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DC Bartender Blog

On our blog you can find updated information about grads getting jobs, mixology, local hotshot bartenders, hot bars and clubs and endless stories that relate to the industry. If you want to review a list of topics take a look at the index on the right and see just how rich and exciting the world of bartending can be.

Bartending at the Inauguration 2013: Bartending School graduates have a Ball

Written on June 5, 2017 at 4:02 pm, by admin

50 graduates of the Professional Bartending School got to enjoy the biggest weekend in Washington DC, see and meet famous celebrities, mix with the most well-known and powerful people in the nation, experience a once in a lifetime experience, and earn great money; all while bartending at the main and various inaugural balls following the 2nd inauguration of President Barack Obama.

As one graduate reported “it was the experience of a lifetime”. The two major inaugural balls, one on the evening of January 21, following the ceremonial inauguration witnessed in person by hundreds of thousands of people and seen on television by millions was the culmination of a once every 4 years event. The official inaugural ball held at the Washington Convention Center hosted 10′s of thousands of people. On January 22, a second President’s ball hosted another 8-9,000 campaign volunteers, workers, and white house staff and was hosted by the President and his wife and Vice President and his wife. Both events featured star studded entertainers, and an enormous volume of workers to make the event special. Our graduates comprised a majority of the bartenders located throughout the hall.

A Long Grueling but Rewarding Day of Work

Our graduates arrived at the Convention Center on the 21st at 10:00 AM.  What followed was an amazing amount of security clearance procedures before they entered the Convention Center, about 2 hours later.  The bartenders were then assigned bar stations and told to set up the bars, initially via a broad plan, but then told to adjust the bar set ups in a way that would work for them.  Bar set up took some time, but was rewarded as the bartenders were the exclusive audience to a host of famous performers practicing on stage before the big event that evening.

On Line Bartending Classes

Written on May 8, 2017 at 12:49 pm, by admin

On Line Bartending Classes

Will an on line bartending school, classes, or a video help you get work in the DC, MD, or VA region?   Not that we’ve seen in the last 12 or so years since on line bartending schools got popular.  How do we know?   Because the people who took those courses came to our school and told us.  Then they took our hands on bartending course that has helped tens of thousands of grads land bartending jobs.

We started seeing these people in the early 2000’s and we still see them.  They tell us they took an online bartending program.  They show us their on line bartending certificates.   But they don’t land bartending jobs like our grads.  For all we know many more of our students took these crazy inexpensive programs before they took our very affordable hands on program. These people don’t want to admit they wasted money on an online course that didn’t work or help them land a real bartending job.

Think of it.  Would you allow a person who took an online driving course to drive your car in busy traffic?   We wouldn’t.  Neither do bar managers trust bartenders with no practice or experience to handle their busy bars and demanding customers.  But these same employers hire our grads.  Many employers throughout the DMV contact us directly and hire our graduates.  They like the training program and the results.  You can see the evidence.  Visit our Facebook Page Photos Page.

You can find hundreds of pictures of our grads at their bars. Real People/Real Grads/Real Bars.

Our hands on bar is realistic

Managers and owners have visited our school.  They are impressed by our bar set up.  Its entirely realistic.  Its large.  Its set up like a busy bar with a large double speed rack, an extensive back bar with numerous call brands, and it includes all the equipment a real bar uses.  Some managers have used our bar to train their new staff.  They know it works.  It enables new bartenders to learn how to become efficient and handle busy crowds.

You can also visit.  Set up a free class visit.  Call us at (703) 841 9700.  We’ll probably get you behind the bar and have you start practicing something that bars have had bartenders do for decades to get in the proper rhythm.  Mastering that first drill and developing consistency is one of the keys to not only landing a bartending job but keeping it.  Visit and ask us about it.

PBS Graduates Land Bartending Jobs

You can see how many of our graduates land bartending jobs.  Its enormous.  Scroll through the posts on our facebook page. Check this week, this year and previous years.  Day after day, week after week, month after month, and consistently for years our posts feature updates about grads that landed bartending jobs.  Its real.  In hundreds of cases you will see photos of grads behind their bars.  Hundreds throughout the DMV.  Its every kind of bartending gig, from clubs, to bars, to   restaurants, hotels, and parties.  See for yourself.

Is that a guarantee?   No.  We don’t guarantee jobs.  You do the interviewing and you land the job.  We provide help and direct leads from employers who contact us.  Good training, fun, and bartending job placement assistance are the foundations of our program.

People with Bartending Experience Take our Program

Over the decades many people with actual bartending experience take our program.  They are typically the servers that were moved up to become a bartender.  Maybe they started at a restaurant chain with weak bartender training.  They usually have a very limited repetoire and understanding of the job.   They take our program and they love it.  You can see their comments in reviews.

If people with experience value our training shouldn’t you?   They have a huge head start over you and now they have gotten dramatically better.

Our hands on bartending program is VERY AFFORDABLE

The cost of our program is LESS than the costs of a typical set of required text books for a college year.  Possibly less than for a semester.  Its about the best cost/payback you can find anywhere for any kind of training for any kind of job.  On top of that we do have payment plans.  Ask about them.  Arrange a visit to our school and discuss payment plan options with our staff while you view the hands on training.  Call (703) 841 9700.

