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Wednesday, June 24, 2015



Don't look like an amateur. Get better service.

TIPS- means to insure prompt service. My top ten, will HELP you with this.

Bartenders, however, cannot be agitated by every customer who does not observe these rules. You have to smile and deal with it, and go on with your shift. That, is just part of the biz.

10.) Tipping a bartender, is entirely different than tipping a server.

When dining, the server has to wait to the end to receive their gratuity. If the waitperson does not like it, there really is nothing one can do. It is more than likely that the customer has already scurried out the front door, possibly never to be seen again.

When going to the bar, chances are you are going to be making numerous trips to be served, you will be judged on your first trip (and tip). When you step up a second time, we can prioritize serving the guy who is giving us a bigger per drink tip, and we GET to decide how long you will have to wait.

9.) Unless you are a well established regular, do not tip at the end

You may ADD a hefty tip at the end, but do not wait until your drinking binge is over to take care of the server. And don't think you are being smart, if you decide you HAVE to tip at the end, and you will just let us know your plan. Usually, the ones who announce such a thing, are the very ones who fail to live up to their word. We won't believe you, if you say it, so don't try it.

8.) Tip heavy on the first round.

You can bet you will get special treatment after doing so. Also, remember to say please and thank you. People without manners just plain suck.

7.) Do not ask for us to be generous on our pour.

If you want a stronger drink, you should order a double, and expect to pay double. Otherwise, it makes you sound cheap and like a desparate alcoholic. What we pour, is what you get.

6.) If you order water or soda, you need to tip on that too.

And do not ONLY order water; it is a bar; if you don't want to drink alcohol, get a juice or soda. We are a business like any other, and we SELL drinks to people. If you expect to sit on our stools, piss in our bathroom, play our jukebox, you need to be a PAYING customer.

5.) Do not leave coins as a tip.

It is rude, and insulting. And, bartenders have been known to take spare change left on the bar, and throw it on the floor (or worse), next to the cheapsake customer.

4.) If you want to pay using a credit card, plan on spending more than $20.

Who goes to the bar without cash anyway? And, if you are going to open a tab, don't get so drunk you 
forget to close it out and pay. Who does this? Idiots. The same people who leave their cell phones and purses unattended, I suppose.

3.) Do not wave, snap, or use any other self created sign language to get the bartender to acknowledge you.

Wait your turn.

2.) Do not step up to the bar while on your cell phone, or BEFORE having your order ready.

I can't tell you how many times a patron has called me over only to turn around and start asking his friends what they want. By the time you turn back around, the bartender will probably have walked away. Do not signal us, if you don't have it all together.

1.) If you get special treatment, like free drinks, you need to tip on those drinks as if you had paid for them.

"We take care of you, you take care of us." It is a two way street, and believe me, if you are going to be a repeat customer, any bartender worth anything, will remember you when you return again.

The cheap or troublemaking bastard is even ten times more likely to be remembered, and we do not have to be nice to you if you come back. In fact, we don't have to serve you at all. We can refuse service to whoever we want, whether you like it or not. So...Don't be an asshole


Tuesday, June 9, 2015


...Continued from Previous entry EVERYTHING IN THREES here, read here for Part #1:

The race went off, and the crowd began to scream at the tv, hollering "Come on baby; Bring it home, Come on fifty-five! " was the most memorable time I've had watching a bunch of horses "run for the roses." I was rooting for the favorite, even though I had drawn horse number three, twice. I liked the idea of witnessing history, and a regular winning the most monies.

Well, American Pharaoh, brought it home, and the big winner, was big and generous, ordering pizza, buying shots, and tipping me a twenty. Like I said, win, win.

Shortly after the race was finished three cute twenty-something girls stepped up to the bar and delved in to a pitcher of beer. My peripheral vision caught one of the girls trying to get some juice from a dead outlet for her dying cell phone. I got her attention, "Hey need to use this outlet!" And pointed her over to the power strip already in heavy phone refueling use. She gave me a nod of thanks and I thought maybe these chicks were going to be fun ones for me to attempt future interaction.

