From the Other Side of the Bar

New York nightlife workers tell us what really goes on behind the scenes

by nerve

We all suspect that there's more going on at our favorite bars and restaurants than what meets the eye. "From the Other Side of the Bar" gives nightlife staff the opportunity to share their funniest, most absurd experiences working behind the scenes. Do you want to go behind the scenes at a bar or nightlife spot in your city? We're looking for your stories. Email for more details. 

I once had a coworker who had been fired under suspicious circumstance. Like, it seemed like some drug stuff was going on. I hadn't seen him in months, but one night he came in just obviously already wasted. He sat down at the bar and started screaming at me about Battlestar Galactica plot points while continually reaching over the bar to try to hug me. 

The whole staff was feigning enjoyment at seeing him, when really we were weirded out by this sloppy, overly effusive guy sitting at the bar with all the businessmen. He sat down at the bar and pretty much immediately fell asleep. This was really not cool. It was probably 6:30 PM. I shook him awake, gave him grilled cheese sandwich and water to try to sober him up. He starts eating sandwich, then ten minutes later puts his head down and I think he's gone back to sleep. Suddenly, he sort of perks up, stands up and says he's got to leave. We're all very relieved to be rid of him, until a couple minutes later someone informs us that when he put his head down after eating, he was apparently puking all down the side of the bar and onto his chair and the floor. There's this disgusting mess and it's extremely humiliating because all the other patrons thought this guy was our friend. 

As it's being cleaned up, some guy starts complaining that his black Hermes scarf was missing from the bar, so we're all searching for it, calling security, all that.

Fast forward to two hours later: someone found our former co-worker sleeping in the corner of the elevator, covered in puke, wearing the Hermes scarf (also now covered in puke). No one knows what he was doing for those two hours. 



One time a very famous indie singer was staying with us while she did the music spot on SNL. One of our bartenders was chatting her up hard all night. She's very attractive. To our amazement, she invited him to hang after his shift was over, and they were sort of getting closer and closer. All the staff was looking on in amazement. Apparently, she invited him up to her room that night and they hooked up, but she had a really early flight in the morning and had to run. 

She got up to leave, but told him to sleep in and do whatever. Well, when he woke up he realized that she had frantically thrown all her clothes in her suitcase and run out the door, but in the process of doing that she had thrown all of his clothes in her suitcase as well. 

So he was stuck in the room without a stitch of clothing. And since it's technically not allowed for staff to hang out with guests in their rooms, he had to be chill about it. He ended up putting on one of the robes and trying to nonchalantly walk through the lobby at 1 PM to get to the worker's locker rooms, so he could put on his bartender outfit and go home. 

He quit not too long after that, but he still comes into the bar sometimes with the same singer and just orders things he knows we don't have on the menu, then expects us to go out and buy them, in a bizarre power move. 



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