"Every bartender has friends who ask if they can come bartend with you," says Chad Michael George, a bartender at Williams & Graham, who will be a Nontender coach. "Now they'll have the chance to see what it's like to shake it up and get dirty behind a real bar, serving real drinks to real guests. It's definitely going to have a certain comedic value -- but it also offers a chance to experience the life that we love to live so much."
Star Bar's Allie Geppert agrees. "Bottom line, I like making people happy and can't ever turn down fun," says Geppert. "As secretary of the Colorado Bartenders' Guild, a bartender at Star Bar and a digital marketer, I'm always thinking about mutually advantageous partnerships and ways to invigorate the local food and beverage scene. We have such amazing resources, talent and energy in this state that make it a hub for world-class creativity."
The idea for the Nontender Contender Challenge came out of some creative conversations about the fantasy of guest bartending. And so they concocted the idea of a competition that would give amateurs a chance behind the bar. Starting June 20, every Thursday the Star Bar bartending team will vacate their posts and give nontenders the chance to mix it up in a head-to-head bartender challenge, where they'll be scored on a range of criteria that include speed, style and charm. But first, they'll go through a Bartending 101 training session where coaches will help them get a handle on basic cocktails and tools of the trade.
During the Thursday competitions, nontenders will be encouraged to invite friends and fans so that they can order, drink, vote, tip and, most important, root for the contenders. Only one nontender will be crowned champion -- and tips from the entire series will go to the champion's charity of choice.
If you've ever dreamed of getting behind the bar, you can now fill out an application, which includes posting a fifteen-second Tout video with a fitting title on both Twitter and Facebook. To post the video on Twitter, tag @starbar_denver and use #nontenderbattle; then, share the video on Star Bar's Facebook page and send the team the video at [email protected] If you're chosen as a nontender contender, the Star Bar team will e-mail you.
"Star Bar is a classic Denver dive bar that highlights local craft beer, spirits and good, old-fashioned fun," explains Geppert. "This is just one of the many cool events we're putting together to keeps things interesting, and we're excited to host some sweet Nontender match-ups and get the community involved for a good cause."
Let the games begin!