It’s a Saturday in Oxford, and as many kids are preparing for a night of their usual rowdy behavior, there are a few brave souls preparing to serve the crowds of Brick Street Bar. Just looking in on the poor bartenders on a busy night shows how taxing working as a bartender at Brick can be. The bar has been rated one of the best college bars by many sources, and is known to have a rambunctious crowd (especially after midterms, gotta celebrate that C+). Spoon has gotten a play-by-play of an average night at Brick in the eyes of an anonymous bartender, starting from when they clock in to closing time.

Tales from Brick Street Bar:


Photo by Ryan Terhune

A typical shift starts at an early 9 pm.  Minimal set up is required, i.e. laying down mats and putting out straws.  Flows of people start coming in around 10:30, and it quickly becomes chaotic. By almost midnight, the place is packed, people are screaming left and right and the “anarchy” continues on until close.

Being a bartender can lead you to some crazy situations, including being thrown into the middle of the classic bar fights. While bar backs do the heavy lifting, bartenders separate fights as well. Their highest fight-times are around 5-7pm (after their famous day-drinking event “Beat the Clock”) and 1-2am in the “Battleground” (along the walkway between the patio and the bar).

One weekend, the bartender we spoke to was on shift during a sorority’s Moms Weekend. Moms Weekends are usually great for tips. But this strapping fella received more than just a tip on the receipt when the mom he had been serving closed out her tab. She wrote her number on the front of the receipt, and on the back, “Recently divorced staying at the Hampton Inn”.  More than just awkward, this is Madonna-level cougar territory, and all the bartender had to say was “There are a lot of lonely moms out there.” No shame in anyone’s game, I guess.

Tips on how to not piss off your bartender:


Photo courtesy of

  • Don’t be that person leaning over the bar
  • Don’t be that guy screaming for the bartender’s attention
  • Don’t be that guy who reaches over and fills his own beer
  • Don’t be that guy who doesn’t tip

#SpoonTip: Even if you can’t tip 20%, a buck is better than nothing.

Change Out The Trashcan


Photo by Andrea Ebling

Dropping $10 on one of these bad boys every weekend can slowly pick away at your wallet. Swap out your nightly Trashcan for a Long Island.  Long Islands have the same alcohol % but are two dollars cheaper at Brick. That translates to no blue-stained tongue and an extra two bucks for Bruno’s later on.