While we all know that drinking is pretty much guaranteed to make you both witty and highly attractive to the opposite sex, apparently it causes people to become a little unhinged, even a little violent. So tending bar isn’t all laughs and high fives.
Rachel Where she presides: Rocky Sullivan’s, Murray Hill Favorite drink: Guinness
No. Our policemen are very good. They are always coming by — the precinct is just down the way. Even on quiet nights in the summer, they’ll come by, shine a light in the window just to make sure everything is ok. They take good care of us.
George Where he presides: Channel 4, Midtown West Favorite drink: Sambuca
If I was doing night shift, then yeah. During the day I don't really think there's much risk. The night shifts, though, I think are a little more dangerous. It's not really something bartenders talk about that much. We just get drunk together.
Shawna Where she presides: Coco66, Greenpoint Favorite drink: Jameson, neat
Me? Never! At this bar? No way. I train my regulars to protect me in case of emergency. They're the C.B.U. — "customer backup unit." There's two plainclothes killers in here at any time looking out for me. Like air marshalls. [A regular chimes in:] “On her off nights, Arnold Schwarzenegger tends bar here, and he never really has much of a problem. He’s the terminator!”
Padraic Where he presides: Jake's Saloon, Chelsea Favorite drink: Guinness
You see this scar here? I have a scar right across my throat. That happened on the job about 12 years ago. It was a normal night, and this guy was pretty drunk, but nothing really out of the ordinary, I thought. It's getting late and it's time to settle the tab and he's not liking it. I lean over to talk some sense into him, and he breaks a beer bottle over the bar and just takes a slash. I'm stunned... he got my throat. Thank God, the bar was between me and him. I just kind of stepped back in shock, bleeding all over the place. The other customers started yelling at him and kind of surrounded him until we got the police there to take the guy away. Jesus.
Hanmi Where she presides: PS450, Gramercy Favorite drink: Jameson
The only thing that I’m really ever concerned about is strange customers who come in all the time on my shift. I feel like they can figure out what hours I work and keep track of where I am. As for getting home at night or something like that, I’m not really worried. The subway is right there and there’s usually a doorman or someone who can walk you if you need them. My biggest concern is that a customer would learn my hours and then wait for me outside or something after my shift.
Frank Where he presides: Tommy’s Tavern, Greenpoint
Yep. I got a pool cue to the head once. He was drunk.