Date: Tue, 3 Oct 1995 08:15:36 -0700
From: Allen Maberry maberry[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Subject: Re: Terminology of unexcused absences/ and bar time.
This is how I have always heard "bar time" and "last call" (often
"Last call for alcohol") used. I think the phrase "Last call for alcohol"
is from the old song "Hey, Bartender" done by The Blues Brothers, and others.
maberry[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]u.washington.edu
On Tue, 3 Oct 1995, Beth Lee Simon wrote:
As a (n inept but at The Mill, no one, including Keith Dempster, the
owner/boss, cared) waitress in a bar/restaurant in Iowa City, IA,
everyone used/knew bar time.
Bar time had two senses: the time that the bar ran on, which was ten
minutes earlier than real time
the time that the bar stopped serving liquor, which at that time, was
The bartender called "Last call," at 1:50, bar time. At 2:00 a.m., the
bartender called "Time, folks." Because 2 a.m. bar time was 1:50 real time,
everyone had ten minutes to knock back whatever there was and collect
the glasses, etc., before 2 a.m. real time, the last moment when one
could be drinking legally in a bar.
And "bar time" was in use in Des Moines, IA, as well, although I can
only provide personal experience for the second sense. One summer, I
worked at the International House of Pancakes, which was open until
2 a.m. on Saturday night (i.e. Sunday morning). In Iowa, one could not
buy liquor on Sunday, and in Iowa, bars closed at 1 a.m. (real time) on
Saturday night. And while people might have a drink, as it were, or two,
on Friday nights, Saturdays were when they came in blotto because Sunday
So we, the waitresses of the International House of Pancakes, and, I suspect,
we, the waitresses of anyplace were one wore a uniform and the patrons thought
a dollar bill was a big deal, knew the phrase "bar time" quite well,
because when the men came in and starting puking in their way to the booth,
we'd say, "Must be bar time."
(forgive the were for where, etc. i can't edit on this)
Oh, for the character-building of working one's way through college