After I returned from counting the register and cashed my tip bucket of singles into bigger bills, I somehow ended up at the girls' table where they had already kidnapped one of the trouble making regulars into their den of debauchery. There was an antagonistic banter going on, the girls saying he was calling them "dirty white girls" and other derogatory things, and he was trying to get them to come over to his bachelor pad to do naughty things.

The chicks were dressed in some kind of costumes; but it wasn't obvious what disguises they were attempting to present . One of them looked like a cross between a nameless band member from "The Go-Go's and Cyndy Lauper, but they all had scrungies on their arms circa the early nineties. They said it was supposed to be nineties attire but besides the scrungy bracelet thingys, I didn't see it. Anyway, theme parties are odd to me. It's just some excuse to dress up as a slutty whatever, or act more like a douchebag than usual. I'm not a huge fan.

The banter turned into drunken ranting.  One of the girls said some obscene things to the reverse racist, promising sexual favors to him; joking or not, I covered my ears. Some other stuff started to go down that I didn't want to witness, so I removed myself from the scene.

Well, just another day in the bar room: a historic race, an unexpected profit for one that affected many, and a gaggle of silly girls.

Never a dull moment. Looks like it's time for triple shots! TRIFECTA!

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Monday, June 8, 2015


It was a historical day at the races; an epic chance after 37 years for a thoroughbred, American Pharaoh, to make history and win the triple crown.

Soon after I opened the doors, an attractive couple swaggered in, ordering tequila drinks, feeding quarters into the pool table, and engaging in banter that showed it was a long established love-hate relationship. He called her "high maintenance" for her drink order (Casamigos Blanco, with soda, a splash of pineapple juice and 2 limes), and he criticized her pool rule knowledge; she humored him and laughed off his wise ass comments and played on.

Soon, a solo drinking California dude pulled up a stool and started a Tecate drink string. I'm not sure if he intended it to be a "hit and run" drink or not, but I already decided he wasn't allowed to leave.  "Kidnapped." That's how I think.

Shortly, I had some diehard, entertaining, goofy, regulars show up, and soon I had a 6 person party of shot drinking jokesters. The new Cali guy fit in quickly, stayed for a double trifecta (6 beers), and partaked in shots with the usual suspects. He quickly bonded with a similarly bearded tattooed fella, over Allman Brothers and obscure music knowledge. They looked like they could have been separated at birth. West Coast newbie will be back! Probably next week; fingers crossed. He was a customer that we would love to add to our arsenal of awesomeness.

I decided to start a Belmont Stakes pool, so that we could fully enjoy the race since the return on investment would be better than any odds at the track. It was like a football pool, with random numbers drawn, and no profit for the house; no laws broken. In my mind, it would make it a party, and whoever won would likely reinvest at least some of the profits into more drinks thereafter. Win, win.

One lucky regular picked "5" twice, and being that was the Triple Crown best bet, he was likely to be the big winner. I decided to take it and run with it, and started chanting like an enthusiastic crap shooter : "Come ooooooon, fifty five....fifty five!" hollering "five, five, shooter, let's goooooooo fifty five!!!!!" in a voice that sounded like a well seasoned auctioneer.

The first pool had sold out quickly, and I had three pools going with $10 a number (The most profit to be made was $130 by the regular who picked five twice.)  Not bad for a $30 investment (he was in all three).

(To be continued...sooooooon, stay tuned for part 2)


Sunday, June 7, 2015


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St. Paddy's Day. Not a holiday I like. It's for overgrown frat boys to act like even bigger idiots than they usually do. I prefer, if anything, to have a barrier between me and the often over intoxicated. The choice for me is: work, or hibernate. Since, this year, it fell on a was easier just to "have to work it", 'cause it's my usual day. I had mixed feeling about working it: fearing fights from hell, vomit on the sidewalk, and other behavior that belongs at a college kegger. But, I knew it would be busy. Perhaps, it would! The worst part: green really isn't my color.

Upon arrival, I feared the worst. The bar was packed, and full of the kinds of customers that order Redbull vodkas, Coors light, and Long Island ice teas. It looked about 50 people over capacity, and that was at 7pm. Well,, I tried to stay positive.

