| Drinking Behind the Bar: How Much Is Too Much?

Call it an occupational hazard or simply part and parcel of the business, but many of today’s more seasoned bartenders grew up drinking on the job.

“When I first started in the early 2000s, I worked at college bars where drinking was really encouraged and shots with friends and other bartenders were the norm,” says Gina Chersevani, owner of Buffalo & Bergen in Washington, D.C. “I think it was way more acceptable back then, because bartending wasn’t taken seriously as a profession.”

But as the industry and its professionals have matured, so have bars’ policies about drinking while behind the stick. Many eschew on-the-job imbibing altogether, whereas others condone moderate consumption.

Below, Chersevani and other bar managers and owners share their perspectives and rules on drinking behind the bar and how much is too much.

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