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Introducing The Buyback Project

Another weekend at a bar we regularly enjoy. Another hundred dollars or so in drinks purchased. Another night without a single buyback from the establishment.

Theories on buybacks differ, of course. The conventional wisdom, or as close to it as one can come, is that four rounds of drinks in a drinking establishment, well tipped, earn a fifth round free (our man Tigertt has ideas as well). Some hold that this process should never be automatic, a point of view with which we're inclined to agree. (To be clear, we come not to judge. This time.) And yet, at some venues, buybacks flow like beer. At others, well, not so much.

Today marks the start of the Eater Buyback Project, where we'll start to examine NYC's buyback culture, beginning with those watering holes that routinely reward loyalty and those that respond instead with the refrain, "That'll be $18." So, we're soliciting from you, the great drinking public, nominations for the most and least generous bars on the buyback front in New York, as measured by what we'll call the Buyback Rating, or free rounds divided by paid rounds. Nominees to the tipline, svp; additional thoughts on buyback culture earn extra brownie points—and, who knows, maybe a free round.

Take today to think this through. Starting tomorrow, we'll begin issuing Buyback Ratings and the fun will really begin.

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