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The Buyback Project: Bars Rated 0.0

We're now officially underway on the Buyback Project, Eater's investigation into the integrity of buyback programs at various NYC bars of note. One sentence primer: a buyback is a free round of drinks offered to a patron after he or she has purchased several rounds prior. Some bars are extremely generous with their buybacks, others are not. Hence, the Buyback Project.

2007_03_buyback.jpgBefore we get into the ratings, let's talk about the elephant in the room: proprietors. At many establishments, the second the bar owner catches wind of his bartenders' booze generosity, the first-rate buyback program comes under fire. Plus, many bars set buyback limits, taking the control out of the bartender's hands, for the most part. The best owners encourage buybacks, of course, but if that were the case everywhere there wouldn't be the need for this little exercise.

We'll get to the best buyback ratings soon enough. Today, we present buyback ratings of 0.0 meaning for every 100 drinks, none are free. A buyback rating of .25, or one free round out of five, is considered average.

Buyback Rating: 0.0
Color: "Although i mostly go for lunch jerry's is a definitive no buy-back. regardless, i will be sad to see it go as the lease expires soon."

Marshall Stack
Buyback Rating: 0.0
Color: "I'm at Marshall Stack once a week, if not more, boozing it up. Though they're generous with the toaster oven pizzas, there isn't a free drink in sight at this place."

Blue & Gold
Buyback Rating: 0.0
Color: "I got pretty trashed with someone at Blue & Gold (7th St. between 1st and 2nd Avenues) a few months back, and (though my memories of the night are fuzzy), I don’t think either of us got a free round."

Hop Devil Bar and Grill
Buyback Rating: 0.0
Color: "Been there 100 times or more. Bartenders know me – I always leave at least 1 dollar tip per drink. I have never gotten a buy-back. Not generous at all."

· Introducing the Buyback Project [~E~]

We're just getting started. Nominations for the Buyback Project being accepted now, via the tipline, svp; additional thoughts on buyback culture earn extra brownie points—and, who knows, maybe a free round.