happy hour: how to become a regular

as many of you know, craig and i love bobby'sbobby simone's is a great little bar in nearby doylestown that has become our happy hour hot spot.  when we walk in the door, the bartenders know us and always greet us with a smile and sometimes even a cheer : )  bobby's has become our cheers.

it's amazing how a little customer service - like them remembering us - impresses and impacts and keeps us coming back for more.  (not to mention sandy mixes a mean cosmo...which is only $5 at happy hour.)

so, how does one become a regular?  we didn't initially set out to achieve anything special, but after frequenting the same place for a while, you do get certain perks.  a complimentary drink or two or three, special service (like when i ask for just a 1/2 martini) and the thrill of being "known".

here are my tips if you're looking to carve out a special place:

1. don't settle.  craig and i checked out a few bars in doylestown that offer happy hours before choosing bobby's.  (tough job, but someone's gotta do it.)  see who has the best drinks, the best deals and the best crowd.

2. slow but steady. you don't have to go multiple times a week or even every week to get remembered.  the slow and steady method is better (for you and your wallet).  that way you can "ease" yourself in.

3. sit at the bar.  if you have the option of seats at the bar or a table, go for the bar.  that way you can get to know your bartenders and strike up a rapport.

4. ask their opinion.  if you always order the same thing (like me), ask what other drinks they recommend that would please your palate.  good bartenders know how to make good drinks, and they'll appreciate being recognized as an expert.

5. tip well.  this one's kind of obvious, but tip well.  happy hour is already cheap, so it's not a big deal to leave a little extra.  we like to leave 25-35%.  good tippers are remembered and treated well.

6. go after hours.  after hitting up several happy hours, and if the bartenders are starting to remember you, go after happy hour.  this will let them know that you're not always looking for a deal and that you like them/the bar/the drinks even if you have to pay full price.  and this is most likely when you'll reap the benefits of regularity...often the monetary kind...

so, i think it's about time to go out and find your happy place!.