Bartenders and mixologists have reached new heights of acclaim over the past few years, with countless books and articles elevating the work of fancy cocktail-slingers and dive-bar beer-pourers alike. Yet one key component of a bar's operation remains unsung: the barback. These hardworking folks serve as the prep cooks to the bartender's chef, keeping them in limes, ice, and kegs during the busiest hours-- all while enduring the death stares of waiting patrons who don't realize that they're not allowed to serve them.
The Barback Olympics, founded in 2008, gives these underappreciated bar stars a chance to show their stuff. With competitions including the Bottle Relay and Ice Bucket Race, barbacks will be in their element. Some of the city's best watering holes, including Bender's, 15 Romolo, Eve, and the 500 Club, will have representatives competing.
With bartender favorite Fernet-Branca as its sponsor, the Barback Olympics will also have plenty of treats for observers, including a T-shirt creation station, giveaways, and a performance by the Panjabi funk band Blackmahal. And of course, the Fernet shots will be free-flowing.
Sunday, November 14th, doors at 8 pm, first competition at 8:30, at Mezzanine, 640 Jessie St. (at Mint), SOMA.