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The Buyback Project: Weekend Prep Edition

We're in progress 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.jpgJust in time for your weekend binge drinking, here now some more buyback ratings. One concerned reader writes, "From what I understand according to the NYSLA rules buybacks are in fact illegal and a violation of the bylaws and since NYSLA are cracking down all over town maybe this isn't such a great idea after all." Nonsense! One we go.

The Hairy Monk
Buyback Rating: .50
Color: "Monk has to be the greatest place for buybacks. They too have a policy that at minimum your 4th round is on the house. But for regulars and Red Sox fans (it is a Red Sox bar) buybacks can be as frequent as every other round. I should know, I'm a Red Sox fan and a regular!"

East Side Company
Buyback Rating: .50
Color: "Went for the first time to East Side Company with two other people and sat at the bar. After our second (absurdly delicious) round of drinks, the bartender gave us each a shot made special involving vodka, fresh grapes and a few other fruits I’m too hung over to recall."

Buyback Rating: .50
Color: "Clandestino on the LES has a buyback policy of buy 2 get 3rd on the house. Sometimes I would get my 2 vodka tonic then switch to water. We’re friendly w/ the bartender so she’ll apply my buyback to my husband."

Buyback Rating: .50
Color: "Good for every third drink. The two owners are both veteran Irish bartenders from regular joints (Swifts Hibernian and Nevada Smith's), plus the third bartender, Scotty, all know there stuff. I'm something of a regular, but I bet if you follow the guidelines in the buyback project, it'd be the same for anyone."

Peter McManus Cafe
Buyback Rating: .33
Color: "Act like you fit in, say a few words to the bartender, you get the third
one free--guaranteed. And the sixth. And the ninth...."

Paddy Maguire's Ale House
Buyback Rating: .33
Color: "Good every third to fourth drink. I was in there recently and drinking Middleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey...very rare indeed, at $22.00 a shot. Got bought back on the third one."

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.