Drunk and Disorderly

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I bartend once a week at Mikie's Squared on Saturday nights. I walked into the bar to get ready for my shift at 6:30pm. Nearly as soon as I walked in, one of the day managers, pulls me aside and says, "See that guy in the Yankees shirt? Just be careful he was here last week during the World Cup game and acted really strange. If he acts up again, we will ask him to leave."

I look out and the guy they are talking about is someone I didn't know from my days working at Dipper's. He was a 60 year old white guy with a bad combover in a blue Mantle #7 Yankee t-shirt. He had a weather worn, tanned face and spoke with exaggerated mannerisms, waving his arms and such.

Not thinking too much of this, except with mild curiousity, I walked behind the bar and started to get ready for my shift. I checked the liquor and beer, adn set up my Ipod and he mostly ignored me, talking to the day shift bartender instead. The bar was mostly empty, and he had a pitcher of our homemade red sangria in front of him. He was watching the Mets vs Cubs and was loudly rooting for the Cubs.

He cheered loudly again, and I joined in, saying "Go Cubs", while watching the TV. Hey, i'm a Phillies fan.

He then said, "You are a Yankee fan too?". I corrected him by saying, "Oh no. Sorry...Phillies fan. Gotta stay true to my hometown boys, even if they suck this year."

He winced, "Phillies? They are worse than the Mets! You from Philadelphia?"

"Yea, the Philly suburbs, born and raised.", I said.

This is where things get...weird.

Now i'm a bartender and I hear a lot of strange things from my customers. He told me he was a Frank Sinatra impersonator, the mayor and worked for the liquor control board and was personal friends with the chief of police. He was telling me how he could fire everyone in this bar, because he was friends with the owners (For the record, this was just another boast, but at the time the owners weren't around so I had no idea if he was a personal friend or not). He also said he was dating Barbara Sinatra. He sang for everyone in the bar a bit. It was an hour and a half of watching and having to listen to this. But his actions weren't really enough to ask him to leave the bar. He was just mostly harmless, but annoying.

Now to be sure, I have no idea how much he drank before I started my shift, but I didn't serve him a drop of liquor. He had a pitcher of red sangria, and that's all I saw him sip while doing his "act". I have seen customers ripped before, but I didn't get the impression that this guy was saying this because he was drunk. I got the impression he was saying this because he was an odd duck or a strange cat. He was making claim after claim, saying the most innane boats and statements. It got old after about 5 minutes.

I sat there and humored him, while he would mostly try and talk the employees or myself. Two customers, friends I have known from Hobokenchat.com walked into the bar at about 7:30.

Both of them laughed and rolled their eyes, when looked down the bar and saw who it was. They said his name was Eddie Shirak. He is a well known local Hobokenite. He's the co-owner of the Hoboken chocolate store Lepore's. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor and councilman positions over the years in Hoboken. The customers said he was a buffoon, and has been barred from several bars and restaurants in town because of his boorish behavior. While writing this I searched on the internet and found out he was the guy who actually bought the bronze star for Frank Sinatra at 415 Monroe Street in 1996. Also, he wrote and self-published a book on Sinatra called "Our Way".

Well, this was news to me.

For 90 minutes, he was a mostly harmless, but annoying customer with his actions and mannerisms. He went from just being annoying to surly and angry. He started to yell at one of the male waiters. I watched this for a moment or two before I loudly said, "Eddie!", he spun towards me, with a sheepish look, I continued, "Take it easy. Finish your drink. Leave him alone."

He nodded at first and I thought Eddie was done with it. I was trying to diffuse the situation, let Eddie finish his drink and let him go on his way. But he started up again, yelling at the waiter, calling him a "Scumbag!"

I tried again to talk Eddie down. He was flustered and upset, for God knows why. It was like a switch went off in his head. I even asked the server what happened and they were just as confused.

For a THIRD time, Eddie starts getting loud with our servers and I had enough. I was easily the biggest employee in the bar, so I came out from behind the bar to talk to Eddie and get him to leave.

"That's it Eddie, now you have to leave", I said as I walked towards him.

He puffed out his chest, balled his fists and took an aggressive fighting stance towards me, saying "What are YOU gonna do?". I thought it was fairly impressive that I had about 6 inches on him and Eddie must have heard the sangria whispering, "You can take him, Eddie!"

I had no intention of anything but escorting him out. I pointed to the door again, and said, "Time to leave Eddie."

"Oh yeah! What are you gonna do?!", he scowled not moving.

"I'm going to show you the door, and escort you out, Eddie.", I said and I put my hand on his shoulder.

He knocked my hand away quickly and jutted his chin and chest out.

"What are you gonna do now?!", he said challenging me.

I figured after talking to him for the last hour and a half I could persuade him to just leave and not become a problem. I guess I was wrong. I had no intention of getting physical with him. As a bartender that isn't our job, and normal procedure in this situation is to call the police when customers get like this. It was exactly what we did.

I shrugged and walked away, saying, "Eddie, you have to leave.", while the manager called the police.

He was still defiant saying, "Go ahead call the police! What's YOUR name?", he said to me.

I told him.

He said, "No it's not - its SCUMBAG!"

I went behind the bar, took the wine glass of sangria away from Eddie and told him, "The police are on the way to escort you out."

He was loud again, muttering a few choice words and he went out the front door.

I missed the next part because it wasn't in my line of sight, but several customers and employees saw what happened next.

From what I was told, Eddie walked out the door, where one of the male waitstaff was standing, the same one that Eddie was being rude to. From what I was told, Eddie then slapped him with an open hand and quickly walked away, north on Washington Street.

The server came in and told me he was slapped. I was incredulous and we waited for the police to arrive. The customers who informed me that it was Eddie Shirak were laughing over this. They thought it made for great comedy to watch Eddie behave like an ass. As a bartender and waitstaff it kind of sucks, because we are trying to work and have to deal with idiots like these far too often.

About 5 minutes later a squadcar with an officer arrived. I walked out and told him, "It was Eddie Shirak. He is headed up Washington Street."

The patrolman got on his radio and said, "'The Actor' is walking up Washington Street."

That made me laugh. The local cops know him and called him "The Actor". Hilarious. (Edited to Add: I found out from hoboken411.com that police use the termonology "Actor" for a suspect or perp.)

The police were very professional and took down all the information from us. The server in question is going to press charges, and looks like Eddie won't be welcome anytime soon in Mikie's Squared.

2 Comments

I'm one of the on-lookers. While bemused, I must say that I do sympathize with tavern workers when confronted with unruly patrons. Having been in that situation many times as a bartender myself, it's never pleasant.

I thought the staff handled themselves professionally at all times.

That being said, it did add some liveliness to an otherwise quiet Saturday night!

I can't believe you've never heard of Ed Shirak!! I can tell you stories.... Morans, drunkenness, propositions, harassments and on and on.. Way too much to write hear.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on July 16, 2006 9:00 PM.

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