The first hour and and half, we had already rung about what we usually do on an entire Wednesday night. It didn't seem THAT busy, but how time flies when the liquor is. And after about an hour, we had a whole new crowd...a calmer, more polite, civil one, that said please and thank you. So, the article in Time Out that labelled us an "anger bar" had possibly led a new breed of customer to us. The demographics for the magazine show the readers have money and are educated. Could these St. Paddy's Day visitors be readers of the mag.? or did we just get so lucky to have the troublemakers move on the McDate Rape bar a few avenues over? Whoever these people were...I was thankful they were there.

A highlight of the evening was the appearance of John. John, is a regular who comes to the bar with his bagpipes, and proceeds to play them at highly inappropriate times. He is very goofy, and very loud, and sometimes, he crosses the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Today, he was even on his best behavior. Dressed in full parade uniform, and not as drunk as one would expect, he showed up wanting to play. Wellllll, hell, yeah, today would be the day.

"Who wants to hear some bagpipes?". The response was an enthusiastic "yes". I proceeded to instruct the guys to close the front door, so as not to wake the entire neighborhood. The crowd LOVED it, and I really got a kick out of it. How festive!!!

Over the course of the night, I mangled my knee, by pivoting off it to get from one side of the bar to the other, and from squatting to get beer, and stuff. Last year, I had the same knee problem, with inflammation and pain, which led to me needing to get fluid drained from it with a needle. Fun, fun. I also, was fighting a headache, popping one too many painkillers, that made me feel, not so hot. By the end of the night, I was exhasted. I could barely walk, and knew I would need the entire next day to recover.

I was pretty sure upon closing, our numbers were record breaking in a few places...And the next day, I called the previous manager to compile data, and I was indeed right. Records broken.

Sometime on Saturday (the day after), I crashed out on my couch, and when I woke up, I knew something wasn't right. I was hot. Super hot. I knew I had a fever. There was a mad search for my thermometer, and found it in some odd place, no one would ever think to look. I stuck it in mouth and was scared to look. 104.3. Jesus. Ice bath. Advil. 911? I tried to stay calm, and take the proper measures to lower my temperature.

It was a fight, and I was soooo sick. I thought a few times, I was going to die. It was a weekend, and 

if I wanted to get medical attention on Sunday, it would have to be the ER. Honestly, sometimes, I think I would rather die, than check myself into a NYC hospital. The waiting time alone is enough to kill you. If I could just make it until Monday, I could go to my own doctor, which luckily, is on the main floor of my building.

If my doctor's office been anywhere else, I would have called the ambulance. Luckily, I toughed it out, with rigorous folk remedies, and made it downstairs midday on Monday. After having my temperture shooting back up to 104.5, and having atleast an hour where I was visibly shaking, I somehow managed to get dressed and carry myself to the elevator down the few floors.

I don't think I have ever been sicker as an adult. It was bad. Very very bad. Mind altering even. I 

came out of the delirium, thinking, I need to take more time for myself. I am working too hard, so hard, I could die. And it just ain't worth it

Sunday, May 31, 2015


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You stumble into the bar, delusional perhaps from pre-entry intoxication, or perhaps from anticipatory drunkendom. Somehow, you come to the conclusion, you are entitled to act like the bar is your home; your personal refuge. You are a cocky mother f-er.

Case #1:

Electrician Mike enters with a monstrous box which at first looks like a X-mas tree stand. But, upon further inspection, I realize it is a huge box of power tools.

He begins to test the power tools, making various buzzing sounds, loudly plopping things on top of the bar, and then he saunters over to an outlet, and proceeds to plug in some contraption.

I suggest that the noise he is making is not appropriate since patrons are there nursing their hangovers, hoping to cure them with a little hair of the dog. Power tool testing, is not what the doctor ordered.

On top of this...I begin to question another patron, Bill, as to whether Mike thought to ask whether it was okay to tap into our power supply.

