Ask the Barman: Step aside Leonardo DiCaprio

Top Navy officer Guy Shriki, who dreams of serving drinks to Bar Refaeli, really knows how to get the party started at Tel Aviv's Mendalimos bar.

September 6, 2011 18:16
4 minute read.
Guy Shriki

Guy Shriki 311. (photo credit: Yoni Cohen)

When not studying at the IDC or training troops in the Navy, Guy Shriki can be found at Mendalimos bar in Tel Aviv, charming the local girls and boys who know how to have a good time.

Originally from Haifa, Shriki moved to Tel Aviv four years ago, and has worked in some of the city's hottest clubs and bars. Although he enjoys nothing better than a crazy night dancing on the bar, he says he enjoys working at Mendalimos because of the “great family atmosphere.” The place has a trendy vibe without being as pretentious as many other similar Tel Aviv hangouts.

Shriki takes the constant flirting from girls in his stride and uses his seven years of experience coaching his platoon of electronic warfare specialists in the Navy to bring himself back to reality.

He says he enjoys his job because it’s like acting. "In the army I am straight like an arrow but when I am behind the bar I do whatever I want. I can dance on the bar, I can dance with girls. You set yourself free."

How did you get into bartending?

After I finished the army I started studying and my girlfriend, who is now my ex-girlfriend, told me it was a good way to earn money at the same time.

How long have you been doing it?

Four years.

Where else have you worked?

I started in Haifa but then I moved to Tel Aviv and have worked in Radio, Clara, Galina, Gazoz and have worked here at Mendalimos for the last year and a half.

Where did you learn how to make drinks?

I had a friend in Haifa who was a bar manager and he said he would teach me the basics, so for two-and-a-half weeks I worked there everyday for free. I never paid for a course.

What's the craziest night you have ever had?

Not too long ago I split up from girlfriend of four-and-half years and then I started really enjoying the benefits of being a bartender. There was one night when three different girls hit on me in the same evening. It was hard.

It’s a hard life.

Well I started with one girl and she flaked on me, so I moved to the second one and she said she was having complications with her boyfriend and started to cry so I left her. The third girl was a better match and we finished the night at my place. It was fun.

Who would be your dream person to sit at the bar?

A tourist that comes to find girls that they want to impress with their money.

But why is that good for you?

Because you can sell them whatever you want. One time there were these two guys who sat in the bar and I sent three of my girlfriends over to them so that they would offer the girls champagne. The girls finished it off and then he payed NIS 3,000 for an even larger bottle.

So you did it for the tip?

Yes sure. And for the sale. Its an honor to sell such an expensive bottle.

What's the strangest thing that has ever happened to you while behind the bar?

Once upon a time I was dancing on the bar trying to create a fun atmosphere when two guys came up to me and said "we'll give you NIS 500 if you take your shirt off." Two guys, not two girls.

Did you do it?

Yes, I did it.

Just your shirt?

Yes, just my shirt.

Nothing else?

No, just my shirt. I had another crazy story though when I was sitting at another bar when two girls came up to me and wanted me to come in my navy uniform to their party and strip. But I didn't take them up on the offer.

What is your favorite drink to make?

I like people that drink Patron. I try and get them to buy me one too because it’s my favorite drink.

One for me, one for you?

Yes I guess so.

What is your least favorite drink to make?

[With no hesitation] Arak. I don't like it - I cant stand the smell.

What's the best tip you've ever received?

From those guys.

The guys with the shirt?

No no. The guys with the champagne bottles.

How much was the bill?

NIS 6,800.

Who would be your ideal drinking partner?

Bar Refaeli.

Maybe it’s an obvious question, but why?

Because she’s like an angel. She shines.

What about Leonardo DiCaprio. What would you do with him?

He can stay at the hotel.

Hayarkon Street 102, Tel Aviv.
Open every day from 9 p.m.

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