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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.

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.



Will there be a new park behind the Professional Bartending School in Arlington, VA?

Written on July 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm, by admin

Is Arlington County building out a new mini park at the corner of Barton Street and Clarendon Boulevard?   It might be.  Today workmen from Arlington County started to take down the fence around two lots they were “granted” by the Korean Embassy at that corner.

Arlington County Workmen on the lot at Clarendon Blvd and Barton Street

According to a story in from May of this year the Korean Military Attache which owns the land “granted it to Arlington County” at no cost as a gesture of good will.

Per the article “The lease agreement would be in effect for a minimum of two years and would continue until terminated by one of the parties. The county staff report indicates maintenance costs associated with the lease would be minimal and no significant fiscal impact is expected.”

We would like to see a park behind our school. It would be an attractive addition to the neighborhood.

Part time jobs in Northern Virginia

Written on June 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm, by admin

Our bartending school provides endless opportunities for part-time work for those looking to augment their income. Our school has been a huge source for part-time jobs for grads for years, in fact decades. Whether someone is working, in college or grad school, retired, or simply looking to earn some extra income we have aided thousands of graduates in landing additional part-time work and extra income.

Take Kendra and Brent for instance.

PBS grads Kendra and Brent bartending at an event in Clarendon

Kendra is a consultant with a full time job.  She wanted extra income.  She wanted flexible work, and as she told us she didn’t want a boring low paying retail job.  She took our course.  We have now given Kendra two gigs covering three days.  They came directly off our leads.   One was at a concert at National Stadium.  The above picture was taken in the middle of Clarendon during the annual two day Arts Festival thrown by the Clarendon Alliance.

Between hourly pay and tips Brenda has already paid for the classes.

Part time jobs for College Students

Brent is  a 21 year old student at George Mason University.  He also wanted flexible part time opportunities.  The Clarendon Alliance event was his first bartending gig–a two day event of about 4-6 hours each day.  It occurred during the first few weeks after he graduated.   Brent has opportunities to work parties, events, weddings, or might end up getting some shifts at many of the nearby bars in close proximity to George Mason that have hired our grads.

Matt, below, took our program during college break, used our suggestions and smarts from the placement office and landed a first job in Blacksburg before being promoted to this high profile position at the Continental Divide Bar for visitors to Virginia Tech and Blacksburg.

Matt from Virginia Tech bartending in Blacksburg

Part time jobs for the employed

Many of our students have a full time job but are looking for extra income.  It could be for a myriad of reasons.   Brenda took our course for just that reason.  Years before Brenda had worked in the hospitality industry and in a variety of restaurants.  Now she is an adult, a mother, and someone eager to earn extra income in a part time job that is better paying and more fun than retail or for a  call center.   She took our course.

After finishing the 40 hour program and going through our placement assistance session and accessing our leads Brenda still hadn’t landed a bartending gig.

That didn’t phase us.  We want to see grads earn back the cost of the program and make that extra income.   We went back over opportunities with Brenda and redirected her.

Brenda at Westwood Country Club in Vienna

She is now applying her recently acquired bartending skills with long developed skills from years of working at restaurants.  She loves it.  It augments her regular income and is infinitely better than sitting in an office or working a low paying retail job.

Part Time Jobs in DC and Maryland

Our placement office works with opportunities throughout the region.   In January up to 50 grads worked either one or two nights for the Inauguration parties.   This was an awesome event.  Some of our grads called it the most memorable day of work they ever had.  They were paid an hourly salary and tips.   And some earned “bank”.  Tremendous money.   Here are a few of their pictures.

Tasia bartending the inauguration events

Fikre bartending at the inauguration

Not only did these and so many other grads get to bartend at this exciting event, earn great money, but before the events started they got to experience a private concert as many of the stars practiced before the evenings’ grand ball.

Our school has been helping grads earn part time income for decades. If you are looking for part time jobs and income give us a call: (703) 841 9700