Of course our program is more expensive than the crazy inexpensive on line bartending courses.  We have a large effective facility.  We pay rent.  We have experienced instructors that have bartended for years.  They give you insights and advice you will never find in a book, video or online.  They have bartended in this area and elsewhere.  They will give you the real dirt on how to work, do well, and earn good money as a bartender.

Bartender Training DC Virginia Maryland

Written on May 29, 2015 at 5:04 pm, by admin

Our school provides hands on bartending classes, in a large, club like fully built out bar for the Washington DC region, including DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

The hands on training cannot be matched anywhere: Its realistic, and its fun. Here a noted Washington DC radio personality picks up some tricks from one of our experienced instructors;

Shaqwana Learns How to Bartend from J-Video Productions on Vimeo.

Bartending School|A Roanoke Star

Written on November 24, 2014 at 7:30 pm, by admin

We received this exciting and rewarding note from our 2013 graduate, Frankie. When she first contacted us, she wanted a new skill, and was thinking about bartending as a transition job. Now its a career. Frankie is one of the lead bartenders in Roanoke. She also develops the cocktail menu for 3 restaurants in the city. These cocktails are paving the way in Roanoke, with their own infused bitters and alcohols, enriching their drinks. Congratulations, Frankie!!!!

We recently spoke with an advanced bartender/mixologist in DC about training. He was excited to train somebody new and extolled his trainee’s dedication and enthusiasm. Frankie has those precise qualities. It took her a mere 40 hours of training at our program to get her started just 21 months ago. Now she is a bartending rock star in Roanoke. We couldn’t be happier for her.

If your interests are similar, from anywhere in the region, including cities and towns throughout Virginia, give us a call at (703) 841 9700

Coping with the furlough: And lessons from the recession

Written on October 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm, by admin

When people lose work training programs of all sorts add new students.   The Professional Bartending School is no different.  During the recessions of 2000 and the latest recession of 2008/2009  this school like other training programs and bartending schools across the country saw a significant increase in potential students and actual students.

Furloughed Workers Fill the Class

With the furlough driving hundreds of thousands of public and private workers into limbo our class sizes increased.  In this class, running in October there are nine students/bartenders currently on furlough:

Bartending Class With furloughed workers


They include furloughed government workers and contractors.   Some  had looked into our program earlier.  Now they have time to take our classes.      Others found themselves with nothing to do.  They want ways to make extra income and have fun at the job.  They want more skills to be more financially independent.

The class includes one furloughed worker who had taken our program earlier.  He is now taking our free refresher classes.  He used our placement program for part-time work  including the two day inaugural balls earlier this year, where he made bank.  He recently used our placement program again and has picked up a part time job.  He is using these classes to refresh and hone his skills for that new part time bartending gig.  He started his new part time gig during the second weekend of October and here he is:


Robert bartending at the Hampton Inn


Student Uses Furlough to add flexible skills and make himself more independent

Bartending training is a great way to add a marketable skill.  One of our furloughed students has additional credentials and varied commercial skills.  He refuses to let a job, or a company or even a government get in the way of his ability to earn a living.  We are happy to add bartending to his list of credentials and ability to function regardless of market conditions.

Of course it hasn’t been that long since the last time hordes of people lost work.  The heart of the recent recession hit the DC region during 2008, 2009 and extended into 2010.   Like many other training programs we did see an increase in interest and attendance at our school.   We recontacted some of our grads from that period to see how our program helped them if they are still bartending.

Beat the Recession and Job Loss:  Learn a new valuable skill

One of the more interesting bartending success stories from the recession was that of Paul Costanzo, an over 60 long term professional who was shut out of work due to the recession, took our bartending course in 2009.  He has been bartending virtually non stop since then.  And he loves it!!!!

Paul’s story was so interesting he was featured in a story in AARP magazine.  We also wrote about him and updated the story in 2011.  Here is a current update.

Paul has bartended at five different noted restaurants in the greater DC region.  First at was then the new Ford’s Fish Shack in Ashburn, (now tremendously popular), then Food Matters in Alexandria, later the noted high end national chain restaurant Seasons 52 in Tysons, at the popular Tavern@River Falls in Maryland, and at Ancora, the restaurant opened in the Watergate by noted Chef Bob Kincaid.   Paul, like many bartenders has experienced different environments, moved around, found environments that work or don’t work for him and mastered the craft.   And he did all this at an age most can’t imagine.   Over 60.  And he loves it.  Here is Paul when he bartended in Alexandria:

While Paul is the exception for bartenders his experience is useful for all people looking for bartender jobs regardless of age.  He used clever universal methods for job hunting applied to bartending and his age and circumstances.  It has worked.  Continuously.   We have distilled his experiences and used them to to guide other grads older than the norm.  When they apply it to their own circumstances it works.

We’ve distilled Paul’s experience, that of thousands of grads, our depth of knowledge, and synthesized all of it as part of our job placement program.  Its accompanied by a stream of new job leads that flow into our office every week.  They come from every kind of bartender employer in the region.  Its part of the reason we have been able to average about 100 new bartending jobs every month for our grads.