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Top Five Movie Bartenders

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Bartenders have always played a crucial role in cinema.  Unsung heroes, they offer liquid comfort and a friendly ear to the distraught and weary.  What would have happened, say, if The Dude didn’t get his bowling alley White Russian in The Big Lebowski?  Or if Nick and Nora Charles were suddenly cut off from martinis in The Thin Man?  (well, they’d probably be less hungover, but dull as hell). This month, I’m highlighting my Top Five Movie Bartenders.

1.  Brian Flanagan, Cocktail

Image credit Touchstone Pictures, 1998, Cocktail

Image credit Touchstone Pictures, 1998, Cocktail

Oh what Tom Cruise can do with a cocktail shaker.  Flair bartending at its finest!

 

2.  Knobby, Burglar

Image Credit Warner Bros, 1987, Burglar

Image Credit Warner Bros, 1987, Burglar

Any bartender who can actually understand Bobcat Goldthwait is worth his weight in gold.

 

3.  Lloyd, The Shining

Image credit Warner Bros, 1980, The Shining

Image credit Warner Bros, 1980, The Shining

Always accommodating, whether it’s mixing a cocktail or engaging in idle chit-chat with psychopathic murderers.

 

4.  Brad, Magnolia

Image credit: New Line Cinema, 1999, Magnolia

Image credit: New Line Cinema, 1999, Magnolia

Braces- HOT.

 

5.  Lil, Coyote Ugly

Image credit: Touchstone Pictures, 1999, Coyote Ugly

Image credit: Touchstone Pictures, 2000, Coyote Ugly

Like a sexy Mrs. Garrett, Maria Bello dispenses life lessons and cocktail wisdom to the young and unskilled.  If only her bar weren’t SO tacky.

Top 5 Movie Bars (public)

In honor of Cinema Sips’ one year anniversary, I’m launching a new feature- Top 5 Lists! Inspired by John Cusack’s “Top 5” picks in High Fidelity, these lists are by no means scientific and totally based on personal opinion.

To kick things off, this week I’m highlighting my Top 5 Movie Bars that are open to the public (we’ll get to private home bars in movies another week).

To all my readers who have found me over the last 12 months, thank you so much for following this blog.  I’ll keep drinking, watching, and writing if you keep reading!

1) Hollywood Star Lanes bar, The Big Lebowski

big lebowski alley bar

White Russians, Sam Elliott, and the Dude. Bar wisdom: “Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear, well, he eats you.” Wait, what??

 

2) The Overlook Hotel Bar, The Shining

shining-bar

OK maybe this one skirts the line at being “public” since it’s pretty much just Jack Nicholson and a creepy bartender, but hey- sometimes a man needs solitude. I’m in love with the weird lighting, tin ceilings, and ghosts of guests past.

 

3) The Park Hyatt Tokyo Bar, Lost in Translation

lost in translation bar

It looks like they make a mean vodka tonic. And they have a delightful house band called Sausalito. And Bill Murray hangs out there. Does it get any better?

 

4) The Double Deuce, Roadhouse

double deuce

Two words:  Patrick.  Swayze.

 

5)  The Winchester, Shaun of the Dead

the winchester

While I’m sure a cocktail would be hard to come by in this beer-centric pub, I give major props for pub snacks and Queen on the jukebox. If a zombie apocalypse were to descend on my city, you’d better believe I’d be headed to a bar. Snacks, alcohol, and Freddie Mercury- what more do you need?

 

*Honorable mention: Rick’s Café Americain in Casablanca. My personal distaste for African desert climates and Nazis kept it out of the top 5, but those cocktails and piano music are swoon-worthy.