Must Love Bros

March 4, 2013

Before we get Bromantic…


Most of the people who read my blog are familiar with my sense of humor. And for the most part, they can tell when I’m being comical – or combative. Just to be clear, the tone of this post is not combative. But I do get excited. I do talk (and write) with my hands (obviously).

This post is very specific to Sacramento. While it might make you chuckle somewhere else in the world, it’s important to note it’s a topic that will probably only resonate close to (my) home. It may not make any sense to you if you don’t a) live in Sacramento and b) eat and drink Downtown.

I realized, while writing and reading (and rewriting and rereading) this post – how large things seem when you deal with them every day (even when they’re small in the grand scheme of things). Believe it or not, this is a topic that comes up, for my employer and I, almost every single day. This has probably never crossed your mind. At the very least, I hope the idea of us being forced to have conversations/meetings about it…makes you laugh. We laugh about it too.

I also hope it teaches you what it’s teaching me. It’s healthy to consider other opinions and perspectives. And it’s acceptable to expect people to extend the same respect to you.


I recently started working for a group of restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Sacramento – one of which is home to the region’s resident “Bros.”

Because they employ me, I sound biased.

I’m actually not “that” biased.

I prefer beards (and bangs)…to Bros.

BUT (and this is a Sir Mix-a-Lot size a$$)…

Warning: I’m about to seriously stereotype.

These full-sleeve having, True Religion buying, flat-billed baseball cap wearing, rhinestone toting, bench-pressing, Fireball drinking, protein shaking Bros – didn’t do ANYTHING to you (at least I don’t think they did).

I swear…


You won’t get stung if you don’t irritate or swat them…in their own hive.

Say what you like about BarWest (my friends and I certainly have), but the buzz is getting old.


BarWest is a LOCAL business that abides by the same laws and pays the same taxes as other LOCAL businesses. It actually gives back to our community (in its own special ways). The bar also employs your sibling, or girlfriend, or spouse, or children, students and friends.

BarWest is a successful LOCAL business for a reason. The patio is packed for a reason. They keep selling hot wings and fishbowls for a reason. There is a demand. There is a group of people in this region that like to go there. You don’t have to hang out with them. Or even stand close enough to smell their cologne.

Just get over them.


TIME magazine said Sacramento was America’s most diverse city. It wasn’t a city-regional publication. IT WAS TIME. And TIME Magazine said, “Although many cities are diverse, in Sacramento people seem to live side by side more successfully.”



The owners love vibrant cities. They love hospitality. They love food and beverage. They love nightlife. They love what they do.


The owners knew better than to put one identical bar next to another. They turned up the country music and the UFC fights for a reason. They want EVERYONE on the block to hippity-hop successfully (see what I did there Red Rabbit, can you feel the love?).

The owners didn’t want to compete for business. They wanted business of their own. I assure you, when BarWest stops making money…when it stops making its clientele happy…it will reinvent itself. But there is no need for that now. Whether you want to admit it or not, it serves a purpose.

It gives the Bros a place to go.

I honestly had no idea how much a large part of this community hates (on) that place.

And why? For what (good) reason?

It’s certainly not professional.

I think it’s personal.

It’s a culture clash.

That’s all this really is.

People are discriminating. Against the Bros.

Funny thing is, the Bros really only care about…THEIR BROS. They don’t want to hang out at hotels or hipster bars. The Bros aren’t trying to swarm your safe havens. The Bros just want to have a good time, like everyone else. This doesn’t mean a Bro has never caused a problem, but like a lot of other human beings, the Bros really only notice the people that pay close attention to them.

I admit. It’s hard NOT to notice the Bros. But isn’t that the point? Shouldn’t you unapologetically want to be…yourself? Shouldn’t you just own who you are? Or aren’t? And appreciate those that are capable of being the very biggest version of…themselves (that pun was absolutely intended).

Normally, when I don’t like places, or people – I simply try to avoid them.

You don’t have to hang out at BarWest if you loathe it.

Go somewhere else.

Get another LOCAL business/bartender to craft you a cocktail.


Suck it up Sacramento.

You can do it.



{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

jen March 4, 2013 at 11:04 am

Yup, I’ve been treated poorly and looked down upon by said Bros, because let’s face it, I’m fat. So I don’t frequent where they frequent. The problem is they are now frequenting other places that I frequent and so I’m once again being treated poorly and looked down upon. Blah.


Natalie March 4, 2013 at 11:14 am

Well Jen, this is probably not going to make you feel any better. But I have been treated the same way. By the same group of people. I have also been treated that way by other groups of people. In fact, I have been treated just as poorly, if not worse…by people I love/loved very much, that I thought loved me just as much in return. I’ve also owed my fair share of apologies – for hurting others. On the flip side of that, I’m sincerely lucky to have a group of very good friends that have taken very good care of me – at every shape and size (because I fluctuate)…and some of these friends…happen to be Bros. I’m not, by any means, defending the behavior. Or saying you HAVE to love Bros. It’s just one perspective…


Natalie Andrade Smith March 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I don’t know what BarWest is but I’m going there.


Emma Jo March 5, 2013 at 11:31 am

Love this post. One of my favorite things about living in Midtown (and growing up in Sacramento for that matter) is how diverse it is. Midtown especially, caters to whatever mood you are in! I can’t say I am a frequent BroWester but when I want to party and have a great time, I KNOW that I can always count on BarWest for a fun night that I probably won’t remember. I have never had any negative altercations with the guys or girls there & the bartenders to security are always friendly and attentive. Everyone is there for the same reason. So, give me a jager bomb or a shot of fireball and don’t mind me when I start karaoke-ing to Luke Bryan!


Claire March 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I am standing here clapping my hands. Not really, that would be weird, but I want to.


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