Even the most jaded of New Yorkers enjoys the occasional dish about celebrity sightings, because no matter who you are, it’s always fun to see the latest movie idol scratching her butt and then fondling the broccoli at Whole Foods (I’m talking to you Parker). But the thing about New York bartenders, is that the celebrities come to them, looking to get those booze requests fulfilled with the minimum fuss. Here are some of their stories.
Where he presides: Lunasa, East Village
Favorite drink: Whiskey
Probably Tim Robbins or Sean Penn — they all came in at the same time one night. Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Chris Rock, and Robin Wright Penn. It was when he was in that play Embedded and he was in the area. Moby was in that night too, but in a different group. He was upstairs and Tim Robbins was downstairs. Robbins was a nice guy. He’d just sit at a table and relax. Used to drink double Grey Gooses. Sean Penn was always, like, in a mode. Eva Mendes came in one time too. She was smoking. I had to tell her to put out her cigarette.
Where he presides: The B-Side, East Village
Favorite drink: Maker’s
I don’t know. I run into a lot of people, but I never talk to them, so I’m probably not the best person to ask. But I’ve heard that Drew Barrymore doesn’t tip. She just takes the drinks and walks away. Her ex-boyfriend from the Strokes used to go up and apologize for it. It was really bad. That’s a rumor I’m happy to spread around. I’ve been a LES bartender for a long time, so that sort of thing pisses me off.
Where he presides: Niagara, East Village
Favorite drink: Scotch on the rocks
Last week we had Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz. Drew Barrymore came up to the bar, leaned over and yelled “Water” at me “Give me a water.” So I gave her a water and a coke and she tossed a big wad of money on the bar. I counted it later — it was like 45 bucks — she’s a very good tipper. Then they went downstairs and danced until 4. Another time I was bar backing — cleaning up glasses — and I had a big stack of glasses, it was a busy night — and I swung around and turned right into George Clooney. I was like “oh, sorry.” Then I looked up and was like “oh, shit.”
Where she presides: 7B, East Village
Favorite drink: Jameson and Coke
There are so many. Jeanine Garafolo used to hang out here a lot. Drew Barrymore used to come in here a lot. I’ve seen Bill Murray here — he wasn’t really entertaining at all — very proper. One of the Sopranos comes in here a lot, but he’s really quiet — doesn’t want to be bothered. I chased Kelly Osborne out of here by accident. Some guy started some trouble and she ran out because she wasn’t even old enough to be in here — that was entertaining for me. Macaulay Culkin was in here one night — a crowd of people were around him. Everyone wants to see what Macaulay Culkin as an adult is like. I heard he was very sweet. Most of the people are really nice. They just want to be left alone, you know.
Where he presides: Lakeside Lounge, East Village
Favorite drink: Vodka and soda
I dunno, at a certain point they all just become not that interesting. I was at the bar when Brad Pitt came in — I don’t know if that’s interesting, but he did tip 10 bucks. I remember Jimmy Fallon coming in and acting like a high school child. He kept making Devil’s horns and yelling stuff like “Dude, Detroit rocks…” That was embarrassing, for him anyway. It was like, even if you aren’t famous, you’re an idiot. And if you are famous, you’re just a famous idiot. But for the most part… blah. Most of them try to keep a low profile anyway.