Have a drink and a laugh at Beauty Bar 

click to enlarge Beauty Bar bartender Anna Seregina demonstrates the correct way to enjoy a Pabst Blue Ribbon: spill it all over the counter and then order a different drink. Seregina, also a stand-up comedian, gleans material from her work experiences. - ANNA LATINO/SPECIAL TO THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Anna Latino/Special to the S.F. Examiner
  • Beauty Bar bartender Anna Seregina demonstrates the correct way to enjoy a Pabst Blue Ribbon: spill it all over the counter and then order a different drink. Seregina, also a stand-up comedian, gleans material from her work experiences.

Beauty Bar The interior is filled with furniture and equipment scavenged from a Long Island beauty salon. The walls are adorned with 1950s-era glamour shots illustrating various hairstyles. The enormous hair dryer mounted on a chair near the restrooms, modified with colored lights, looks like it might moonlight as one of H.G. Wells’ Martian war machines. And near the entrance, a sign proclaims “Manicurist on Duty.” It’s not a kitschy gag; you really can get your nails done here. When Anna Seregina isn’t serving drinks, she works in a coffee shop and does stand-up comedy. Her credits include performing in the past two Sketchfest events here, the 2012 S.F. Comedy Day Festival and regular appearances in the Porchlight Storytelling series. She will be appearing in the SFMOMA’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Museum” on March 28.

BAR info: 2299 Mission St. • (415) 285-0323 • www.thebeautybar.com

You only consented to being interviewed if you could make it clear that you don’t know as much about bartending as your friends and co-workers in the business. You seem to have a lot of respect for your colleagues.

So many of my friends do bartend and I could describe them as mixologists, but not so much myself. In my training, it’s kind of like you’re gonna make a cosmo and you’re gonna make a lemon drop, and that’s the bulk of what you do.

Do you have a signature cocktail?

If I had a signature cocktail, it would be the French 75, which is solely stolen from my good friend Alison Leddy of the Hi-Lo Club.

What made you want to do stand-up comedy?

I was doing improv sketch comedy and theater. You get into stand-up because of ego. You want both the praise and to be the one to take responsibility if something goes wrong. So I guess it’s out of OCD. Your success is purely dependent on you.

It’s fashionable right now to talk about “Mission hipsters.” Do they really exist, and do you get a lot of them in Beauty Bar?

There’s definitely such a thing. Beauty doesn’t have one specific demographic, though. On weekends, we get bridge-and-tunnel people from out of town, there’s definitely a punk crowd that hangs out here, and we feature a lot of soul DJs and they bring in a different crowd.

Do you get any of your stand-up material from working at Beauty Bar?

Just in the way people order, and the way they talk. It’s interesting to work both in a coffee shop and in a bar, because people respect bartenders, but they don’t respect people who work in coffee shops. But they really don’t respect comedians.

You seem to do a lot of self-deprecating humor.

Self-deprecating humor ties in very well with jobs where the public is free to take a crap on you!

French 75

  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • Dash of sugar
  • 1 oz. Bombay Sapphire gin
  • Sparkling wine
  • Twist of lemon
  • Shake lemon juice, sugar and gin with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass or Champagne tulip. Fill to the top with sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon twist.
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