Bartender Tales: Guy Avner of Butler

Written by
Jennifer Greenberg

Each week, we dive into the world of TLV bars and meet the drink-shaking players behind them. From the latest cocktailing trends to crazy stories on the job, these are the Bartender Tales of the White City.

Guy Avner, bartender, Butler

How did you get into bartending?
I must confess that I am fifth generation in a family that is in the alcohol industry, so I was exposed to the nightlife world and culture of drinking from a very young age. Despite all this, until the age of 20, it didn't speak to me like it did to my brother, who was very fond of drinking and experimenting. After the army, I became more interested in the field and spontaneously decided to take a bartending course with two close friends.
What's your favorite thing about bartending?
Cocktails are a wonderful thing, especially the classics, but that's not really why I work behind the bar. The reason I come in everyday with a smile is the customers. [Butler] is the smallest bar in Israel (13 seats in total) and during the evening there is only one person behind the bar. This intimacy, combined with a number of alcoholic drinks, creates a wonderful openness. I experience fascinating conversations with people I would not meet anywhere else and develop friendships with people from different parts of the city and world.
Have you noticed any trends in the cocktail industry lately?
In recent years, the culture of mixology has been developing and there is a demand for quality cocktails at almost every event. People are starting to get fed up with simple drinks that anyone can make. That's why I recently founded a company that I believe is going to turn into the next trend, a company that provides cocktails in personalized bottles–with a tropical design and a wide range of flavors.
What's your biggest customer pet peeve?
Overall, I am a calm person who loves people, but sometimes I find it hard to deal with impatient clients. Working behind the bar is stressful and sometimes a bartender has a number of things to do at the same time. 
Have any crazy bar stories?

Recently, a Transgender individual in their forties came in with their partner. At first, it did not occur to me, but after a few drinks, this charming individual opened up to me and told me their fascinating story. At that moment, I realized why I chose to be a bartender. I understood that I would not meet and develop an interaction with such a person in any other job, and I felt privileged to meet an amazing human being.


© Anatoly Michaello

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