You see them when you go out at night. They keep your glasses full. And sometimes they provide you with some much needed eye candy when you're nursing a scotch or sipping a mojito. They are Charleston's bartenders, and, apparently, when it comes to getting lucky, well, they're lucky sons of bitches.
"The job opens up a lot of possibilities," says bartender Ben Wright. "You can definitely talk to more attractive people. Everyone wants to talk to you because everyone wants a drink. You can easily turn giving someone a drink into flirting with them."
Bar-back Nick Sudano goes on to explain that a bar environment doesn't hurt either. "It's a very lively environment, and people are having a good time and letting go. It's almost surreal at times," he says. "There's sort of a sense of, 'Hey, here's a guy with a sense of authority or dominance in this surreal place where everyone wants to be."
Bartender Brett Ricker explains how it usually goes down. "A lot of times they'll give you their number and hang out until the end of the night, and you kind of get the idea of where it's going," he says. "A lot of those nights end at around six in the morning."
This may surprise you — but then again it may not — but older women from out of town occasionally want more from our sexy male bartenders than just another Manhattan. Wright tells of one such run-in with a cougar on the hunt (Editor's note: Young children, avert your eyes.):
"There were two more mature ladies visiting Charleston, probably in their early 50s, and they were running a $100 tab and tipped me about 80 percent. They were pretty flirtatious and one lady was recently divorced, and she was definitely a cougar. They left for a while, but when they came back, she asked me to show her the bathroom, and when she opened the door, she pulled me in and started making out with me. Soon it was around midnight, and they started buying shots, and we were all getting pretty wasted. Later she came up to me and was like, 'I have something for you.' We ended up going out the back door for a bit and into the cooler where we started hooking up. Eventually, someone came back to get a keg, and they walked in on us having sex."
Bartender Tim Davis has found an explanation for this out-of-towner phenomenon.
"A lot of times there are people coming from out of town, and their inhibitions are lower because they don't know anyone, and they will be more likely to approach you," he says. "When they're from out of town, you make them feel more comfortable, which creates a whole new attraction."
But, it's not just middle-aged tourists who are looking for a hookup.
"When you have the same customers who come in over and over again, you get to know them and an attraction is created," Davis says. "It's all about opportunities that present themselves."
But aside from the bathroom, where else do they do the deed?
"There have been a couple of occasions where you go in the office with someone while working, and there's been a couple of walk-in [refrigerator] situations," Ricker says. "They'll tell you that they want to go somewhere private and pull you into the back and start hooking up with you."
He adds, "Like, this one time I was at the end of the hallway and this girl started making out with me, so I just opened the door and went into the office."
Ricker is not alone, as every male bartender interviewed had stories about making out, full-on sex, or hummers while on the job.
However, the female bartenders we spoke to in Charleston didn't offer up sordid tales like their male counterparts. Not surprisingly, though, they have to fend off their fair share of men looking to get lucky.
"I had a guy come in who was flirting with me a lot," says Rachel Poston. "He said he was leaving to buy cigarettes and ended up coming back with a rose for me."
Ah. How sweet. Or, um, creepy.
"There are a lot of hot female bartenders that have guys just sitting at the bar because they're working there, and these guys have an illusion of maybe," explains Davis. "They sit there and stare and spend all this money. I see it happen pretty often."
So what's the secret to getting lucky with a hot female bartender in Charleston? "Talk to us like we're regular people," Poston tells us. "The biggest mistake would be trying to lay it on thick, because as a bartender you see it all the time."
Another female bartender, Casi Yagel, agrees. "Don't tell me I'm the hottest girl you've ever seen before, or say things like 'Damn girl, you look hot back there,'" she says. "Don't use bad corny pick-up lines, because we've heard them all."