“J-E-T-S! JETS, JETS, JETS!” is a chant you might hear in a lot of New York bars on Sunday during football season. But should Jets fans have to drive all the way to Jersey just to watch their beloved but snake-bitten team live? And does New York really need such a high-profile event as the Olympics? All this controversial talk of a football stadium in the city and the Olympics in a few years is enough to make a New Yorker’s head spin. As usual, New York’s bartenders have all the answers… or at least some opinions.
Where he presides: Pete’s Tavern, Gramercy
Favorite drink: Nice glass of Pinot Nior
If they ever pull it off, once it’s said and done I figure it will be a plus for the city. I personally think the city should lend the money to the Jets and take a percentage of the profits until the loan is paid back. [How about the Olympics?] I think it would be… I think the World Cup proved the city could handle something like that. I think it would be a great shot in the arm, that, a Super Bowl maybe. But I don’t think people of the city should be stuck with the whole burden. I also think that if people want to work it out, they can.
Where he presides: Miracle Grill, East Village
Favorite drink: Mojito
Oh, man. I might get yelled at. You see her? That’s the boss. This is not a free speech zone, my friend. [laughing…] But I’ll tell you anyway. Yeah, it would be good to redevelop that area — there’s nothing there now. It’ll be good for New York. And doesn’t the MTA get a cut? Yeah? Well I can tell you right now, they’re gonna raise prices anyway. We might as well have a stadium there.
Where he presides: Revival, Union Square
Favorite drink: Woodpecker Cider
My thoughts, eh… It’s a fantastic idea — bring football back to the city. Question is, are taxpayers going to end up paying for it? If we’re going to pay for it then I’m not in favor. Does New York need the Olympics? I’m not 100 percent sure.
Where she presides: Finnerty’s, Third Avenue
Favorite drink: Jameson’s straight up
Honestly… I don’t know. I think if it’s the Jets’ stadium then the Jets and their fans ought to foot the bill. And I’ve lived in a town where the Olympics took place, and it’s overrated. It sounds like a good idea, but it’s not that great. Atlanta, ‘96. [Whereupon our intrepid correspondent informs our subject that he,too, was in Atlanta in ‘96. As it turns out the two of them went to high school in the same town, thus leading to a discussion of all manners of minutiae regarding Atlanta’s northeastern suburbs, with which we shall not trouble our readers here.]
Where he presides: Brewsky’s, East Village
Favorite drink: Guinness or gin gimlets — it’s a tossup.
I understand there’s still some contention with the property they want to build the stadium on. I also know the MTA owns the property. And they’re scheduled to start running a deficit in a few years if reports are correct. So, I guess I’m more concerned about what the MTA does with the money than the stadium itself. Maybe they’ll keep my train fare low. I have mixed feelings. … The Olympics? Well, New York City would have to change quite a bit to host the Olympics. I’m concerned with what, exactly, would be created and what would be destroyed. How much of this change would be good or bad? I don’t know. [Ed. We’ve forwarded Kenny’s information to Secretary Rumsfeld. We noticed a similarity of thought process.]
Where he presides: Lilly Coogan’s
Favorite drink: ????
I got nuthin! [ed. Four or five customers shout:‘Make it up! Make it sound cool!’ C’mon! We’ve been waiting for this guy for a year!’ Patrick then proceeds to identify two of the patrons as ex-bartenders at Lilly Coogan’s. He suggests I talk to Jordanna — a former Coogan’s bartender and L Magazine reader. She tells me, ‘I don’t have much for you either. We could all kind of care less. But here you go: I’m all for a new stadium. It’s a hop skip and a jump for me. No more driving to Jersey!]