Have you ever been in a bar when someone offered to buy a round for everyone, or vice versa?

We’ve all seen this scene in the movies. Some rich muckety-muck or maybe some guy who just got lucky and came into a pile of money walks into a bar, says “this round’s on me” and buys everyone there a drink. I’m reading a book right now where one of the characters does this.

Anyway, has anyone here ever witnessed or been party to something like this? And if someone did walk into a bar and offer to buy everyone a round, could you order anything, even if it’s a cocktail with top shelf liquor in it or a glass of the most expensive wine in the house, or would you just be limited to beers and well drinks? How about if somebody walks in right after the announcement is made - would they get a free drink too? Also, how would they tabulate the price of all these drinks from this particular “round”? How would all the bartenders and waitstaff go about writing up the individual tickets for this “round” and pooling them all together to give the generous soul his bill?

It happened this year at bar I was watching the Super Bowl at. Some guy started offering anyone who rooted for Green Bay free drinks. Since in the Seattle area virtually everyone was rooting for the Packers (remember Super Bowl XL?) that meant he pretty bought drinks for all twenty people at the bar. He sure didn’t look rich; then again he was buying us only well drinks. He didn’t have to worry about merging orders because he bought us drinks seperately.

Not exactly what you’re looking for, but this is the closest I’ve ever been:

I was at a bar for a friend’s birthday party. The party started around 7. We ended up staying at the bar until last call. By that time there were not many people left. Maybe 5 of us that were pretty close friends, and then another 5 locals sitting at the bar, as opposed to out in the restaurant were the only ones there. My friend (who was pretty drunk) knew the bartender and negotiated a rate to buy shots for everyone. I don’t remember what he bought, or how much it cost, but it came down to “you bought 10 shots for $X per shot, here’s your total.”

I have had this happen a few times, always the same bar, always the same guy (Big Jerry) doing the treating.

He is a huge old gent, (probably 6’8, 300 pounds) and almost totally deaf in one ear, and so he speaks in a loud, almost shouting voice. Because he is physically imposing, people often tend to avoid him, but once you get to know him, you realize what a great ol’ character he is.

He has an encyclopedic knowledge of sports trivia, moreso than any person I have ever known. You can ask him damn near anything, no matter how trivial or obscure, and he can come up with the answer 99% of the time.

Every once in a while, he will buy a round for the house, for up to 20 or 30 people, the majority he dosent know at all.

The bartenders all love him (he tips HUGE) and of course the regulars do too. I buy him a brew (he ONLY drinks draught Bud, never anything else) every time I see him, just so he won’t insist on buying me my first three or four beers. (which he tries to do all the time, no matter how much you may protest)

To keep people from taking advantage and ordering the most expensive thing they can think of (always a few assholes, eh?) the bartenders just give everyone another round of the drink that they already have in front of them.

Jerry is not rich, living on a pension (I think the bartenders give him a significant discount when he buys a round for the bar) but I think because of his disability (due to his hearing loss he speaks in a manner that could be construed as almost mentally disabled, which he is certainly NOT) and his huge size he is self-conscious, and I suppose that could be the reason for his incredible generosity.

Every time I travel abroad, I try and bring him a few souvenir brews from Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, etc., and while he is always gracious about it and thanks me profusely, I think he probably prefers the local 3.2% Utah Budweiser…:smiley:

No, but I was on a plane sitting next to a guy buying drinks for everyone around him. He was middle-aged, spoke in a broad New York accent, had a shaven head, an earring, and a cane, and was obviously high on alcohol most likely, and coming down to Florida on some unspecified “business matter”. When I spilled my water I picked up an ice cube nearby him and he thought I was wiping it off in an obseqious manner because he assured me that I was a “good kid”. I was 35 at the time, but that probably explains why he didn’t offer to buy me a drink because he probably [del]thought[/del] assumed in his drunkenness that I was like 20.

I’ve been in a bar when the owner of the bar bought a round for the house, but not when a customer did. Still, it did cost him–it was a sports bar, with about 300 people in attendance for a playoff game. It put a bit of a dent in his revenues on the day, I’m sure.

Again, not quite what the OP is looking for, but I’ll offer it anyway. I was at a blackjack table in a local casino when one of the players decided to buy a round for the table (about eight players). Note that casino drinks are not free here; you have to pay for them. But he was betting big and had just won a few hands, so he decided to share his good fortune with the rest of the table. He just signalled the waitress to bring us all whatever we were already drinking, so if you were drinking, say, Budweiser beer, the waitress brought you a Budweiser beer–there was no way you could set aside your Bud and order a top-shelf single malt whisky. But even so, it was a nice gesture. And he didn’t forget the dealer–she couldn’t have a drink, of course, but he gave her a very nice tip.

