Annoying the Bartender in the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco, CA
The Buena Vista Cafe is not where Irish Coffee was invented, but where it was first introduced to the USA. Push past the tourists and grab a seat with the locals at the bar, and watch a human robot at work. A dozen glasses are lined up rim to rim, and the barman smoothly strafes them with liquid, not bothering to lift the spout of the jug between pours. Coffee and cream and whiskey – my God, all that whiskey! – splash everywhere. “Jeez, how many of these do you make a day?” He says 2000 on average, though his record is 5700, and claims the Buena Vista serves more whiskey per year than any other bar in the world. “What sort of whiskey do you use?” He dead-eyes me, pissed at all the interruptions. (It’s Tullamore Dew.) He’s even more pissed when – having already paid for my Irish Coffee by card – I decide I simply can’t leave without having another.