Photo by Ridofranz

A new recurring print feature in which local bartenders anonymously submit short accounts of patrons behaving badly. Submit your horror stories to lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com.

When brunch is rocking at a very popular restaurant, usually you are serving coffees, mimosas, Bloody Marys, and the occasional Pimm’s Cups. A sign that it’s a different brunch than usual is when guests start ordering non-brunchy cocktails at 11 a.m. After noticing a bartender whipping up a few spicy tequila drinks for these guests, I didn’t think much of it. When they were still there an hour-and-a-half later, I realized this would be no ordinary day.

I was beckoned to introduce myself. “Come meet our friends, they just got engaged!” exclaimed another bartender as he passed out a shot of “Mexican wine” (tequila). One customer worked for the government and the other was in a consulting role. Both were in their 40’s. I noticed their tab slowly climbing. Then I saw a few of their neighbors join them for a few more rounds of shots. Seventeen tequilas later, it took no professionalism to realize they had been over-served.

It was then 3:30 p.m. and the brunch crowd had dwindled. During pre-shift that day, we were told that the Food Network would be shooting for the series Meat & Potatoes. The camera crew dragged in their cameras, lighting, and sound equipment and began setting up. The bartender making the drink for the show was looking at the camera dead on to begin the shoot.

Flash over to the newly engaged couple. When we tried to cut them off, the woman stood up and screamed, “Fuck you, you fat white bitch” at my manager. Guests were taking videos and asking questions. The issue wasn’t resolved until the cops came and our general manager was slapped in the face. The whole time this was going on, the Food Network was filming, insisting that the audio would be inconsequential as this was only video reel. I’m sure they had a blast when they got back to the studio.