Food & Drink

Bartenders Reveal What They Do After a Late Night Shift

Bartenders need to be night owls, especially in places like NYC where bars are open until 4 a.m. or later. Anyone who’s worked behind the bar can tell you that you’re not necessarily tired after leaving a shift—sometimes you’re wide awake and need to find a way to relax. So we talked to bartenders from coast to coast, and they revealed their favorite late-night, post-shift routines. From go-to diner orders to Netflix binging, here’s what bartenders do after 4 a.m.

“Back when I worked in Budapest, I’d finish work as late as 5 or 6 a.m., but a small group of us would still go to a local pub and hang out there until noon sometimes, drinking a few beers or whatever they had on special at the time for industry people. We’d chat about getting cute girls’ phone numbers to how we did with tips that night to just about anything. Conversations after a 16-hour day can get really interesting. But since moving back to the States, it’s a welcome change to be able to go home at 2 a.m. after the bars close and go to sleep.” — Akos Orosz, Westbound

“Walk the dog—can't forget our four-legged friends—shower, whiskey on the rocks or a bottle of water depending on the night, and fall asleep on the couch watching Sports Center. Wake up an hour or two later and drag myself to bed. It's not pretty, but it works." — Jason Seele, The Catamount

“I'll be damned if I don't belly up to the counter at Waffle House. Nothing soothes the soul more than an All-Star Special and hash browns with proper accoutrements.” — Blake Pope, Kindred

"Feet up on the walls with some Bob Marley, if you catch my drift." — Marcio Ramos, The Honeywell  

"I'm usually binge watching a Netflix show or Instagram creeping." — Anna Seddon, Linger

"Post 4 a.m., I'm having a bedtime snack, maybe watching SNL and getting some shut eye." — Heather McKinney, Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox

"Four a.m. is typically cheese, crackers and a sipper of bourbon to relax my mind." — Chris Lincoln, Alma Nove

“Usually after closing the bar—if there is time—I’ll stop by my friend's bar that's open later and share a drink with my fellow bartenders just getting off of work as well. Depending on how the night ends, it's either Wo Hop in Chinatown or pierogies at Veselka.” — Marlo Gamora, Caffe Dante and NYC St-Germain Brand Specialist

“The best thing about my job is that no day is the same. That said, one thing that always remains constant is the recap, which primarily consists of an evaluation of which creation was most preferred, sort of like the MVP for the night! I would say, post-4 a.m. is the best time for me to forecast my day-to-day goals and plan accordingly.” — Hemant Pathak, Junoon