I begin to silently fume. Instead of wasting my breath, I begin to create a list of functions the bar is not intended for. That was the start of my famous "bar rule signs..." This one read:

"This is a bar...not your...
...#1 Power tool testing station."

Lesson: Don't come to my bar on your lunch break and set up shop. The result will be a sign posted for all to see, and your cockiness will have been the inspiration for the retalitory list.

Don't confuse your local bar with your personal den of selfish indulgence. You could be the ridicule of bartenders and those who love them, everywhere.

Screw you with a power tool later.

Thursday, May 28, 2015



Everything in the bar business comes in waves: security problems, equipment breakdowns, staff disciplinary problems, and so on...

It also seems, certain nights, your bar fills up with carbon copies of one particular category of customer. This Friday we had half a bar full of privileged, snotty young girls, who all looked barely of drinking age.

These were the kind of girls, who ordered rounds of drinks, and left fifty cents as a tip. Getting a two quarter tip is even more insulting than getting stiffed, because there is no chance they forgot, or plan to tip at the end of the night. A few times, I have seen bartenders call the customer on this, handing the quarters back to them, in a condescending tone suggesting that if all they can leave are some coins, then they probably need them more than me.

I, myself, don't recommend doing this. Bartenders really can't get pissed at these morons, 'cause there are too many of them, and it just isn't worth the energy. Luckily, in the end, the generous patrons usually make up for the cheaper ones. Even though it shouldn't be this way, you can't dwell on it, or be rude to every customer who is thrifty or annoying. If you do, then you should probably not be in the service industry.

The point is, however, these girls could afford to drink, well then, then can afford to tip. If they can't, well then, go to a college kegger and give blowjobs for beer.

One teenaged looking girl, presented an ID that was so fake, you didn't even have to inspect it carefully. It was that bad.

"This isn't real. You can't stay, " I authoritatively stated.

She insisted it was real, and upon being questioned on the details of her ID, Miss Huffy, threatened she would call the cops in protest. She took out her phone and started to dial, and I interjected, "Let me talk to the officer, and I will tell him, you are in possession of a fake ID, which, my dear, is against the law, and YOU will be arrested."

She was fake calling to begin with. I was even contemplating asking her if she knew the number of the precinct, because I would be happy to give it to her. But she was taking up too much of my time, and people were now waiting for drinks.

First of all she was lucky I didn't take her ID from her and call the cops myself. And second of all, she quickly left the bar when she realized if she kept pressing the issue, she would be the one on the losing end. I am sure she went down the block or around the corner, hoping to pass off her fake on some less discriminating bartender.

Back to serving drinks, and I was approached by some other rich bitch from Long Island, waving Daddy's credit card at me. She openned a tab, and asked if a birthday girl could get on the bar and dance. I humored her, by telling her, "Yes, when I decent dancing song comes on, go ahead." I prayed for no good dancing songs...

A few songs later, she decided Jerry Lee Lewis's "Whole Lotta Shakin' "was worthy of bar dancing. The birthday girl climbed up on the bar, and soon, so did eight of her carbon copy friends.

They all looked underage, and like female toolboxes, doing pseudo stripper moves, without the commitment to sluttiness, and also, without any objective hotness.

Not only did their dancing suck, but they also were preventing customers from ordering drinks. The entire bar was lined with these girls, and it was impossible to serve.

At the end of the song, I thought, "Phew, they'll be getting down now." But, no, they wanted to stay.

Okay, time for harsh measures. The crowd wasn't very impressed, my regulars were shaking their heads, and giving me that look of desperation that signaled to me, "Please, Joanna, get them down."

Jukebox volume off. "Girls, if you aren't going to get naked, get the hell off the bar!!!"

The room went crazy. Woo-wooing and other supportive cheering filled the place. And, low and behold...the girls got down, very quickly.

They couldn't handle the heat, and when called on it, they were just what we thought: wannabe strippers without the juice.

Monday, May 18, 2015


Lawrence, one of our regulars that could be called "furniture", with questionable grooming habits, also, seems to have a way with the ladies. He can be quite charming, when he applies himself. Having been married three times, once to a playboy bunny (or something), he certainly has had his share of women. Although sometimes, he is rude and cranky, he does know how to treat a lady, with proper manners, and respect. Lawrence is rather old school, and knows how to be a gentleman when duty calls.

