More than anything I really hate to bad mouth a local place. I will do my damn hardest to give every single place a fair shot but last night I have to say that I was in SHOCK at the most rude and unpleasant bartender I have ever come across.

Me and a couple of locals went to dinner at The Habitat (which is wonderful and the bartenders, awesome) and then decided to hit another bar for some beers. My girlfriend suggested we try Van Gogh’s Radio Lounge across the street from my house. I’d actually gone there a couple of weeks ago with another friend for a quick nitecap and thought it was cool.

But this time as soon as we sat at the bar, there was an instant attitude from the woman behind the bar. She asked for ID, which me being 33 years old thought was funny, but like any woman over the age of 30, I was flattered and both me and my girlfriend obliged. She hardly even acknowledged us and it was clear she was not going to be a friendly chick, but by no means did I give a shit at that point.

The guy we were with was in the bathroom and my friend and I each ordered. I got a Brooklyn Lager and she asked for a Chardonnay. The wine came out of a little bottle and my girlfriend mused how it was cute – not a word from the bartender. She just acted as if we weren’t there and the thought of serving us was disgusting her.

When he came out of the bathroom, she proceeded to proof him – with an attitude, once again. He pulled out his wallet and as he was getting his license out he made a small joke – “How about your smile for my license?”. He wasn’t hitting on her, it was a simple ice-breaking sort of comment. I mean he was in the bathroom the whole time while she was treating me and my friend like shit and it only took him two seconds to see that she was clearly a rude, nasty person.

And this is the part that just takes the cake. She stood there with a fucking face on and then proceeded to say “This is MY bar and I can do what I want and I’m not going to play games with you, either show me your ID or leave.”

He had his wallet out, it’s not like he was avoiding showing her his ID. She was just Hell-fucking-bent on being a complete and utter fucking nasty person to us from the moment we walked in. I would be the first to admit if we were in any way being obnoxious, loud or provoking this woman at all. Not one single iota.

We drank our drinks and left. I sat there the whole time being made to feel uncomfortable and as if I was trespassing in a public fucking bar. I seriously just could not believe the way she acted. I can’t possibly fathom what made her treat us like pieces of shit from the moment we walked through the door. Maybe she has a thing against Hispanics since my two friends were Peruvian? Or maybe just because our clothes weren’t ironic enough? Maybe we didn’t have enough tattoos? I may never know.

Now great, it’s her bar. She can feel free to treat people any way she damn well pleases but I will never step foot inside that place ever again and I will tell anyone who listens not to either. That’s for damn sure.

Join the Conversation

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  1. She might just be pissed that there are 5 other great bars in the area and her place has no attraction at all. Are people ever in that bar? I am surprised it has made it this long.
    Did you tip her? Small change for three drinks would be a nice sign.

  2. Damn! What a rude b**ch.

    That settles it, I always wondered about that place — I am never going into that bar ever!

    Good thing there are plenty of alternatives in the ‘hood. The Bartenders at Habitat on the other hand – SO nice.

  3. Maybe your friend came off like a dick asking the bartender to smile..LIKE IT’S A RIGHT for a bartender to smile..You know how often that happens to a female bartender a night?
    I would have told you to fuck off if you asked me to smile..but I’m a little harder than most bartenders in Greenpoint
    Also her asking for ID?..how about it’s the law..don’t come off with a fucking attitude when a bartender asks for your ID..
    Nightcappers do not pay bartenders bills..hard drinkers do..Maybe you should have stayed at your ‘Oh So Nice Bartenders’ place instead of going there..

    I think this post might have been a little one sided..Id love to hear the bartenders side of it!

  4. I happen to be a hard drinker and do more than my share of supporting the local watering holes. Even if I wasn’t – does that entitle me to less service? Seriously?

    I have no problem with being ID’d and I was standing right there when the guy I was with asked her to smile. Trust me he was not being a dick or hitting on her. He was with two women and it was definitely more of lighthearted comment aimed at actually trying to make her smile – she had the face of a mean nun.

    The woman was simply massively rude. I’m in bars all the time and I know when someone is being an asshole to a bartender – trust me, this was not one of those nights.

    And for the record, yes she was hot in a tattooed, pierced, scary chick sorta way.

  5. Bartenders are in the service industry. The job is to smile, make jokes, keep me happy so i hang out and buy more drinks and tip you on the usually overpriced drinks you are serving. Come on its Greenpoint who cards Greenpoint. Under age drinking is really such a problem. If I want attitude I go to Coyote Ugly to be treated like shit.

