Bars” are actually full-service bars. They just specialize in wine. Probably great food.

A great place to get your start – but you better know your wine. Obviously. They probably sell a lot of beer, too, especially if they don’t have a liquor license.

Tips can be really good. Again, sometimes these bars are limited in the type of alcohol they serve, so don’t expect a “late crowd.”

Final Thoughts on Types of Bars New Bartenders Should Apply At

There are so many types of bars out there. And, you can break them down even further because a bar’s theme or concept is what the bar owner wants it to be.

Chain-type restaurants and bars are pretty much alike, but those local bars, clubs, and pubs can have very noticeable differences.

I cannot stress enough the importance of getting out there and applying at every bar you can. Know this: It really is a numbers game. The more places you apply to the better chance you have of getting hired.

And one last thing. Bar and Restaurant Tip Pools are out there. You know, where all tipped employees combine their tips into one pool – and then it’s redistributed by management.

Good or bad, tip pols are here to stay, and many bartenders are dead-set against them. You’ll have to make up your own mind down the road.

As a new bartender, don’t worry about whether the bar has a tip pool. You need bartending experience. Get some experience, and then be more selective on where you wish to work.

Related Bartender Topics

Do a lot of bartenders work two jobs at the same time? Yes, many do. I did. Bartending is one of those types of jobs that makes it easy to take on additional work.

A day job at a busy bar combined with banquet bartending on the weekends can lead to a lot of extra money. There are so many combinations that work. Once you get some experience, the sky’s the limit.

I’m applying for my first bartending job. Should I have a cover letter as well as a resume? Absolutely! The goal here for inexperienced bartenders is to stand out from the crowd. You’re up against other applicants with experience, so a well-written cover letter may help get you noticed.

I go over the importance of resumes and cover letters, and provide you with some really great examples that you can copy, in my Bartender Course.

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