Bottle Service and Moguls – Ginormous Gratuities

Living and working in the headquarters (arguably) of the financial, cultural, and entertainment worlds – New York City – I’ve often thought that I do pretty well behind the bar. I make a steady living. No, it’s not millions or billions, and I’ll never get notably wealthy by simply working for someone else. But, I’m sort of comfortable. I have everything I need, most of what I want, and I get to enjoy myself with extravagances on occasion.

Every once in a while I find myself a bit dumbfounded at upper crust, niche nightclub lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong… I’ve had more than my share of several thousand dollar corporate and celebrity bar tabs. None of them, however, have been anything close to what we’re looking at here. These are tabs from Sin City (Las Vegas), Connecticut, and London clubs, respectively. Although I’ve worked in high-end establishments, and have waited on numerous high-profile guests, many of whom regularly appear in supermarket tabloids, the tabs above make me second-guess my employment choices – I think to myself… “hmm, maybe I’m not working in the right town or right venue.”

I’ve you’ve ever thought that your sons, daughters, friends, etc. are wasting their time, exploiting themselves, and neglecting their college degrees by slaving away as “menial, blue-collar” waiters and bartenders, maybe this type of income will make you think twice. These gargantuan tabs are not anomalies. They’re run up more frequently than you might think - particularly at epically huge, velvet-roped, VIP section filled, big-city nightclubs. The levels are almost always attributed to multiple orders of Champagne.

For years, Cristal was all the rage (and Dom Perignon before it). In the last couple of years though, those reigns have been taken over by Armand de Brignac (Ace of Spades) – “l’objet du désir” de jour . There is a 30 liter Armand de Brignac bottle out there affectionately known as “Midas,” which sells for a minimum of $100,000 retail. It seems to be the holy grail for VIPs – the symbol of today’s “I’ve arrived” set. I can’t imagine how to keep this bad-boy cold once served, how to pour it without spilling half the contents, let alone, how you’re supposed to carry it around the club and not bowl everyone over in the process.

Food for thought (or for a serious backache).

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