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Behind Bars: The Straight-Up Tales of a Big-City Bartender
Synopses & Reviews
"There are eight million stories in the naked city and bartender Ty Wenzel has heard every one of them. She shares some of the best here in a wild, funny and sometimes horrifying account of life behind the bar. This a wicked shot of truth-served straight up."
- Debra Ginsberg, author of Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress
"Having been employed at Marion's during Ty's reign, I can only say I wish I would have paid more attention during my tenure, so I could publish a snappy tell-all. All I'm left with after years of waiting on tables are corns on my feet and a tin full of change."
- Amy Sedaris, actress and former Marion's waitress
"In Behind Bars Ty Wenzel tells her story with humor, honesty, and courage, exposing details about her life that many of us would shudder to expose to the cold light of the printed page. Bravo!"
- Dale DeGroff, "King Cocktail," former Rainbow Room bartender, and author of The Craft of the Cocktail
"Ty pours out some great tips for bar patrons and great stories about them. I recommend this book to anyone who's ever sat on either side of the bar."
- Ray Foley, publisher of Bartender magazine
"New York is changing. I know that's old man to say, but it is. Ty's stories capture a time that will be completely gone soon! Capture it beautifully and honestly. Enjoy them . . . cherish them."
- Dito Montiel, author of A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
The next wild ride for the readers of "Kitchen Confidential" is a no-holds-barred memoir of a New York City bartender.
After reading Behind Bars, a no-holds-barred tell-all in the spirit of Kitchen Confidential, you'll never look at your favorite bartender the same way again.
Ty Wenzel offers a raw and clever account of slinging drinks in New York City on the Bowery before and during its renaissance. Wenzel, now thirty-six, has just thrown in the towel after a decade at the swank Marion's Continental Restaurant and Lounge--a gig that was supposed to be a temporary escape after corporate burnout, but instead, like with most bartenders, took over her life.
Honest, clever, and often scathingly funny, this memoir at once offers outrageous tales, the dirty little secrets of the trade, and inspired commentary on bar culture and the human condition. Wenzel's candid stories of life behind the bar covers everything: sex, money, celebrities, the tricks mixers play on you to get you to stay on that stool, how to jumpstart your own bartender fantasy, that all-important tip . . . and how "pink drinks" like the Cosmopolitan are ruining civilization.
Behind Bars is also a riveting narrative of Wenzel's life outside the bar, which is complicated by her Islamic background, her drive to save enough money and get out of "the life," and the ultimate realization that the grueling lifestyle that is driving her crazy is also something she has grown to love.
About the Author
Ty Wenzel was the fashion editor for Cosmopolitan and a fashion coordinator for Bloomingdale's before her years as a bartender. She lives in East Hampton, New York, and New York City with her novelist husband, Kurt Wenzel, and their young son.
Table of Contents
Shaken but not stirred — Sex with a twist — The rules : how to date the bartender — To tip or die in Manhattan — Pink drinks and the downfall of culture — The orphans — At the Kahiki Lounge — There's a fly in my martini — Still want to mix? — Last call.
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