24 March 2007

There Is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

According to this article in the Times, four bars in Greenpoint and Williamsburg have returned to the once-common tavern tradition of provided free food to go along with the libations they serve. Bar owners along the Bowery and elsewhere once used free food to lure potential customers and to fend off the complaints of teetotalers that their clientele were getting blotto faster due to drinking on an empty stomach.

The Trash Bar, the Alligator Lounge, Capone’s and Lost and Found the four backward-looking watering holes. All are owned by one John McGillon. The gratis eats are what you would expect: hot dogs, pizza, etc. It's a good idea by my sights, and probably the only part of the 19th century New York drinking ethos worth bringing back. Knock-out drops and getting Shanghai-ed have little enduring appeal.

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