ABC Bartending School: Is it Worth It? A Real Expert’s Review


Are you tired of scouring and scrolling through the internet wondering which bartending school near you is worth it?

Well, fear not because the crew at Local Bartending School (LBS) and I are here to save the day (and your bartending career).

Who am I? I’m Carrie and I’m a 15-year veteran in the world of restaurant and bar management. But I’m not alone! (Are we ever?) LBS and the team of experts have done the research for you.

So let’s get started and review ABC Bartending School.

ABC Bartending School: The Basics

This family-owned business has been in the hospitality industry for over three generations, so you know they mean business. They opened their first classroom in 1977 and have been training and placing thousands of students every year across the nation since then.

The Sylvester clan is a family of bartending. For over 30 years, Tony Sylvester and his family have been schooling aspiring barkeeps in the fine art of mixology across the nation.

From the rainy streets of Seattle to the sultry shores of South Beach, Sylvester’s bartending academies offer education in cocktail creation.

Three generations of hard-won hospitality expertise have been distilled into the Sylvester system that all students learn. Unless they walk out first, but more on that later.

Is ABC Bartending School Worth It?

But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty – is ABC Bartending School worth your time and money? According to online reviews, their instructors are top-notch and the program takes about two weeks to complete. But, of course, there’s always that one person who just can’t seem to be satisfied. A recent Yelp review claimed that your time is better spent watching YouTube videos – ouch!

But here’s the kicker: ABC Bartending School offers free and lifelong access to a few refresher courses (Pun intended? We will never know!) at any of their nationwide locations.

So even if you’re unsure about the effectiveness of their program, you can always pop in for a quick re-up on knowledge whenever you’re feeling rusty.

ABC Bartending School offers lifetime job placement assistance once you’ve completed your certification at any of its schools nationwide. That means you’ll have access to their extensive network and can find a job wherever your bartending heart desires.

How Much Does ABC Bartending Cost?

Now, let’s talk about the price. Yes, it’s an investment, but ABC Bartending School includes everything you need to become a skilled bartender. Plus, they offer payment plans – because let’s face it, not all of us have a large chunk of cash lying around.

Red Flags for ABC Bartending School

But be warned, if you’re looking for a polished and modern classroom setting, then ABC Bartending School might not be for you. One Yelp review (posted just a few days before this blog was written) claimed that the classroom looked like an 80s dive bar. But hey, at least you’ll have some real experience, am I right? Let’s just hope the floor is sticky so you have a super on-point simulation.

Joey from Florida Left a Terrible, but Hilarious Review for ABC Bartending School on Yelp

From the moment Joey walked into this Fort Lauderdale, Florida establishment, the new potential student knew something wasn’t quite right. The wastebasket with its derogatory sign, labeled “Don’t throw towels away, bi****s,” was just the tip of the dirty iceberg.

The owner was apparently stuck to his chair, and the teacher barked orders in a language that couldn’t even be deciphered in a bar room brawl.

To top it off, the teacher referred to the new student as “Bossman”, leaving them to question who was the real boss at ABC Bartending School.

 The school had no information on what was being taught or where students could be placed, leaving the potential student feeling lost and confused.

But the real kicker was the hostile atmosphere, making it clear that this wasn’t a place to learn. That’s why Joey walked right out and chose a different bartending school that was local to him instead. Maybe driving to Miami bartending school would be better?

ABC Bartending Yelp review
Jatin in New York City Says an Instructor at ABC Bartending School was “HORRIBLE”

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something new comes along to raise the bar. In this case, it’s not the quality of the bartending school, but the utter lack of proficiency of one of its instructors, Angelica. According to a class consensus, she was downright horrible.

Maybe Angelica couldn’t teach people how to mix drinks to save her life, but to be fair, she could just be an aspiring artist trying her hand out at a new medium; like mixing paint but with alcohol.

Unfortunately, not only did Jatin not have the patience, the entire class didn’t appreciate her craft. Everyone agreed that Angela was the lowest-ranked instructor at ABC Bartending School in New York City.

