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Secrets of a Hotel Bartender

Long, late nights, celebs, strangers spilling their souls—it's all in a day's work for a bartender at a high-end hotel.

See recent posts by Siobhan Reid

Drawing a crowd of celebrities and fashionistas including Jennifer Lopez, Gigi Hadid and Paul McCartney, The Bowery Hotel’s Lobby Bar is one of those legendary NYC’s establishments with enough after-hour tales to fill a novel. We turned to Josh Demarco, the bar’s Head Mixologist, to get the scoop on what really goes down at the haute hangout during the wee hours of the morning. Demarco couldn’t dish on any celebs (the hotel is very hush-hush when it comes to their VIPs) but he did spill some juicy industry secrets.

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Photo courtesy of Monica Müller

You work in one of the coolest hotel bars in NYC. What’s your favorite part of the job?

“Our clients are top-notch. They’re the kind of people who are constantly traveling the globe, and when they come to New York, The Bowery Hotel is their home. I’ve gotten to know a lot of them over the years—I know their names, their favorite drinks, and we always pick up the conversation right where we left off.”

Any of their dirty little secrets you care to share?

“I wouldn’t even know where to begin on that question. There are so, so many ridiculous stories I’ve heard in my seven years at The Bowery—pretty much everything under the sun. One day, when my none-disclosure agreements times out, I’ll write a book on the subject.”

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Photos courtesy of Monica Müller

We’ll keep an eye out for it. In the meantime, tell us: What’s the best tip you ever got?

“The keys to a Lamborghini Gallardo. On short loan, of course.”

Woah! So for those of us who don’t own a luxury car, what’s the best way to get the bartender’s attention?

“Make eye contact, be reasonably patient, and know exactly what you’re ordering. It also doesn’t hurt to have your cash or credit card in hand, but there’s no need to dangle it over the bar or make stopping motions with it—that’ll keep you from getting served fast.”

What are your favorite/least drinks to make?

“I don’t know that I have a favorite. I do like the classics, but I also like to spice them up a little. And as far as least favorite? I guess I have a grudge against Mojitos. So, so many Mojitos …”

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Photo courtesy of Gregory Goode

So beyond a Mojito, what’s a drink order that makes you roll your eyes?

“A Long Island Iced Tea. Next question.”

How often do people forget their credit card?

“Just about as often as you’d expect.”

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