So You Want to Quit Your Job and Open a Bar

This Slate article offers wisdom for the many men who supposedly dream of quitting their mundane, workaday jobs and starting their own bars:

What would he tell a friend who was considering getting into the business? “I would tell them, ‘I hope you like being in the basement a lot, because more often than not, that’s where I find myself,’ ” Struble says. “I’m the guy schlepping kegs and unclogging toilets.”

Oh? “So many people I know have a glorified idea of Oh, you’re standing behind the bar and there are so many girls. That’s the fantasy. It’s not the reality,” he says. “If I knew the occupation I would have now during college, I would have gone to refrigeration school or plumbing. I would not have gotten a master’s in education.”

Plenty of us sometimes wish we’d picked another major, but what else do bar owners mess up? “Make sure you are able to get a long-term lease,” Struble says. “You can be the most successful place in the world, but if your landlord decides in three years that he’s going to double your rent, are you going to be able to cover it? It’s not sexy, but I’ve seen people flame out.” Little about owning a bar, it seems, is very sexy. This should be obvious, since you’re running a highly regulated gathering place for drunk people.

Um, seriously. I have never in my entire life met someone with this fantasy. Starting an artisanal belt-making operation using high-quality, locally sourced leather, sure. Starting a hip coffee shop that’s also part laundromat and maybe part used book store, absolutely. But a bar? That never seemed romantic, just tedious and terrifying in equal measure. Have I just been hanging out with the wrong crowds / not enough men? What’s your small business dream?

I’m Not a Bartender, I’m a Bar-Back

"On busy nights I don’t stop moving for about five hours. The next two to three are spent doing restock and cleaning up. I walk out the door with cash in my pocket."

Ask a Money-Challenged Person: To Bar Or Not To Bar?

Ask a money challenged person about your money challenges!

Savvy Drinking: Is the Smart Buy the Best Value?

This Business Insider video (via Slate) points out that since cheap liquor is marked up more than pricier liquor at bars, it makes more sense to buy the expensive stuff. You’re spending more money but you’re getting a better value for your dollar.

It is true that knowing how much a draft is marked up (456%!?!) could really affect your ability to enjoy that glass of swill. (Sorry, beer.) But will you appreciate an expensive bottle of wine more because you feel like a savvy spender as well as a fancy-pants connoisseur? It probably depends on whether you enjoy expensive wine more than the regular stuff to begin with, and can afford it.

Beer is not only cheaper than a glass of wine, usually, it’s also less of a rip-off. Now if only it tasted better.

Bottom-shelf mixed drinks are as much of a rip off as draft beers. Good to know.

WWYD: The Envelope Full of Cash

You find an envelop full of cash on the floor of a bar. What would you do with it?

Personal Obstacles To Sending A Piece Of Mail

I need to get some new stationary. I'll put that on the to-do list (I don't have a to-do list).

My Last Hundred Bucks(ish)

Where did your last hundo go, Molly Lorz?

I Want to Buy Everything, But for Now: A Cone

In which I replace wanton credit-card spending with ice cream.

Drinking While Broke, Funded By Other Broke Drunks

I know I have a drinking problem because my bank account has a drinking problem. It's there in black-n-white. I try not to look at it, always declining to print a paper receipt because it's quite, well, sobering.