Restaurant and club owners, don’t be surprised if your bartender asks for a night off in the coming week. If they made a movie about your line of work, wouldn’t you want to see it?

“Hey Bartender” opens Friday for a six-day run at the Terrace Theater on James Island.

It’s a documentary that tells the story of two bartenders in very different scenarios who are trying to fulfill their dreams, and doing so in the era of the “craft” cocktail. (Check the website for show times).

One guy is Steve Schneider, an ex-Marine who became a mixologist after a career-ending head injury. Schneider rose through the mixology ranks to the coveted position of principal bartender at Employees Only, a renowned cocktail bar in New York City.

The other guy is Steve Carpentieri, who left the corporate world 18 years ago to open Dunville’s in his hometown of Westport, Conn. But his fortunes soured as Dunville’s went from being a hot spot to barely staying afloat.

Writer-director Douglas Tirola says in a statement that he wanted to show bartending, like other working class jobs, in a different light.

“I wanted to show that people who work on their feet and with their hands every day, or as I like to say, the sort of people who shower after work, can lead fulfulling lives and have successful careers.”

Here are recipes from the two leading cast members:


1½ ounces Hendrick’s gin

½ ounces simple syrup

1 ounce lemon juice

½ ounce Lillet Blanc (see note)

1 pinch basil

Club soda

Basil leaf and cucumber slice for garnish.


Note: Lillet Blanc is a brand of a French aperitif wine that is a blend of Bordeaux wines and citrus liqueur.

Add ingredients (except soda) to a mixing glass. Add ice, shake and fine‐strain over ice into a tall Tom Collins glass. Top with club soda, sti, and garnish with a basil leaf and a cucumber slice.

— Steve Schneider, Employees Only in New York City


4 cubes fresh watermelon

¾ ounce fresh lime juice

½ ounce habanero-infused simple syrup

2 ounces Milagro Reposado tequila

1 ounce Solerno blood orange liqueur

For garnish, use 1 slice of jalapeno, 1 cube of watermelon and 1 lime wedge.


In a mixing glass, muddle watermelon, lime juice and simple syrup. Add Milagro Reposado tequila and Solerno blood orange liqueur and ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice. Salted rim is optional.

Simple syrup: In a saucepan bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat and add one habanero pepper cut it half. Simmer for 15 minutes. Strain to remove pepper and chill. For less spice, simmer for 7 minutes, remove pepper and continue to reduce for another 8 minutes.

— Steve Carpentieri, Dunville’s, Westport, Conn.