Yes, but there were only 3 people in the bar at the time, plus the buyer.

Yes, in a golf club bar. A returning golfer who had scored a hole in one had to shout the entire bar.

You mean, have I ever been in a round when someone offered to buy a bar for everyone?

Have you ever bought a round for everyone in a bar?

I’ve bought rounds before. Usually when it’s 10 or 15 people and I know all or most of them. Often around the holidays.

Many times over the years working in strip clubs.

I lived in Iowa City and my friend and I wanted to avoid the craziness of a home game one afternoon, so we went to one of our favorite hole in the wall bars instead of a more popular bar. After about an hour of us being the only ones at the bar aside from the bartender a party of about 10 people in their late 40s came pouring in having a great day. They ordered in hot wings and other appetizers from a local restaurant and shared with us, since we were the only other people there. They also gave us a few drink tokens. It was a good time.

Back when I was still in the Navy, I was stationed at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey in support of the No-Fly zone and living in tent city. Just about every squadron or detachment had their own little bar set up in their section of tent city. Usually a couple of tents they had put together, or a building slapped together from whatever you could find. Most of the time it was manned by someone from the squadron, and stayed open as long as he felt like standing behind the bar. Beer was the only thing they had, although there was a selection. But I think the most expensive beer was like $1.50 or something like that. The point wasn’t to really make money, but to have a place to hang out. So yeah, in those kinds of bars I’ve both bought rounds for everyone, and been present when someone else bought a round. Usually signaled by ringing the bell over the bar.

I’ve seen it done a few times in bars, usually when one of the local businessmen is in a good mood. I’ve bought up to eight or nine drinks myself on a few occasions, always for friends and acquaintances. I’ve never had someone try to order something extraordinar. People just stick to what they were drinking

Happens many times in bars over here. There is always a bell hanging near the bar, and if you want to buy a drink for everyone, you ring it. The staff gives everyone another one of what they’re already drinking. But staff get one too.

There is often the same sign hanging up with the bell, too:

He who rings the bell in jest
Buys a drink for all the rest.

And it’s true too. Never seen it myself but have heard of some goofball ringing it, then saying it was just a joke. Uh-uh. It’s pay up or get the shit kicked out of you.

My hometown is pretty small. There are 2 bars and one very old, wealthy man. When he comes out to the bar, it’s not uncommon for him to buy a round for everyone. He lives alone and I think it’s his way of socializing. I’d say there are usually between 10-20 people in the bar on any given weekend night. Last time this happened I thanked him and he ended up showing my friends and I his new Cadillac, which he was awful proud of.

Eh, small town bars, people are buying maybe 12 drinks, happens fairly often. Still very much appreciated though.

A waitress once brought us three shots of Jameson each and said “Some asshole keeps buying everyone a round, you might as well have the good shit.”

I puked green and woke up wearing two Jameson t-shirts over my dating clothes. If tequila makes her clothes fall off the Irish might be doing it wrong…

I did myself once, although I meant it as a joke.

When I was living in Eugene, a little bar named Max’s Tavern was my second home, and I would head there at 1pm nearly every day off. I was rarely the first one there, but one day, I happened to be walking up as the owner was unlocking, and I walked in, sat down and jokingly proclaimed “Drinks are on me!” Right as a group of about 6 college kids walked in. I thought, “a promise is a promise”, so despite my destitute nature at the time I held up my end of the deal. And three of the assholes bought mugs of Guinness - since Max’s was beer only at the time, this was the most expensive drink in the joint.
I have been on the receiving end of a few “a round for everyone” situations. The most amazing was on election night, 2008, when I was in SF on business. The bar was above capacity, at least 250 people crammed wall to wall. When they called it for Obama, the whole place erupted. And a really well-dressed guy standing next to me at the bar called out “drinks are on me - whatever you want!” I thanked him, and ordered another Anchor Steam, and he jokingly said “don’t insult me - I said whatever you want, and I meant it!” Although I explained that I’m not much of a liquor drinker, he ordered a whisky for me anyway.

That was a very fun night - I’m pretty sure they ran out of most of their their top-shelf liquor. Although when they announced that Prop 8 (CA’s anti-gay marriage bill) had passed, he shouted “I want my f*cking drinks back!”

Once or twice.