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This is the tale of a cat who was once a renowned bartender, the toast of the town, who lost his crown. He is gone but not forgotten.

In the 2022 Best of Boise, John Barleycorn, listed as a bartender at Whiskey Bar, was named BoB’s Bartender of the year. It ended up being a spoof — the bar’s “John Barleycorn” was the bar cat and never poured a single drink. Whiskey Bar’s manager, Chris Bailey, apologized and the crown was rightfully handed over to Press and Pony’s Erik Schweitzer. As an “I’m really sorry” gesture, Bailey even screenprinted a box of T-shirts so Boise Weekly could take the spoof and turn it into a feature, honoring #bwjohnbarleycorn bartenders in the community. Things went back to normal and John Barleycorn the cat held reign at Whiskey Bar … until, that is, BW received an email announcing his sudden death of heart failure at the cat-young age of 4½.

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