Don't You Know Who I Am?

by Francine Cohen

"Everyone in here is a celebrity," answered tavern owner Sean Muldoon of The Dead Rabbit when asked if more famous people - beyond the reported Brooke Shields and Danny DeVito sightings - had been in to his new bar.

Muldoon wasn't lying; the two story joint was jumping with celebs of all stripes; from reality television stars to cocktail industry luminaries, award winning writers, well respected chefs, and local businessmen who in quick time since the bar opened weeks ago have already become welcome regulars and notable faces.

Muldoon and his staff treat them all the same.  And that's what keeps them all coming back.

Guests, whether they are celebrated on glossy magazine pages and the silver screen or just in their boardroom, come back because they like the way they are treated.

John Eason of Serralles (the family owned company that brings us Caliche and DonQ Rum) recently had the pleasure of traveling with Caliche brand co-owner Rande Gerber and Rosemary Clooney's nephew, the actor known as George.  While Eason didn't have specifics to share about their nights out introducing the new brand to the world he did note, "It's not bad being George Clooney."

Surely that's because accommodations were made to ensure Clooney had a good time and left with a good impression.  And hopefully talked up the venue, because an endorsement like that is priceless.

Not all celebrities are as gracious as Clooney is rumored to be.  Some of them know "who they are" and take advantage of that fact.  They could take a lesson or two from Clooney.

Bartender Anthony Andriani has seen it all; the good, the bad and the ugly.   He is on most afternoons and evenings at A Voce Columbus Circle; the Michelin-starred restaurant that's next to both the Mandarin Oriental and Thompson's Six hotel as well as the Time Warner residences which houses familiar faces and high rollers from around the globe.  He's encountered many a pleasant celebrity and recalls that the best of them were those that remember where they came from and that life wasn't always this privileged.   Others are highly aware that they are immediately recognized and they thrive on that.  He comments, "They feel that just knowing them and serving them is tip enough." Not that Andriani does his work because he expects a tip, but he does offer up this classically NY tip to those who have the attitude that their presence should be welcome simply for their notable features, "When my landlord knocks on my door and I am telling him that Jerry Seinfeld liked me doesn’t pay my rent."

Anna Faris once "rented" a bar stool in front of Rachel Ford of Ford Mixology Lab.  Ford comments, "Actress Anna Faris came in to a bar I was working behind with her parents in 2011. She was so awesome and down-to-earth that I was totally in awe. We had a whole conversation about Coney Island and not once did it factor in that she was a celebrity."

She continues, "It made me appreciate House Bunny on a whole new level. On another occasion, Chris Noth (aka Mr. Big) came into a bar where I was working and asked for a table. We were fully booked, but it was amazing to watch as a table suddenly became available for him. He was also wonderful. And Kyle would like me to add that he made Margaritas for Betsey Johnson and she was fabulous! I think the most notable thing was that they're real people. Everyone I mentioned was kind, humble, and real. Had it not been for recognizing them from the screen, they would have been any other guest. None of them seemed to expect special treatment, but the venues where we worked recognized their power and gave them A-list treatment."

Just like Muldoon does.  As should you if you want celebrities of all stripes visiting and speaking well of your bar.

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