The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

68° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hey, Barkeep!: 1702’s bartender likes getting to know people through his job

    Zi Yang Lai

    John Langan, a server at 1702 Pizza & Beer, pours a beer for a customer. The pizzeria and bar is located at 1702 E. Speedway Blvd., where Langan shared stories of his experiences as a bartender at 1702 and other restaurants around town.

    Meet John Langan from 1702 Pizza & Beer on Speedway Boulevard.

    The Daily Wildcat: How long have you been serving and bartending?

    Langan: I’ve been bartending for eight and I’ve been serving for maybe like five. 

    Have you bartended somewhere else before?


    Where was that?

    I bartended at P.F. Chang’s and Wild Garlic Grill.

    Did you just bartend at those places or did you just serve?

    I served and bartended.

    What did you like better?


    So then why did you switch to here?

    I mean that’s a long story I guess. I was actually managing a bar down on [Fourth Avenue], and then switched over to serving, then to just bartending and then came over here.

    How did you like managing a bar?

    I don’t think I would want to manage again. I think bartending is probably a better route. I think managing didn’t really fit my style of work ethic, I guess. I’d rather be the sticks with everybody else rather than telling other people how to bartend. 

    What’s your favorite part about bartending?

    Probably talking to people. Probably getting to know people. Figuring out what they like and introducing them to things they probably haven’t had.

    What do you appreciate in a customer?

    Patience, questions—good questions—and curiosity. 

    What’s something that customers do that pisses you off?

    Being impatient or, I guess, for example, maybe having a menu in front of them and then asking what we have.

    How is it different cocktail bartending compared to serving beer here?

    Besides that there’s obviously no liquor and wine and stuff, like, that you still have to pair beer and, like, describe flavors and explain what certain things taste like. I guess the biggest difference would be it’s beer and liquor, two completely different things. 

    Do you guys have a lot of beers that people don’t usually know about?

    Yeah, we get the customers that come in and ask if we have Bud Light on draft, but we have 46 craft beers and over 200 in the bottle and definitely have something for everyone. It’s easy to figure out what people could eventually like.

    Do you have any memorable moments or crazy things that have happened that stand out to you?

    Well, I’ve only been here for about four or five months, so I haven’t seen much. We do get a lot of frat kids that come in with their shirts off and stuff like that and think we’re going to serve them. And we have customers who don’t tip at all and are a little too rowdy. I’ve had people try to pass fake IDs. That’s kind of interesting.

    Do frat guys do that a lot?

    Actually, I’ve seen it happen more with girls, which, I mean, there’s no real way to say who does it more—males or females—it’s just that it’s a college thing. 

    What other crazy things have you seen happen?

    I’ve seen people, like, flip out and jump on or over the bar. I’ve seen people fight. I’ve seen people throw drinks. People can get intense when they’re drinking.

    When you were bar managing, what did you do to handle those situations?

    I mean, yeah, you have to ask people to leave, and if they don’t you have to call the police or, like the last place I used to work, we couldn’t really force people to leave. We had a homeless man walk into our old bar one time with two fifths of vodka in both his hands, with no shirt on, and we had to walk up to him and ask him to leave.

    Follow Emma Jackson on Twitter.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search