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Royal Oak bar etiquette: The Do's and more importantly, the Don'ts


Paris Hilton is flagrantly violating bar etiquette.

It's Saturday Night and you're out on the town enjoying an evening with your friends.  A man who resembles your grandfather's best friend comes in with a group of people who proceed to stand directly behind you; heels touching, arm bumping,  close behind you.  At one point Gramps even rests his arm on your shoulder while speaking with his friends, not you or yours. 

What do you do? 

If you're a feisty red-headed Leo I know, let's just say what you did got you called a bi.otch although clearly she was not the villain in this situation.

Let me guide you through some Bar Etiquette Do's and Don'ts so you won't be that guy (or gal). 

When dealing with Bar Staff:
1.  Be polite: Don't yell "Hey" or snap or do anything else obnoxious.  They see you, they just see their other patrons too, you know, the ones not behaving like idiots.
2.  Get out of the way:  They have a job to do and standing in their way not only slows them down from bringing other people their drinks, but ultimately it slows them down from bringing you yours.  And if you get ran over by the cart carrying the keg, don't yell at the bar back.  You're the idiot who thought you could take on a half barrel.
3.  Have your money out and order ready to go:  Don't wait for the bartender to come to you, then decide what you and your crew are drinking, then figure out how to pay.  Yadda yadda yadda.  In the time it took me to type all of that, the bartender could have served 3 more parties.
4.  Tip after every round unless you have a tab (I shouldn't have to say that, but apparently I do.)
5.  Don't hit on the bartender: They are pros who probably get hit on by sleaze-balls every night.  Don't be a sleaze ball.

For Everyone
6.  Get the heck out of my personal bubble.  I know it's crowded, and we're packed in like sardines, but if you're close enough to be the pendant on my necklace, you need to back it up like a Mac truck (so long as your junk doesn't touch mine).
7.  Michigan does not have a smoking ban, and therefore lots of bars still allow smoking.  I know it's not for everyone, but if you find a bar too smoky, leave.  Don't make loud noises behind me because you can see my cigarette.   And even worse - don't complain about cigar smoke in a cigar bar.  That's like complaining about Latin music on Salsa Night.
8.  If you caused the spill - apologize and replace.  Say it with me.
9.  Just because the fist bump is an appropriate greeting, it doesn't mean the shoulder bump is.
10.  Unless it's a swingers party - take it home!  We don't need to see exactly what you two do behind  closed doors.

For Gals:
11.  If you can't keep your hair extensions to yourself, throw it in a pony, or a French twist or under a hat.  There is something so creepy about when a strangers flowing mane touches your skin.  Yuck.
12.  I know, I know, I love extra-large purses too, but trust me and do us all a favor and leave the suitcase at home.
13.  Don't be a princess.  Put your paycheck to work and be prepared to spring for your own bill.  Be gracious if you are offered a drink but don't expect it.
14.  Be nice to guys who compliment you.  It takes some guts to talk to you. 
15.  You should've gotten ready before you came out.  Stop hogging the mirror in the bathroom before someone decides to dry their hands on your new clubbing halter.

For Guys:
16.  My arse doesn't say "free, take one."  Keep your hands to yourself.
17.  Buying a round doesn't guarantee you'll get laid. We'll appreciate it, and determine how much appreciation it warranted (but seriously, you can't hire a professional for a $5.50 vodka tonic so you probably can't hire an amateur for that either).
18.  Lay off the cologne  - seriously.
19.  Be a gentleman when complimenting us.  And read the signs, don't linger unless you're invited to.  Please don't get angry if we don't return the compliment or interest; we were flattered and appreciated your thoughts.  Now go away, go home, go somewhere.  But whereever you go, don't do it on one knee.  Nobody wants to be proposed to in a bar. 
20.  This isn't the UFC. No grown woman likes a fighter outside of the ring.
21.  Boyfriend bathroom breaks are not your "big chance" to get her number.  If she's on a date, let her be.
22.  If you're the John in the john wash your hands.  There are so many things wrong with guys who don't.  Eeew.
And most importantly - Don't drink and drive!  . Designate a friend. If you don't have any friends, hire one. The Designate will drive you and your car home.

Here's what other Examiners have had to say on the topic:. 

Have a tip to share?  Add your thoughts below...


  • Kim - Royal Oak Nightlife 5 years ago

    This one was added to my Facebook: Men of the Midwest, unless you're Mr. February keep your shirt buttoned up. Meavage is unattractive.

  • Patrick Rall-The Detroit Autos Examiner 5 years ago

    Haha...great article.

  • Katarina 5 years ago

    Wow. I had no idea there was so much going on up at the bar. I guess I don't get out enough! Great job!