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Jacksonville Consumer Alert:

New school in Orange Park BEWARE

The following info is a matter of public record posted by the BBB.
It is also posted on the website:

Read the below information so as to avoid this new school and it's owners reputation in the South Eastern States.

The owner Chris Nelson and his family have had more complaints filed against their schools than any other bartending school owners in the Southeast. Most complaints have been filed in the Carolinas. He has changed school names many times, as seen in his multiple license revocations by the State Board in South Carolina, and has also taken the name ABC BARTENDING SCHOOL for his Carolina locations. (Click on the links below). If you read the State Board charges in SC, it clearly states “not affiliated with the ABC BARTENDING SCHOOL at”. You will also see F+ ratings by the BBB for his Carolina locations (this is just an example, there are more, check with the BBB.)

SLED: Man charged in running Greenville bartending school without license
South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
ABC Bartending School Business Review in Raleigh, NC

ABC Bartending School - Better Business Bureau

Recently in Georgia he had to change his school name form ABC Bartending School to the Georgia Bartending School or be Cease and Desist by the Georgia State Board. The same goes for the State of Florida, where again he forced to change the school name to Florida Bartending School.

School claims in their catalog that their class is set up like a real bar, this is totally misleading to say the least. Pictures shown on their Website are not that of the school in Jacksonville, but of a school outside of the state. Their Jacksonville school looks nothing like those pictures.

School does not have a fully functional wet working bar set-up (sinks/ice bins/soda guns) plus a limited amount of bottle's. It is set up more like a home bar. The school will not show you a picture of the under bar area (only front view) because it's not a professional bar set-up. They use stainless steel "half pans" (normally what a cook would use to store things) for their sink or ice bin. If you where to go to any other bartending school in the area, you would see the big difference in what a real set-up looks like. Plus, they only have a 2 station set-up behind the bar to practice from.

Jacksonville think about this. Let say they have 10 students in a class and there a only 2 stations to work from, how long will you have to wait before you can get behind the bar to practice and make drinks, get the point!  In any other school in Jacksonville each student has their own station to work on and does not have to wait in line for an opening to practice. Let's not forget this only a 12hr class, so how much time if any to you get to work and practice behind the bar?



Beware of online bartending schools, some even claim to be ABC Bartending Schools. They are not. They just have a domain name that seems to say they are a part of ABC Bartending Schools Nationwide, and they try to confuse the public into thinking it's an ABC sponsored class.

You can't learn to bartend with an online program. The Only way to understand a skill set like bartending is hands-on-training and working behind a real bar. That's what bartending schools do, they put you behind a real bar to build up your speed, memory and acclimation to the real world.

We have received thousands of phone calls over the years from all over the United States, at our different school locations, from prospective students complaining how they where ripped off, lost their money and came away with nothing from these online classes. Plus, most of the complaints about online programs where that once they took your credit card, your money was lost no matter what they stated online.

If you just want to learn drink recipes go to a book store. It’s a lot cheaper than an online course. Also, don't forget that some schools offer 2-hour Bartending Boot Camps for the same amount as an online program, but you actually work behind a real bar.

All in all, they are not a good investment in learning how to bartend. Remember, "you can't learn how to drive a car without a car," the same applies to learning how to bartend.


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