“My mother had eyes in the back of her head; Doug Quinn must have them in the palms of his hands. How else to explain the way he muddled mint for a mojito — and went on to make the rest of the cocktail — while glancing alternately at the door to see if anyone new was coming in, at the far end of the bar to see if anyone was telegraphing thirst, and at the guy in front of him, who was babbling anew about something or other? Not once did Mr. Quinn look down at the drink. It was like bartending in Braille.”
“But to talk to him — as I did after two stealth visits when I merely drank and watched — is to know that money isn’t his main thing. He’s testing himself. Performing. Making people marvel at him. Making people love him.
‘When they come here, they’re in my home,” he said. ‘They’re in my church.'”
He is an actor, mesmerizing his audience as he works. That is why last June, many people were outraged to learn that P. J. Clarke’s co-owner Philip Scotti had fired Quinn after the bartender reprimanded a male customer for groping women.
Now, the good news is that Quinn is planning to open shortly “a real New York saloon. … As soon as people come in, it’s going to become their home. …There aren’t so many New York joints left.” Quinn tells the editors of Grub Street NY that he’s passionate about food and cooking, and the dinner menu should reflect that. “It’s going to be the kind of place you can eat at three or four times a week.” http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2012/08/pj-clarkes-bartender-doug-quinn-planning-his-own-project.html
I’ve felt the warmth of dining in his presence at P. J. Clarke’s and look forward to enjoying his welcoming new establishment with my family and friends soon.