An Ode To The Lesbian Bartender

Nothing bad can happen when a lez bartender is running the show

A few weekends ago, I demanded to my best friend R* that we venture into Brooklyn. “I’m weary of Manhattan,” I dramatically declared, “let’s go on an adventure.”

“Ugh. You’re so annoying. Where to?” R asked me.

“I don’t know. Somewhere chic. DUMBO?”

“Fine,” she snarled, “we’ll go over the goddamn bridge.”

I smiled.

She opened up my fridge and helped herself to my expensive Champagne, pouring it into a coffee mug. “You’re paying for uber.”

“Deal.”

Of course, our plans went completely and totally haywire — we found ourselves epically lost somewhere between DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights. And naturally, it was the snowiest day of the goddamn year. And naturally, neither one of us were dressed appropriately. I shivered in my not-warm-at-all leopard-print-coat that covered a bare midriff and only grazed a quarter of my fishnet stocking clad legs (once a hoe, always a hoe). R slid across the icy sidewalk in her Gucci sneakers and glared at me like she was going to murder me.

The worst part? There wasn’t a bar in plain sight.

We shivered in silence until we stumbled across what appeared to be a bar. 

“I’ve never seen such a beautiful sight in my life,” I whispered. I could feel little snowflakes falling into my eyelashes. 

“Shall we?” R asked, an ethereal peacefulness making its way across her delicate face.

“We shall.” We linked arms and into the bar, we strode.

“Hey, ladies,” a wonderfully deep voice bellowed from behind the bar. And there she was. A lesbian bartender. How did I know she was gay? I could feel it, babe. Not only do I have an excellent gaydar that can detect the tiniest semblance of queerness lingering within a person, but this girl looked gay AF too (don’t tell me you can’t look gay. You can look f*cking gay, honey. You know it. I know it. We all know it).

She was a classic dyke beauty. Her hair was styled into a sexy mohawk. Distressed, loose-fitting jeans hung low on her protruding hipbones. A massive set of keys dangled from her belt-loop. A black leather cuff wrapped itself around her left wrist. Her arms were adorned with — and I’m not kidding — Ani Difranco tattoos. She had the “Righteous Babe” logo tattooed on her flesh.

If there was a contest for the gayest tattoo to ever exist, this tattoo would at least get an honorable mention. The only tattoo more dyke-ish than an Ani tattoo would be an Indigo Girls tattoo. “Closer To Fine” lyrics and whatnot.

And it wasn’t just her fabulously 90s lez look that made the bartender such a ravishing lesbian beaut. It was her energy.  She had lesbian bartender energy. Like you just knew she was going to make you the best drink of your entire existence, but would also kick out any dude who dared do something creepy under her watchful lesbian eyes.

“I’m so glad the bartender is a lesbian,” I said to R as we cozied up in the corner of the bar. “I agree. I’m not a lesbian, but I feel so safe around lesbian bartenders. And I’m oddly attracted to her.”

“Of course you’re attracted to her. That’s the thing about lesbian bartenders. They always have so much swag that straight girls start to question their sexuality around them and straight men aren’t sure if they want to have sex with them or just plain BE them and gay boys get all nervous and giggly around them. No one is safe from the sexy prowess of le lesbian bartender.” I tapped R on the arm. “Watch this.” She perked up like a meerkat.

“Hey!” I sweetly cooed to the lez bartender. (For the record I wasn’t flirting with her, because, I refuse to flirt with bartenders when they’re on the clock. It’s in poor taste. Lesbian bartenders take their professionalism very seriously. I was just being sweet.)

“Hey, you ladies staying warm today?” the lesbian bartender said, a friendly smile sprawled across her face.

“It’s freezing,” I batted my lashes innocently, really hamming it up.

“What can I get you to drink?”

“What do you recommend? For two freezing cold women who prefer spicy flavors to sweet flavors? Who both like to booze but don’t want to get too plastered because it’s only 2 PM and the night is still young?”

“I know exactly what to make you.” And just like, that she stomped across the bar, her Dr. Marten boots slightly squeaking as they pounded the plank wood floor. She began to furiously mix mysterious liquids together.

“Babe. I wanted a french 75!” R whined, “why did you do that?”

“Because,” I cleared my throat, “A lesbian bartender attains a magical gift. She can intrinsically sense what kind of drink is perfect for you. Trust me on this one.”

