We're quite fond of the Greenwich Village live music club Le Poisson Rouge, so we were surprised to hear some grumbling about the bar, which seems to be charging patrons extra for drinks on the rocks (a common practice), but also charging extra for drinks not on the rocks, a.k.a. neat. One unhappy customer recently sent a copy of his or her receipt to Eater, and it shows a $3 charge for Glenlivet with ice, and a $3 charge for Glenlivet without ice. WHAT IS THIS RAPACIOUSNESS AND WILL THEY APOLOGIZE?, we asked the club. They got back to us promptly with an explanation that, well, kind of makes sense.
Dustin Nelson, the club's marketing director, tells us, "This is kind of silly. It's not that they are being charged more for neat or on the rocks; that's in the system so the bartender knows what to make if a server orders it. It's $3 more if you're just getting booze, straight or on rocks, because there is more alcohol in the drink than if you ordered the same brand of alcohol with a mixer."
It doesn't seem all that unreasonable—in fact, Nelson says it's more than reasonable. "Our standard drink pour is 1.5 oz.," Nelson explains. "However when a drink is poured neat or on the rocks it's a 2 oz pour. So the $3 charge is for the additional .5 oz. So by our prices the half ounce is actually a cheap upsell. You gain 1/3 of the amount of alcohol, for less than a 1/3 price upcharge. The receipt may look strange, but every bar in this city does an upcharge for an alcohol neat or on the rocks." A cynic might tell Nelson that if every bar jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge did it then Le Poisson Rouge would run right along after them. But that would be a shame, because we've seen some stellar concerts there.