New York City is a traveler’s Mecca to most good-hearted folk worldwide. Imbibing fans in particular consistently score my hometown somewhere in their top-ten-lists of places to get sloshed before they kick the bucket. In many neighborhoods ’round these parts, there is some wickedly evil alcohol dispensery, issued a NY State Liquor Authority license of some sort (click link for various NYS SLA classes), about every other storefront on each and every block. Think: Lower East Side and West Villiage. The most common, happens to be the On-Premises Liquor variety.
I can see it in your eyes… Ah old age. Quoting old songs as I do (like Lionel Richie jams) elicits endless confuzzled facial expressions and stares into space by the twenty-something year old set. I’m a relative Grandpa in the bar biz – at least in busy clubs. But I still gots it according to some of the loons who keep hiring me. And, as long as the occasional 22 year old hotness aspires to drag my ass from the bar, to the secluded VIP section from time to time, I suspect I’m not all that decrepit just yet (despite what my throbbing bunions, abysmal short-term memory, and constant narcoleptic state tell me).
I don’t know why most bartenders fuss about getting “stuck” with Sunday night shifts. Most of my colleagues continually clamor for Friday and Saturday night shifts – for reasons beyond explanation. Look… I don’t like working Sundays anymore than the next person – period. But given the fact that I do have to work, these days, I’d much rather take a relaxed Sunday night shift over a craptastic, robotic weekend shift any time. I’ll tell you why…
I live and work in New York City. That affords me the opportunity to stand on almost any street corner, close my eyes, swing my arms around, and smack maybe 3 celebrity grills. Being in the Hospitality game, that also means I’ve had many an opportunity to wait on countless celebrties. Not a big deal really – we all put on our pants one leg at a time. I’m never star-struck. I simply don’t give a crap about anyone’s celebrity status really.
Regular readers know that I’m a huge Gizmodo fan. I ingest their spiel daily like a Phoenix House graduate loving him the sights and sounds of Tompkins Square Park on a mid-Summer early morning. All of Gawker’s assets post frequently and have just about the highest quality content of any blog known to yours truly. I suspect Giz’s scribes – in particular – have a penchant for “lubricating” their minds on the regular due to the stratosphericlly far-reaching research/writing demands “bestowed” on them by their Gawker editorial mother-ship. Based on the frequency with which they divigate into articles on… uh… imbibery (containing just enough science to pass technology blog muster – nice ruse guys) I theorize that I’m not far off base. Take Brent Rose’s latest booze-themed post on America’s spirit claim-to-fame: Bourbon.
I tend rail on sexism in Hospitality just a bit. But, not without significant justification. Just because something isn’t right – or you don’t like it – doesn’t mean it ain’t happenin’. At interview time, your dime-a-dozen, baseline “7″ [or greater] vixen has barely to flash a momentary grin, or timely head-bob, to have a couple dozen patiently waiting males (or not quite so fancy bitches), quickly dispatched in search employment elsewhere – resumes in hand. Never mind that she may nary be able to discern the difference between Sour Mash and typical corn Bourbon, let alone a jigger from a Julep Strainer. Recommend a full-bodied, astringent red – let’s say a “shaly,” Old World v. a New World, warmer climate-based, Napa variety? Don’t even go there. Sigh… none of that matters though to most employers though. It’s simply reality. Generally speaking however, said F.O.H. eye-candy doesn’t stand a chance in the world of sucking the limitless life out of a corporate Amex card, without a plethora of helping hands. That’s particularly true of pub life as opposed to highly-mechanized corporate Hospitality.
Since starting this blog, I’ve at times been accused of misogyny. I dunno how that’s possible. In my business, it’s a woman’s world plain and simple. So, to counter my seemingly frequent exploitation of attractive female bartenders, tonight I’m gonna show y’all naysayers wrong and highlight a man wif strumf (in the immortal words of Blaine Edwards). This is fellow Bartender Joe Ardizzone up in the Brandy’s Piano Bar heezy. Joe likes singing – a lot. I don’t know Joe personally, and I’ve never stepped foot in Brandys, but I suspect he also fancies fancy craft beers and extravagant meals at least as much as I do. But, that’s besides the point. Joe absolutely kills Creep in smashing operatic style. At this point – given his stupendous talent – Joe should probably be auditioning for The Voice, backing up Il Volo, or worst case, making serious coin belting out tunes at the West 4th St. Subway platform or something.
Ask 100 folks in Corporate Hospitality “who is the #1 supplier of restaurant supplies?” and 99 of ‘em will name drop “SysCo.” By most accounts, half of them hold nary a clue as to what exactly SysCo supplies their establishments with. But sure as Kim fancies her a successive string of (a) previously obscure ballers, swinging big sticks or (b) au current microphone fiends with [conversely] smallish peckers – both groups of lovers being pre-qualified as wealthy and of the darker persuasion – folks sure as shit know the name, and that what SysCo sells them must be yummy. Now that’s got to be a result of either (1) ungodly clever and effective marketing (2) ruthless mafioso-like sales and business tactics (ala Walmart strong-arming supply chains, buying out any/all competition, bullying those who won’t sell, etc.) or (3) a combination of both. Who the hell knows really? In the end, what matters is this: SysCo (and similar industrialized distributorships) are bearers of mediocrity pure and simple.
Here at TTAB, I’m just about never opposed to showcasing a fellow bartender who (a) consistently displays mad mixology skillz or evident bartending experience and (b) has upped their social media game somthin’ special, putting their unique personalities front and center. Like many a [straight] walking penis, I’m particularly enamored when said barkeep happens to be.. ehem… hot. So it is with great pleasure that I “discovered” Ms. Casey Young recently and highlight this pretty young thing for your viewing pleasure.
This is Nicole (actual lovely visage concealed to protect the
not innocent). She’s from that place across the Hudson whose very existence as inhabited, I frequently deny. You know… the land wafting of an oh-so-lovely sulfur-dioxide (rotten eggs) aroma border to border, a dead-end destination bustling on one end with soul-sucking casinos, and a place overrun with millions of Aqua Net encrusted, Bouffant loving, lobster-skinned reality show addicts – seemingly all ex-pats from Brooklyn. Some folks refer to this wasteland as New Jersey. I call it I-95 – a place whose sole useful purposes are to fill up on cheap gas and and maybe an Arby’s gourmet roast beef delicacy on my way to destinations South. I jest (not). Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, it was Nicky’s 24th birthday. Lucky for me, she, and two of her equally attractive girlfriends, chose my bar as their afternoon celebration destination. There’s only one problem – not a single bartender actually cares that it’s your birthday unless you’re a Nicky…