There are a lot of drunks in New York City. Let’s not cavil about that. There are the collegiate binge drinkers, the desperate lunchtime stabilizers, the happy hour construction workers, and of course, the kitchen table gin divers (who we won’t be covering here). But out of all that bibulousity, what has stuck in the mind of bartenders?
Where he presides:Crocodile Lounge, East Village
Favorite drink:Powers & Yuengling
There was one night here — we serve pizza with beer, like an individual pan pizza — most people can only make it through like one or one-and-a-half. But this guy ate five of them. And he had two beers with every pizza. And he was only here for about two hours, and he was still pretty sober when he left.
Where she presides:Flute, Midtown
Favorite drink:Seven and Seven
I used to live in Cleveland, and one of my regulars had been in the bar since before my shift. He drank beer for just about my whole shift too. If it was one, it was a couple dozen. I could see it was going to turn bad, but I lost track of him before closing time. He was having an argument with some guys, but I assumed he’d made it home alright. Well, I locked up the bar, and instead of going out the front, I decided to take the side door instead. Well, there’s my regular… unconscious, face-down in a pool of his own blood. His head was gashed open and he was beat up pretty badly. He’s lucky I found him when I did. We banned the guys that did it to him, but he still ended up needing six stitches. Awful.
Where she presides:Barfly, Gramercy
Favorite drink:Stoli Cranberry and Sprite
I used to have this guy who came in everyday and ordered a Sapphire martini and every day by the time I was done even giving him his change he was done with it and on his way out the door. It’s not a lot of drinks, but anyone who can take down a drink that’s basically just gin that fast is kind of impressive.
Where she presides:Sports Club L.A. Bar, Rockefeller Center
I have two stories: One was when a group of guys came in to watch football on a Sunday afternoon. God knows how much they’d been drinking before, but by the time they got to me they managed to order five rounds of “mind erasers.” This is in addition to probably five rounds of beer and some assorted other shots. I don’t know how they were staying conscious. When the waitress came over with the order for round six on the mind erasers, I said ‘enough is enough,’ and cut them off. The waitress went over to tell them the bad news, and I thought they were going to kill her! Harrassment, yelling, the works. We had to call the police and to haul them out of there. The other was when I was a waitress myself. A man came in with a group of ladies — I think he was a husband or something. He’d been drinking before too, but I served him glass after glass of wine and didn’t really think much of it. The food arrives, and this guy starts to go berserk. He calls me over, red in the face, looks at me and says. ‘Touch my lamb.’ What? ‘You heard me… touch my lamb!’ I’m sorry if it’s undercooked, but ‘touch my lamb?’ Wha? I see one of the ladies look at me as if she’s sorry. I get the manager, and still the guy is staring at me like a maniac shouting ‘TOUCH MY LAMB!’ He was also hauled away by the police!
Where she presides:Finnerty’s, East Village
Favorite drink:Ketel One and soda with two limes
I work the dayshift, so I don’t get the drunk college students so much, I get more the ConEd and Verizon workers. They come in during their lunch break, pound eight beers and then go back to work. My guys are definitely Jager and Budweiser drinkers. They’ve been doing it for years and they’re pros. They don’t stagger, they don’t slur. They pound their eight Buds and head back to work.