Thursday, August 27, 2015

A recent article I wrote for

Check out this silly article I wrote for Queerty! Read the haters comments! It makes me happy to be a comic!

Link to queerty article

Friday, May 15, 2015

Five Things That Make A Great Bartender Other Than Being “Hot”

Here is a copy of the article I wrote for
Five Things.... Original article

To celebrate The Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic, Castro bartender, comedian and author Yuri Kagan came up with five things that make a great bartender.
1. “Hot” is not enough 
A six-pack, low cut T-shirt and looking great in tight jeans may initially land you a job in some establishments. But that’s it. Longevity in the job comes from personality, skill and multitasking oders. Personality is what wins the game. We’ve all been annoyed by pretty but incompetent servers who think that posing is all the job requires. Meanwhile, the line gets longer.
2. Don’t be a booze know-it-all
When a customer leans into your station, resist the urge to educate on the distillation process of various spirits or waste time on arguing the difference between top and bottom shelf vodka–unless the customer asks. People come to bars to unwind, not for a history lesson.
3. Create a show
It really is all about the drama, and not just at gay bars. You are the entertainment. (Along with the Kay Perry vids on the big screen or the ballgame.) Slow, busy, bar patrons are checking you out. Making the mundane look interesting is key. Keep up several conversations while mixing your fabulous concoctions. Tell stories. They don’t even have to be true as long as they are interesting. A true bartender has the gift of being able to keep a conversation going seamlessly among multiple people.
4. Size matters
Don’t be obvious about how precise you are measuring the alcohol content of a cocktail. It makes people think that they are getting less alcohol–even if the opposite is true. People who think they are getting stiffed don’t return. Be generous.
5. Good guys finish first
Smile even when your heart is aching. In fact, don’t talk about your personal life at all. Ever. Patrons are there to have fun, not be your therapist. It’s just sending your life down a rabbit-hole without the benefit of a hallucinogenic. No one needs to know all about your BS. People come to unload their problems and not hear about yours.
The Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic is almost here. Eleven cities have already picked bartenders to send to the Grand Finale in Key West, with just two West Coast events remaining–Seattle (May 17) and San Francisco (May 27).
Comedian Yuri Kagan has spent the past decade bartending at watering holes around San Francisco. From thumping gay clubs like Badlands and mixology taverns like Blackbird to dives like Edge. Check out his book, Vodka & Limelight.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A recent comedy set

Here is a set in the works... Polishing a turd.

Friday, April 10, 2015

13 Guaranteed Ways To Fail At Picking Up Someone Up At A Bar From A Castro Bartender

Repost from original article on

For a nearly a decade Yuri Kagan, author Vodka & Limelight, has slung drinks at watering holes, from the gay male variety to the sexually ambiguous sort. 
He collected some of his best tips on how to get lucky or go home alone…
1. Boy you must be tired… of running through my mind all night… Those cheeks look good enough to eat off.
So your once trusty pickup-lines are now greeted by an awkward stare? Stop using them. There are great conversation starters, others linger like bad gas. A great pickup-line that works for both sexes: You look familiar, do I know you from somewhere? It works even if you know you have never met. It’s an easy way to start a conversation, casually flirt and put feelers out with little risk. If after two words you aren’t into it just apologize and go back to fishing the cherry out of the bottom of your drink. Awkwardness minimized.
2. While on a date where booze is involved don’t blame booze for everything you fuck up. 
I didn’t mean to grab your butt, I’m drunk. First off, know your limits and take responsibility for your own actions. Second, blaming booze doesn’t make sense. I wouldn’t blame Sake for Pearl Harbor or Tequila for stealing American jobs so leave booze alone. On this topic, if you don’t live in dorms don’t act like it. It’s not a drinking competition. No one cares how much you drink unless they have to take care of you.
3. Don’t send anyone to do the flirting for you. 
This is true for any type of relationship.  You aren’t in study hall anymore so don’t send your gal pal up to tell me how you think I’m cute and ask what I think. If you want to know, do it yourself or live wondering forever.
4. See that bitch at Starbucks on his phone even while ordering coffee? 
The one where it’s hard to tell who she is talking to or about? The barista has to ask this person to repeat their drink so you just roll your eyes. Don’t be that person on a date. Put the phone away period.
5. Do not talk about you exes, people you have slept with, your painful corns, the co-worker that always steals your parking spot, your opinion on abortion, the death of your sister or cat. 
Keep your baggage to yourself like that bald spot you may have and only you notice. Like Santa, slowly gift your baggage out of your large bag of crap one item per date. It’s too much to hear all of another person’s problems in one sitting because we are usually more preoccupied with ourselves.
6. You know what’s hot on a date? Tipping.
Seriously, people that visibly tip get more play. It shows they are generous and care enough to pay for service. Bartenders don’t make the rules, it’s just the way it is. Also, don’t tell the other person how to tip. No one likes a backseat tipper.
unnamed-10-360x1887. Don’t ask the so why ya’ single?question unless you want to stay single.
It’s a pretty dumb question to which there is no good answer. No one wants to hear the response to which is the truth about how the love of your life dumped you at Ikea because you didn’t like his taste in paisley sheets.
8. Offer to pay now and again.
It’s about offering — with the freedom-based, rule free gay culture it’s sometimes hard to figure out the rules. Here is how it goes: If you invite the person out, you should at least offer to buy them a drink even if you know he will pay because of that great job as a Facebook programmer or Apple engineer. It’s about manners. This goes for both gay and straight relationships. Nothing is harder to watch then a woman who assumed her date was buying her a drink and doesn’t have enough cash. Also, if someone buys you drinks you don’t technically owe him anything but it could be considered common courtesy to let them at least cop a feel or more if you are feeling it after a few of those drinks.
9. Again, get off that phone!
Straight, gay or greedy it doesn’t matter. If you are out at a bar or place with a lot of single people, get off of Tindr, Grindr, Hookd or any variation/combination. It’s a bit redundant to be in a virtual bar in a real bar. Save that for when you’re at home or at work and there is slim-pickin if you are not interested in the boy next door or your roomie. No one want to walk up to you if you are absorbed in your phone, especially if you are on one of those apps chatting up the guy at the bar next door or in the townhouse up the street. We all know what you are doing as your finger slides across that screen. It’s especially annoying if we walk right past you and see a dick photo on your phone of a guy who is literally across the room.
10. Don’t talk to the bartender more than the person you are with. 
Also, make eye-contact. Not the creepy, couple seconds too long eye-contact. Just enough to show you care. On a side note: You won’t go home with the bartender so stop being rude.
11. Don’t be too quick to casually announce you don’t believe in condoms.
First off it could be considered irresponsible, depending on the circumstances, and is a case of putting the cart before the stallion or something like that.
12. A date is not the time to officially come out.
If you are new to gay, we already know cause you still have that new car smell.
13. Don’t pretend not to eat. 
You aren’t a Ken doll. Nothing is more sad then watching a woman or a gay man out on a date with a tiny salad while their date has the surf n’ turf. We know you are stuffing your fat gourd behind closed doors so keep it real.
Check out Yuri Kagan’s Vodka & Limelight on Amazon

Thursday, February 19, 2015

I'm in the Bay Area Reporter!

Check out this whole article out in the Bay Area Reporter about my book, "Vodka and Limelight!"


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