Bartenders Tell Us The Smoothest Pick Up Lines They’ve Ever Heard

You might think bartenders just stand behind the bar and mix up your favorite cocktail or pour your beer, unaware of all the conversations going on around them. But, if a bar isn’t overflowing with people, the bartender might actually be able to hear a little of your conversation. Imagine that. You’re spouting off on some political tangent and someone can actually hear you.

Bartenders aren’t nosy and they usually have more important things to do than listen to your story about hitting a grand slam to win a beer league softball game, but, if they;ve noticed that you’re hitting on a fellow customer, they might just lean in and take it in. Over the years, they hear a lot of pick-up lines. Some are great. Others…not so much. But, these are some of the best lines bartenders have ever heard.

Morgan Zuch, corporate beverage director at Datz in Tampa, Florida

“Most recently, a friend told me a guy asked her if she knew which way to go to buy her a drink. I thought this was funny and also smooth since most girls wouldn’t pass on a drink.”

Ashley Lugo Brown, beverage manager at Vinateria in Harlem, New York

“One time I heard someone say, ‘Excuse me, I just noticed you noticing me and I just wanted to give you a notice that I noticed you too.’ I thought that was pretty clever.”


Jeremy Lake, Bar Manager at Rosaliné in West Hollywood, California

“One of the most clever lines I witnessed was when a happy-go-lucky regular of mine quickly changed his demeanor to depressed and sullen when an attractive woman sat next to him at the bar. He let out a long sigh that caught her attention. When she asked him what was wrong he said, ‘I just wish I wasn’t so sad…’ She took the bait, asking him all about his trouble and they talked for the rest of the night!”

Matthew Horsley, director of food & beverage at backYARD at Waller Creek in Austin, Texas

“‘What’s your view of an overweight penguin? I just think it would break the ice…’ 100% success rate, may I add.”

Sarah Mengoni, lead bartender at Double Take in Los Angeles, California

“In my experience, the smoothest pick-up lines aren’t lines at all. When someone discovers a commonality with another patron, especially one that isn’t typical in that city, that’s the most ideal conversation starter. It could be as simple as where they went to school, where they’ve travelled or a band that they both love. I’ve seen it work over and over again in every bar that I’ve worked.”

Luis Ramos, bar manager at Duchess in Oakland, California

“Favorite pick up line… that’s a tough one. I’ve heard a lot of terrible ones that for sure. I did have these two older ladies bet me $100 dollars that I wouldn’t meet up with them after my shift. That was a very hard bet to turn down. I’ve had very blunt ones too: ‘Damn, you are so sexy.’ That was a really shocking one because I can be real shy. I’ve heard dudes use them all. It’s an understatement to say how entertaining it is to see people crash and burn or just to see a really awkward tinder date. My favorite is seeing the same person on two tinder dates in one evening.”


Jeremy Allen, general manager & head bartender at MiniBar in Los Angeles, California

“A favorite that I once heard from a woman was: “You got any Italian in you? You want some?” Though smooth is not the way I would describe most pickup lines; more like hopefully clever to calculatingly juvenile.

I think the only way pickup lines actually work is when both parties understand that it’s a genuine attempt at humor, put forward to break the ice, and no one believes those lines would really work. Usually you need to rattle of about 10 to get a laugh. And if you have what it takes for any of those lines to work, you probably don’t really need a line anyways.”

Zach Sasser, head bartender at Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar in Austin, Texas

“‘Hey I think you dropped something’ pause for a ‘what?’ ‘Your standards…Hi, I’m Mike.’ This one comes from one of my senior bartenders, Mike Ruiz.”

Spencer Osburg, general manager at Bravas Bar de Tapas in Healdsburg, California

“One night I heard a woman ask a man, with deadlocked eye contact and a low tone ”How much woman can you handle?” Maybe not smooth, but direct!”