1998 Dom Perignon

| | Comments (3)

There comes a time in your life that you have to treat yourself with a little present.

This can come in many forms. Some people do a spa package, some do a nice dinner, some tickets to a Broadway show or sports game.

Friday I was out with friends at Three A's. I haven't been to Three A's for quite some time, and truth be told, 110606.jpg
I really don't go out as much as I used to. It is due to many factors. For one, I bartend on Saturdays, so getting wrecked on a Friday and hungover for Saturday equalled a miserable Saturday night. Also, there comes a certain level of compacency when you stop doing the "going out routine". I'm sure the fellow Hobokenites are familiar with this. It's the routine for the weekend - either going to the local pub to meet up with friends or hitting New York with your special other, it becomes "normal" to always expect to be out on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Once you start to break that routine, by staying in on the "normal nights to go out", then soon the routine becomes "staying in".

Well, I was offered the chance to meet some friends out for a drink and dinner at Three A's. Part of me was interested, and another part, the tired, sleepy, part, wanted to stay in. I relented and went out, heading down to unfamiliar territory.

I normally like to frequent bars or restaurants that I am a regular at because I frequently go out alone, and like to see a familiar face from behind the bar. Also, when you are a regular at many bars, most bartenders, the good ones, will give you a buyback for your continued patronage, or at the very least, might give you a break on paying full price.

Two double redbulls and Vodka, and $24 later my friends arrived. They had planned, earlier that morning, for a 7:30 meeting, but I didn't keep up with the email chain letter and it was shifted to 8:15. It gave me a chance to watch a lot of a channel called "GolTV" and listen in to the conversations at the bar around me.

When my friends did arrive, we were at the bar and chatted for a drink or two. Ordered dinner, and I decided to get the Chicken Rollatine, a stuffed breast of chicken with fresh spinach, prosciutto, swiss and parmesan cheese. Looking down the menu at the wine list, I was a bit unimpressed with their bottle selection. The labels they carried were fairly standard for Hoboken, like Markham, Rutherford Hill, Kendall-Jackson, Franciscian and Sterling. Don't get me wrong, I like all of those, but I was looking for something with a bit more...kick.

Then there was the champagne list. I'm not really a champagne guy. I don't know the real labels, but I do know a few. My eyes landed upon the 1998 Dom Perignon. I pondered it for about 4 seconds before I pulled the trigger.

"Hey, do you guys like champagne?", I asked innocently.

My friends shrugged and nodded, not sure what to make of my question.

"Cool, so do I.", then I told the bartender that i'd take the Dom Perignon.

I watched the bartender look at me and then nod with a sort of satisfaction. I doubt it was about my appreciation of the finer things in life and more about watching his tip cup get fatter. The bottle was $200.

Oh, I know what some of you may think. "Dude, you can get that for $110 at the liquor store!" or "Why would you blow $200 on CHAMPAGNE?!"

Simple answer? Because I can.

Also I can't remember the last time I had champagne. I think it might have been my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary, and we all remember that tale.

The bottle arrived, and my friends protested even opening it. I just shrugged it off. This may have been me and Bacardi Corp (the fine owners of Grey Goose) and Dietrich Mateschitz (the fine owners of Red Bull) making this more of a group decision. Cork was popped, a few heads turned and we cheered my 13th year working at my office job.

This is where everything goes from easily remembered to very fuzzy.

Now, I have three drunken states: 1) Amiable and fun, 2) Overbearingly "wise" and 3) Quiet drunk.

All three are accompanied by my steady and gradual slurring of words as the drunken night progresses. Friday night I turned into Overbearingly "wise".

I say "wise", and it is because I, like many of the people I consider my friends, are very intelligent, opinionated people. I consider myself intelligent enough about many topics. Couple that with a fair amount of alcohol and soon I become The Professor Know-It-All.

Hey, i'm not proud of this. In fact, its embarassing. But that's sort of the point of his journal. Warts and all, this is me.

So, I turned into Professor Know-It-All. The night went on. A friend of my friend joined us later. He was 26, and just got out of a long term relationship and he was interested in a girl that was a friend of mine. I was giving him all sorts of advice of how he should be living his life. I also may have threatened him a bit if he tried to use and abuse a girl friend of mine. It wasn't a direct threat, just more of a "if you hurt her, that would be an extremely bad idea" boast. Yes, i'm the "Big Brother They Never Had" of my girl friends if they like it or not. Some girls like it. Some girls don't. Most girls i'm friends with can certainly take care of themselves, anyhow.