  6. i have to say that this blog was very amusing. in fact i had to laugh out loud since i know that bartender, and she is a great person. it’s hard to believe that you hate to bad mouth a local place justine since it seems you had so much fun to bad mouth van gogh’s radio lounge. please do everyone who likes to go there a favor and don’t come back. for everyone else who hasn’t been to van gogh’s radio lounge yet, i can only say: check it out – it’s worth it. it’s a great bar! and watch out bartenders of greenpoint – i hope you are smiling when justine is coming to your bar, otherwise…

  7. I don’t really consider this blog “publicity”, but whatever.

    I’m not a whiney hipster – those are usually the ones serving people in this neighborhood and they’re obnoxious.

    Look, I’m simply not going to go someplace and pay good money for the people who are serving me to treat me like shit. It’s just ridiculous. If some people like to get abused or treated rudely from their bartenders then that’s their business. I don’t really know why you would go into the service industry if you’re not thrilled with serving people.

    And no worries, I won’t be going back. If you read my blog on a regular basis, I very rarely hand out harsh criticism to the local joints. I want places to succeed. I’m a nice person for the most part but I speak my mind here and if you don’t like it, don’t fucking read it.

  8. Evidently from the tone and intent of anonymous, what we have here is either 1) the asshole herself, or 2)a close act alike.
    Either way, just an asshole.
    As for the intent of the blog, it was to help other citizens of the hood remain asshole-free.
    That said, thanks Justine. I won’t patronize the place either.

  9. Don’t listen to these clowns Justine..you know what you saw and you know what happened. I had a similar experience ar Redd’s Tavern about a year or so ago…me and 2 buddies having a few drinks and playing ski ball while there were only 2 other people in the whole place…the bartender was the worst…not a smile, not a hint of politeness, conversation, nada. The other poster was 100% correct about being in the service industry…in a tip driven business, I can’t fathom how or why these people act this way…oh well, their loss…

  10. Face like a mean nun eh? Well, I have to admit the stern part is definitely
    an accurate description of this girl.

    However with a face like yours, Justine, I wouldn’t go throwing nasty comments around… just sayin. (the words gap-toothed, and too old for the indie rock scene come to mind..)

  11. i read yr post the day it went up and was like, yeah, that bartender treated you like junk and shouldn’t have. and regardless if she’s nice on other days or other people dig her standoffishness, that sounds like a crummy experience and in a world (well, neighborhood) where there are plenty o’ places to choose from, why bother?
    customer service is actually important, and if i go somewhere where they treat me like i’m bothersome, i take that for what it is and then take myself and my cashmoney elsewhere.
    just like you, like anyone. and i appreciate knowing when other people are treated poorly at places i’ve never been so as not to waste time. or aforementioned cashmoney.
    so, thanks. and whoa to the anonymous commenters who dish alienation like its currency. not into it.
    fondly,
    a 4-eyes with sweatstains who just met but really likes your blog.

  12. I have to say that I have never had issue with this place. As a matter of fact I walked in one day on a whim and had the best time ever. The bartender that you are referencing here actually sat with my friend and I and made sure that we had a good time. So much that I make a point to stop in when I am in the area.

    I say this only to say that there is always more than one side to any story. Besides, if your friend would have said something that corny in my presence, I might have been tempted to feed him his teeth myself…not cute nor cool at all.

  13. Granted, maybe it was bad night for her.

    Either way, my friend was not being corny or anything. It was actually more of a nice way of saying ‘what’s with the attitude’.

    Look, ya know I can’t sit here all day and bother with defending what I wrote. I know I am not a easily offended person and I know that we were nothing but completely cordial and nice. There’s not much more I can say.

    Each person has their own definition of rude and I really consider mine pretty lax.

    This is the last time I’m coming to comment on this post, but I stand by what I said. The service was unprovoked and rude and I just rather not bother with places that have people like that.

    I’m sure Van Goghs is more than thrilled I won’t be there and the feeling is mutual. To each his own. Case closed.

  14. just curious justine , are u guys from ohio or texas i have a bet going with a friend

    Wow, you can clearly read. I’m FROM Greenpoint. Born and raised THIRD generation. My girlfriend is also THIRD generation Greenpoint and the guy is from Queens.

    So, try again asshole.

  15. Im with justine on this one, im tired of the terrible service at the local shops around here ,
    i went to the store on franklin street , i bought a soda and the clerk didnt say HAVE A NICE DAY
    i ask everyone to join me on a boycott,
    and i also cant handle my liquor , so i will probably be goin to the black rabbit now that i know when i fall they will help me
    thanks justine for the info
    hope to see you at the black rabbit for a horizontal
    alabama slammer

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