Tom Bergin's, the 76-year-old institution that was taken over by Warner Ebbink and Brandon Boudet (101 Coffee Shop, Dominick's, Little Dom's), we sat in a dark cozy booth in the bar, sipping on whiskey and nibbling on corned beef potato balls. It's amazing to think that the entire place was stripped down top to bottom for the renovations and put back together, but the changes are barely noticeable. One thing we're happy to still see there: the shamrocks with names written on them tacked to the ceiling and the walls.
Some are weathered and smoke-stained, others are bright green and white. Our affable bartender, can't remember his name but he's worked there the longest, confirmed that even those came down for the refurb and were pasted back when it was time to open. It wouldn't be Tom Bergin's without the shamrocks (and Irish coffee). "Some people come in and can't find their shamrock, though," he said. There is something about having your name immortalized in green cardboard and white paint, isn't there? It's a sense of pride. You want one, we know you do.
As you can imagine, to get one you have to drink a lot. Or at least become really, really, really good friends with someone who works here. Every month at the staff meeting, the bartenders, hosts, servers and kitchen staff submit their nominations for the person most worthy of being honored with their own shamrock. After careful deliberation, whoever wins not only gets a shamrock, but also a party. Just think: you can go in and take as many Instagrams of your name on the wall as you want.