We once had a ridiculously long conversation with a bartender about the efficacy and legacy of the Maastricht Treaty — man, did that ever get crazy! Most of the time, though, it’s weather, sports and politics for us. Oh, and don’t forget to talk about all your favorite television characters as if they were real people!
Where she presides: Alligator Lounge, Williamsburg Favorite drink: Won’t say
Oh, the touchiest topic for me is when people ask me out on dates at the bar. I hate it. [Ever actually say yes?] Not in this country. [How do you get out of it?] Oh, I just lie. I just tell them whatever excuse happens to come to mind at the time. I can’t tell you my name if I’m being this honest. Just put me down as one of the bartenders at the Alligator Lounge. There’s like 16 of us. No one will know who it is.
JESSICA Where she presides: Shades of Green, Union Square Favorite drink: Shot of Jameson
I like to keep it light and breezy here. I guess the touchiest topic, since we’re an Irish bar, is when people compare Ireland to the States. How much things cost here versus there, etc. I guess there’ve been a few bar brawls here, but never while I’ve been working. I like to keep it low-maintenance.
AMBER Where she presides: Laila Lounge, Williamsburg Favorite drink: White Russian
I don’t know — politics is really hard to avoid talking about with people at a bar. I guess I would avoid religion, maybe. I think it’s easy for a bartender to avoid a conversation because all you have to do is just walk away to do something else. I try not to get into situations where I feel there might be an undesirable outcome. Especially because people are drinking, so you don’t want to do anything that will lead them towards erratic behavior. Other than that, though, I would say anything goes.
JASON Where he presides: Tribeca Tavern, Tribeca Favorite drink: Scotch on ice with a Bud
Not sports. I wish people argued about sports here. Usually they don’t. Mostly its politics. Now people talk about the 2008 election. The more they drink the more passionate they get. It’s like, if you don’t like what he has to say, don’t talk to him. I have to separate people sometimes: A ‘You gotta sit over there’ type thing. It never comes to blows, though.
JUAN Where he presides: Diva, West Village Favorite drink: Rum and Coke
We get a lot of tourists in here. They critique the place. The way it looks, the prices — you know, ‘What do you mean that costs that much?’ That sort of thing. You don’t get that with the locals.