This Tuesday, like so many others, he was hitting the Pabst and Kentucky Gentleman at his leisurely pace. Late night, he was still in full swing, as he headed outside for a cigarette break.

Shortly, the doors to the entrance swung back open, and low and behold, Lawrence had a lovely looking old lady in his company.

"Tanqueray martini straight up, very, very cold, no olives, no nothing." she politely ordered.

Apparently Lawrence had approached her on the sidewalk, and asked her if she would like to come in for a drink, AND she accepted.

It wasn't long before I was intently listening to this woman, entranced by her mannerisms and utterings. Her name was Florence, and as Lawrence quickly pointed out, their names rhymed...was it a match made in heaven?

Over the next few hours, I tried to absorb as much as I could about Florence. This is her story:

She was born in Manhattan, and has lived on 10th Street, a few blocks away, for 79 years. (Both Lawrence and I comment, how she looks better than him, a man 20 years younger...)

Born May 28, 1927, married once to a man who smoked and passed away in 1991. She never had children, because as she told it...they were too busy having a good time, by the time they were ready to consider it, she had passed her childbearing years. Florence has some unusual facial expressions: an odd crinkling of the nose, and a wide smile that appears at strange times.

I ask her if she is a movie star. No, but she is an actress, a member of Aftra, who doesn't have to pay her union dues. She must have been "grandfathered in". She is very well dressed, apparently just coming from dinner at a Japanese place down the block. When asked who she had dined with, she proudly claims to "always go out alone". She says her friends her age, don't like to go out to dinner, to bars, essentially, they don't like to spend any money. So, she flies solo.

She talks about how fancy the food was tonight at the restaurant, and how she prefers simplicity. A steak, some potatoes, no fancy garnishes. She speaks about Nobu, famous chefs, food presentation, and how things used to be.

As the martini disappears, Florence gets a little more talkative, and a bit more crazy. She calls herself a virgin, which I quickly correct, telling her she must be a born again virgin. Well, yes, a born again, having not had sex since 1991, I suppose that applies. Wow.

She talks to the other patrons at the bar, which at this point, are only two others. She takes a liking to Karen, and tells her to pull her chair closer. Florence comments on how smart Karen is, how beautiful she is, and starts asking philosophical questions like if she knows what love is, and other cliche things. Every sentence now begins with "Listen..." and she gets more brave with her questions as time goes on. She starts to contradict herself...first talking about how she would never tell someone not to smoke, or try to control or judge anyone for their choices...Not ten minutes later, she is doing just that, asking why a girl like me is working in a place like this, calling my co-worker a fake, and wondering how anyone could drink beer directly from a bottle.

She also, starts to be flirtatous with Lawrence, and returns to the talk of being a born again virgin. For a second, I questioned whether I heard things right; "You know how tight I am down there?", she informs Lawrence, and then adds to the pot, " and I never had children." Wink, wink.

Lawrence turns beet red. She says he is too young for her. But, there seems to be some weird sexual tension going on. I am in mild shock.

She challenges another customer, to grow some balls, and pull up a chair to talk to her. He is a twenty-something, calling her babe, and saying things like "my bad". She is offended by his non-chalance, and orders him to leave her alone. She is getting somewhat belligerent, and who wouldn't after fifteen years of celibacy? I'd be crazy and cranky, too.

Florence, does look like a movie star, especially when she smiles, and she makes me miss my grandmother. I like her. Alot. I want her to come back. Every night. Somehow, I doubt that would ever happen, and I wonder IF I'll ever see her again.

I try to make sure I do, by inviting her to our Anniversary party this weekend, and I even write the information down for her, so she wont forget.

After 3am, she announces it is time for her to go home. It is raining, and cold, so I offer he an umbrella, and Lawrence wants to put her in a cab. She refuses both, but says she will see us Saturday.

I hope she keeps her word.

Maybe I should have asked her for her number...