R rolled her eyes.

Moments later, two Brooklyn style mason jars filled with a gorgeous orange colored liquid was resting before our eyes.

“I think you’ll like it,” the lesbian bartender said, her eyes twinkling like stars. She winked at us, not in a serial-killer, creepy-dude kind of way, but in a charming, effortlessly sexy kind of way. A wink that only a dyke bartender can pull off.

R beamed. “Why is she so sexy?” She purred under her breath.

“Take a sip of this cocktail and you might give up men forever.”

R took a big slug of her drink. “I think I might be gay. This is the best drink I’ve ever tasted in my life.”

“We love the drink! Thank you so much!” I squealed like a school girl to our lesbian bartender who was dutifully wiping down the other side of the bar with a red handkerchief.

She chuckled and stuffed the handkerchief into the back pocket of her jeans. “Anytime ladies,” she said in her deep raspy voice. She sounded like a mix between Lindsay Lohan after a bender and a 1950s swashbuckler. A very sexy combination, might I add.

“I want to write an ode to the lesbian bartender,” I said dreamily.

“You totally should,” R affirmed, her eyes looking softer than ever before. Hardly the same girl that she was an hour earlier, pissed off in a random freezing cold Brooklyn neighborhood. “What would you say?”

“I would say that I feel compelled to write a piece dedicated to lesbian bartenders all across the globe. Whether they’re lesbians who work at gay bars like Stonewall, Cubby, Henrietta’s, Ginger’s or The Abby, or lesbians who work at straight bars, like this cute Brooklyn dive.”

“The seats are velvet. This isn’t a dive,” R piped in.

“Bitch don’t kill my vibe.”

“Deal. Continue.”

“Lesbian bartenders make us feel safe. We know nothing truly bad can happen when a lesbian bartender is running the show. Any fools who get too drunk and try to pull some f*ckboy stunts will be asked kindly to leave. If they refuse to leave, the lesbian bartender will look them in the eye and slowly ask them to leave, in a voice that they know means business. They will be afraid of her and they will leave. It’s a lesbian bartender superpower and it’s truly amazing to witness. The lesbian bartender is also extremely fair when it comes to her drink-making. She’ll never put too much booze in your cup, but she’ll never skimp out on you either. She can tell how much alcohol you can handle by merely glancing at you. She’s also a girl’s girl. She’ll monitor your drinking the way your friends are supposed to, but never do, because they’re drunks too. She’ll know when you need to slow down. If you fall down the stairs, like you did, R, at Stonewall, she will help you up and not make a big show of it. She’ll never embarrass you. She’ll offer you her strong hand, pull you up from off of the ground, and will make a cute joke and you’ll feel better about yourself and your booze-adorned lifestyle. She’s also always sexy. It doesn’t matter how tall she is or what size she is or what kind of haircut she has. She could rock a mullet and she’ll still look sexy. She’s graceful, in her own sturdy way. She can navigate multiple things at once without looking overwhelmed. She doesn’t lose her cool. She’s focused. When she asks you what you want to drink, she truly listens to you. She knows how to make a person feel like she’s giving them her undivided attention, which of course she is. She commands respect, but is soft-hearted underneath that vest of hers. She remembers your name. She can turn your mood around. She’s dependable. She’s not a f*cking creep. She’s not trying to take advantage of you. She knows she’s looking smoking hot behind the bar and that half of the ‘straight’ girls in there are dying to take her home, but she doesn’t abuse that power. She’s professional. What the hell would we do without lesbian bartenders? They’re gifts from the Sapphic goddesses.”

“I think you just wrote your article right there!” R said, chuckling.

“Yeah, I just have to add the part about you being a bitch about going to Brooklyn and about you getting turned on by the lesbian bartender, even though you’re ‘straight.'”

“Just leave out the part about me falling down the stairs at Stonewall, please.”

“Deal.”

We spent the rest of the afternoon getting beautifully buzzed off the lesbian bartender’s fabulous drinks and had grand ole’ New York City time.

*This article is dedicated to all the amazing lesbian bartenders scattered across the globe. Tag them!


Zara Barrie is the Executive Editor of GO Magazine. She’s consumed by style, sexuality, women, words, fashion and feelings. She identifies as a “mascara lesbian” and lives beyond her means in Manhattan. Stalk her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.