After our good start at Thor, M and I made our way to Schillers Liquor Bar. This post will be short and sweet as our stop at Schillers was short and not-so-sweet!
We had high hopes for this new entry to the Lower East Side. Schillers is owned by the same folks who have Pastis (Meatpacking District) and Balthazar (Soho), two places in New York that we both love. Schillers is smaller than either Pastis or Balthazar but there is a familiar feel to the place in the use of tile, the way the bar is set up and the look of the menus.
It was crowded when we arrived but we managed to find a place to squeeze in near the bar. We planned to order a couple of cocktails and then a little bite to eat – our goal this night was to get a feel for a few places. M ordered a Tequila and Grapefruit – one of her favorites as long as the grapefruit juice is fresh-squeezed. I wanted to try something from their menu and ordered a Raspberry Bramble.
While waiting for our drinks we noticed an odd interaction going on with some of the staff. One of the servers seemed to be bullying and really trying to aggravate one of the bus boys. The bus boy attempted to ignore it and just go on with his work. But the server kept at it. And what was odd was no manager (or anyone) stepped in.
Our drinks arrived, M’s was good but mine was too sweet – the bartender had too heavy a hand with the Chambord. The server continued to pick at the bus boy and at one point actually caused the bus boy to drop and break a glass into the bar ice. Which then meant he had to totally empty the ice bin, clean it out and fill it again. And still nothing was done.
This was truly the oddest interaction I have ever seen in any restaurant. It was all completely visible to the patrons and other staff members. It did not seem to be in fun or jest, it seemed very mean-spirited.
We didn’t even finish our drinks. The whole thing was just too uncomfortable. We paid the bill and made our way to a place we hoped would be much more convivial. We might be the only people who didn’t like this place but we won’t be back again. There are way too many great places in New York to waste time in one that does not feel good.
Schillers Liquor Bar
131 Rivington St (between Norfulk and Suffulk)
Lower East Side
F train to Delancy and Essex or V train to 2nd