In any case, if you’re looking to learn anything useful about bartending, it’s probably best to avoid this school altogether. Unless, of course, you’re curious to witness Angelica’s antics at teaching people how to bartend!

Review of ABC school
If You Want Job Placement Consider Something Else

According to a scathing review in Chicago, ABC Bartending School’s  job placement is “a lie to say the least.”

The review calls out the school for exaggerating its job placement rates to “push or sell a service or product.”

Despite graduating from their prestigious program, the reviewer is still struggling to find a job in their field since “everyone wants experience.”

They basically said that it’s unfair for the college to deceive students with unrealistic employment promises. This biting review serves as a cautionary warning to do your own research before shelling out tuition dollars for lofty career opportunities that may never materialize.

ABC Bartending School review

Green Flags for ABC Bartending School

Getting Handsy in Las Vegas Worked for Stephanie D.

Las Vegas is the real deal! I mean, where else can you get a hands-on approach that actually works? And trust me, being in a city that never sleeps (yes, New York City isn’t the only place not getting any rest), learning needs to be on the go and hands-on for some to keep up.

But let’s be real, some of you may prefer learning from the comfort of your own home while wearing pajamas, and that’s okay.

However, according to Stephane D., this school has something special to offer. The teachers are like BFFs who genuinely care about your success and the curriculum is so interesting that it makes you want to turn off Netflix and crack open a textbook.

And let’s not forget about the location, bartending bestie! Las Vegas is known for its lights and glamour, but this school can’t help but shine on Yelp. So if you’re looking for a fun and engaging school that teaches you through hands-on experience and you’re in the area, this may be a good option.

For my pajama, at-home learning friends, Local Bartending School can send an instructor your way so you can learn in the way that feels best (literally) to you.

ABC Yelp review
Shaken, Stirred, and Hired in Dallas, Texas

One lucky gal stumbled upon this kickass bartending school in Dallas, Texas that set her up for success! ABC Bartending School taught her how to remember cocktail recipes quickly. Soon, she was mixing drinks like an expert.

She’s always dreamed of being a bartender but didn’t want to start from the bottom with no experience. Now she’s ready to confidently land a job.

Listen, with so many bartending schools out there, it’s tough to choose which one to go to. It’s like trying to pick your favorite casino in Las Vegas – there are just too many darn options. But job placement is key, folks. You don’t want to spend all this time and money learning the ins and outs of bartending just to end up jobless and broke.

So, if you’re looking for a solid bartending school, whether you’re in Texas or anywhere else in the world, don’t leave it to chance. Choose one that’ll have you shaking and stirring in no time by helping you land that first job.

For my Texas readers, check out this guide just for you! You’ll learn how to get your bartending career started from start to finish. 

Review of ABC Bartending School

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Courses range from $55 for a single class up to $900 for the comprehensive Bartending Certification program. The median cost of the programs is $630 but they offer price matches. They have flexible schedules and payment plans available for their students and credits can transfer to some locations nationwide.

The school is accredited by the Council for Private Post-Secondary Vocational Education of California, which sets standards for career education and training programs in the state.

This is subjective! But we consider bartending school to be the best investment toward your career in the industry, setting you above the rest of the competition. 


Learning Online is Cheaper than ABC Bartending School

So, I’m going to leave you with a quick takeaway after all of that. If you’re serious about becoming a bartender and want access to a lifetime of refresher courses and job placement assistance, then ABC Bartending School is definitely worth considering.


Ash clearly did not enjoy their time at the bartending school just outside Los Angeles. They also didn’t enjoy spending over $300 on a course that they fell asleep during. We don’t blame ya, Ash! 
We think YouTube videos are a great place to start learning the ins and outs of bartending before school.  Head over to the rest of our resource blog page where we give you tips and tricks, with videos included (for free)!

Carrie Jean Lipe

Carrie Lipe has been writing creatively since childhood but jump-started her professional writing after college. She's an Indiana native, Ball State Hospitality graduate, and a bartender with over 10+ years in the industry. You can find her making basil Moscow mules when she's not writing. Follow her professional journey on Instagram! @contentbycarriejean