Flair Competitions History 

The earliest known competition for flair bartending was held by T.G.I. Friday's in Marina del Rey, California around 1985. Management noticed bartender John Mescall's talent for juggling bottles while pouring drinks and decided to hold an in-store competition, which they later took national. Mescall was a bit hesitant, because other Friday's bartenders saw his art more of a nuisance when they were forced by management to flair as well. He made a couple of "how-to" videos for TGI Friday's and later worked with John J.B. Bandy in what was probably the first ever flairtending video, "Olympic Bartending". The earliest world champanionship for flair bartending was held by T.G.I. Friday's in 1987 for their bartenders, and was won by John J.B. Bandy, who went on to train Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown for the 1988 Movie Cocktail. T.G.I. Friday's is credited for modernizing and popularizing flair bartending in the United States beginning in the mid 1980s. London and Orlando were the hotbeds of flair bartending in the early and mid 1990s. In 1991, T.G.I. Friday's started its global competition called World Bartender Championship. The global competition has continued to today with divisional champions from Midwest, Northeast, Texas/Colorado, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Central, West, Briad Franchise, Latin America, and European Divisions come to compete in Carrollton, Texas.Recently, Las Vegas has become the flair capital of the world, with London a close second. The countries currently producing the most top competitors right now are Uruguay, Argentina, Ukraine, Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan.


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