Best Bartenders New York 2011 - Over-sixty bartending staff of Rosemary's Greenpoint Tavern
188 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211-2904
Respect your elders, as the dictum goes, especially when they're managing your alcoholic intake. That's the most important rule of thumb in befriending the decidedly colorful over-sixty bartending staff of Rosemary's Greenpoint Tavern (a/k/a "GPT"), a red-walled Williamsburg treasure that still serves four-dollar 32-ounce Styrofoam Buds. There's Peggy, a seventy-something Polish emigrant who glows with a grandmother's generous warmth but secretly knows her way around a dirty joke. There's Freddy, the daytime shifter, a Vietnam vet who has lived in the neighborhood his whole life and takes Wheel of Fortune very seriously. (Do not fuck with him when the Mets are playing—you've been warned.) There's jolly Teddy, the establishment's sixty-plus secret weapon who's responsible for routinely bedecking the place with holiday decorations and owns an impressive collection of howling wolf T-shirts. And there's Janet, a stalwart bad-ass who mixes one of the best margaritas in Brooklyn and single-handedly manages the Saturday-night Bedford Avenue shit show overflow with a 20-year-old's aplomb. Rosemary, the establishment's matriarchal namesake, doesn't tend bar, but that doesn't mean the brassy septuagenarian isn't crucial to the atmosphere: Our eyes have witnessed her personally break-up a Super Bowl brawl with her cane. Most nights, she holds court at the bar's far end, personally ensuring that the place remains a precious lifeboat in a sea of douchebaggery. Go pay your respects. 188 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-384-9539 (11211)