The Boat is but one of several low-key, studiously grungy bars lining Smith Street, and apparently the only one whose bartenders don’t accept change in smaller denominations than quarters.
Lost City’s Brooks of Sheffield recently paid a visit to the bar and attempted to pay for part of a $3 beer with dimes, and writes that the bartender told him he couldn’t, thanks to the bar’s policy of not taking change smaller than quarters. “The owner won’t accept dimes,” he was told. “He won’t accept anything smaller than a quarter…It clogs up the register.”
While not quite as discriminatory as banning cash outright, this still seems a bit, well, rich. After all, as Brooks himself noted, aren’t cash registers equipped to handle, like, cash? And in only accepting quarters, doesn’t the Boat’s owner realize he’s stiffing his customers of their hard-scrounged laundry money?
We called the bar to find out. Although the phone was picked up, nobody actually answered, and we sat there for a couple of minutes listening to ambient bar noise. A perplexed Brooks of Sheffield himself came to the following conclusion:
“If Boat can do without my change, they can do without my dollars, too. I won’t ever be back. But I do hate to stiff a bartender, however rude. So I did leave a tip. A dime.”