Thomas Meaney spent three years as a traveling actor before moving to New York this summer and becoming a waiter at Bar Martignetti, the wannabistro that for the past year has been the locus of the preppy pickup scene. Apparently the nightly balance of 60 percent women (by his estimate) has worked out for him so well he met his current girlfriend on the job. “We got to talking about the mac-and-cheese,” he recounts. “Later her friend said, ‘Here’s my friend’s number. She thinks you’re cute.’” We asked Thomas what else goes on amid the sea of pink shirts.
The headline of the Times piece about you was “Pink Shirts Welcome.” How would you describe the typical dress there?
A lot of people wear the standard uniform with your slacks and oxford shirt. During the summer there were a lot of pastels.
That article quotes a female patron who says, “Women come here looking for their future husbands.”
There’s a perception that the guys are upstanding, educated, and making a decent amount of money. When I first started working here, I looked around and thought, Jesus, there are a lot of women. A lot of them will get a drink at the bar and nurse it for a while. I think they’re waiting to get a drink bought for them.
The New Yorker review pointed out that your male diners are likely to be working in financial services and the women are likely tanned publicists. True?
There are definitely a lot of guys in banking there, and there are girls in … hmm, let me think … I don’t know what the girls do. There are a lot of tan people.
Do you get much spillover from your neighbors La Esquina or Goldbar?
A guy will tell me, “My brother’s over at Goldbar. We’ll be over there in a minute — will there be a problem getting in?” Like that’s going to impress me.
What sorts of drunks do you get?
We had some guys that put a plate and a glass in their backpack. Two nights ago a guy knocked over a $150 bottle of Champagne that was on someone else’s table. He just left and said, “It’s not my problem.”
Does all the loud chatter ever get to you?
Every once in a while, I’ll stand there and say, “Goddamn, it’s loud in here.” I’m the guy in the subway who asks someone to please turn their music down.
You were the inaugural pick for Gawker’s Douchebag Restaurants Hall of Fame. How do you respond to that?
We’ll have our restaurant, and they can go to their restaurant. I don’t know why they’d need to waste their time writing about us.