A few more drinks later and a large shot of Jager's (and nearly throwing up) I closed out my tab at Triple A's. I gave the bartenders a 20% tip and American Express another reason to love me, then headed over to Moran's on 5th and Garden.

I was a train wreck. Sir-Slur-A-Lot. Somehow I was able to try and attempt some sembalance of composure, and ordered one beer. I signed up for darts. Why? Because I was wrecked!

Thank god I landed John, one of the best shooters in the Hoboken dart league, as my partner. In my own defense, I actually play darts fairly well completely wrecked. I have enough people to attest to that. I won't say that I was stellar, but I did hold my own. We ran the board for about 5 games, until we lost. I actually sobered up a bit, and only really remember having 1 beer. I got home, tried to drink some water before bed (my old hangover remedy) and slept.

I woke up at 2pm with a raging headache. I won't go into hangover details, but on a scale of 1 to 10, i'd give it a solid 7. Headache and lethargic, I crawled out of bed, took a shower and tried to deny the fact that I had to bartend in 4 and a half hours.

I went to work after a Tylenol saved my hangover and found it was "Martini Night" which is the bane of every bartender.

If you don't know, "Martini Night" should really be called "Annoying Drink Night". People come in and it is like they are at the ice cream store, ready to order their favorite concoction. Making a martini, any martini, isn't annoying. It is when you are busy that it gets annoying. Also people are picky with martini's. First off, there are a bunch of "crazy" ones that they never tried before. Oh, sure you have the standard martini, dirty martinis and cosmos which are the run of the mill and simple to make. I have no doubt with my martini making skills for those three, everyone loves them. But then you get ones that the owners pulled out of a hat somewhere like "Frog in a Blender" or "Urban Cosmo Martini" or "Key Lime Pie". I never heard of those! So when someone orders it, i'm looking at the ingredients and the customers are looking at me like I should be the "Key Lime Pie" martini expert.

Not to toot my own horn (hey, I will slam myself just as equally as praise), you tell me what's in it and I can make it within reason. Sure, sometimes I fail, but usually I can get it right. It doesn't mean I enjoy making them.

Simple reason is that the bar gets busy, the martini's are very time consuming to make. People want beer, mixed drinks or shots and i'm spending a decent clip of time making different martini's for a gaggle of cute girls who love martini's. The customer's don't give a shit. They don't care that i'm making a drink, they think it is fine to get my attention, while i'm working and tell me a drink order.

"Excuse me! Excuse me! Excuse me!", I hear with an irritating tone from the taps. I'm getting people drinks and I turn to my customer.

The girl looks like she is 19. I'm positive her ID says "21", because we absolutely don't let anyone in the bar without a valid form of ID, but those kids at Stevens really do have good fake IDs. Gotta hand it to the engineering students to make good fake licenses.

"I'd like a beer, please!", the girl says with a huff.

Of course i'm annoyed by this. It isn't like i'm ignoring her. I'm working. I'm sure she hasn't been waiting for more than one minute since she downed her $2 Coors Light and expects that i'm at her beck and call the moment the last drop of her beer descends down her throat.

I nod, finish what i'm doing and serve her. Then I take that moment to correct her.

I lean across the bar, and make sure she can hear me. "Listen. It isn't like i'm standing over in that corner ignoring you. I know you wanted a drink, but I was helping someone. Being rude and saying {in her high-pitched annoying tone} 'Excuse me! Excuse me! Excuse me!', doesn't make what you did right. I have a job behind the bar to serve you well and you have your job on that side of the bar to be a good customer. That's $2 for the beer."

She clearly wasn't happy with my correction. But she is some snot nosed college kid and maybe next time she will think twice about being annoying to a bartender. There is a right way and a wrong way to act to people who serve you at a bar, and i'm not going to sit there and take people who think they can be rude to me just because I pour a drink on a Saturday night.

I treat myself right and have pride in what I do on either side of the bar.


You might have to look into taking some time off from bartending. Clearly you have legitimate issues with customers, but you have to suck it up and expect people to be idiots. You telling the idiot what is correct behavior is not your job, while it may satisfy your need to educate them and make you feel superior, it's not a good road to continue on...trust me I know.

I, for one, am glad I saw you Friday night!

True, you don't need to come down on everyone who comes into a bar with an attitude, but there is a right and wrong way to act sometimes. Bartenders are among the least appreciated people on this earth -- that's precisely the reason why they give you free drinks and good service is you treat them with a little respect! Yes, you do have to expect people will be idiots, but you do not expect them to be rude and demeaning.

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives


Powered by Movable Type 5.2.7

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Furey published on November 6, 2006 12:39 AM.

Pets + Costumes = Cute was the previous entry in this blog.

Driven is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving!