The Last Bar in NYC by Brian Michels


Thank heaven for New York City bartenders. They satisfy your boozy thirst in a strife filled life and a good one will listen to anything on your mind when no one else will. Our barman/narrator is one of the good ones. He’s been disposed under chins and elbows and cocktail napkins and ashtrays and spilled drinks for decades in New York City for countless drinkers willing to confess anything to a bar top. From one bar stool to another our barman’s raw and soulful voice delivers a metropolitan story of good times, struggle, regret and salvation – a story put together with well-known real life places, countless celebrity faces and amazing characters only found in New York City.

Maybe you live in New York or simply wondered about living there. Maybe you’ve dreamed of tending a bar or owning a bar or sitting in a bar in New York City. Maybe you’ve always wanted to meet a bartender from the prohibition era who pissed into Al Capone’s beer or a horse-betting Rabbi that can explain the world order or see Mickey Mantle fall down drunk with his face buried in a filthy barroom toilet. Maybe you’re interested in a wine and beer stained, cigarette burned oak top metamorphism that will add some hardened experience to your teetotaler life. Or maybe you just have a tiny sadistic stripe and you’d like to witness what a big city, countless smokes and lots of drugs, liquor, sex, and bearing witness to the eternal under the neon glare of Times Square can do to somebody, to anybody. From 1966 and his first job in a South Bronx bar at 4 years old opening cans of beer to shining shoes in bars across the Bronx to serving booze in iconic bars and restaurants all over Manhattan our Barman spars with the life force of New York City for fifty years until last call when he’s faced with an unforeseen betrayal and is left almost broke, without a plan and nearly a hollow man. That is until he learns to forgive and luckily realize that life without warning has just begun.

 My Review:

The Last Bar in NYC by Brian Michels is a novel memoir that reads like a wild and exciting adventure and takes the reader on an exploration of electrifying New York City nightlife.

The writing style makes it a great read. The characters are so well described and the people and places are definitely intriguing.

I was really happy with the book. Even in the end, the drama, especially in closing with how everything evolved, remained interesting. This lifestyle almost seems surreal. My mom was a bartender for many years and I’ve heard some stories, certainly none as thrilling as these in this book. Welcome to NYC!

I’m looking forward to future books by this author. A big thanks to Brian Michels for sharing a copy of the book. I’m so glad to have read it.


About the author


Brian Michels is a native New Yorker born and raised in the Bronx. While appropriating booze in iconic bars and restaurants all over Manhattan he earned a CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies: Philosophy and Social Criticism – followed up with a Master’s degree in Writing: Critical & Creative. After opening a bar in SoHo, NYC in 1998 and operating the business for nearly fifteen years he moved on to a total commitment to writing. His first novel is as much an observation of New York City’s many transformations over the last five decades and its timeless bar and nightlife culture as it is about struggle with hard life lessons and difficult transformations.

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