Wednesday, September 19, 2012

If You Like Having All Your Fingers, Don't Drink At Smith Point

During my nearly twenty years of drinking in bars, I have never been in a genuine altercation with bar staff unless you count the time I was served a terrible excuse for a Murphy's Stout and asked them to switch it with something else and they refused because they were jerks.  But I have seen people ejected from bars on more than one occasion, and can say that the best type of bouncer gets the unwanted patron out with a minimum of violence and fuss.

But every now and again some bar bouncers will have a case like this which somehow results in a customer's finger getting lopped off.  In this case, the patron wasn't some twenty-something dudebro but rather a 50 year old Arlington attorney.  The bar itself--Smith Point in Georgetown--does of course have the dudebro vibe, so there's that.

The story doesn't make clear exactly how the patron's evening went from being served a very strong Red Bull and vodka when he merely ordered a beer to his being ejected in such a way that his finger was sacrificed to the Red Bull gods.  What is clear is that by his own admission, the patron had already had seven beers when he arrived at the bar, and so while the bar "overserved" him he was already pretty heavily served to begin with. 

Also striking to me is that the bar claims to have given him the unholy Red Bull and Vodka drink because they needed him to reach the $30 minimum for credit card purchases.  This is bullhockey--first, McDonalds lets you use a credit card with no minimum purchase.  Is Smith Point a superior establishment compared to McDonalds?  I think not!  McDonalds caters to a higher class of clientele than Smith Point and yes I'm including that homelacking fellow who mutters to himself in the booth near the window.  Second, okay, so you have a $30 minimum for credit cards--how about serving the customer something that is not a total abortion?  Red Bull and Vodka are what you drink before getting into a fistfight with a truck.

I would hope some additional details emerge in this matter--a finger isn't just something you lose in the normal course of being shown to the door.  But whether it's the fault of an overzealous bouncer--and more than a few bouncers really should be in another line of work, such as intimidating debtors for the Mafia--or the patron himself will have to be worked out in the course of the lawsuit.

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