The 5 Things You Should Never Do In A Bar

Look, we’ve all been there. Everyone has a one time or another committed one of the following bar etiquette sins including us at First Call. Thing is, bartenders hate it and since we’ve joined this world we’ve learned why. Its basic common sense and you’ll service will be much better if you simply never do these 5 things in a bar:

Stand in The Service Area

Been there done that, especially when a bar is packed. Hell, I committed this sin on Friday but I deeply regret it. The service area is there for a reason; waiters need to get their drinks and bartenders need to be able to place them somewhere. It’s not an accident that its in the corner with no stools and a mat on top so please be respectful. Plus if you tend to stand in this area you’ll never get service, which is sort of ironic given its name. Don’t be that guy


Non Stop PDA


Ok, so this one isn’t quite as bad, unless you’re doing it at the actual bar. If you must keep making out with your partner at least go to a booth in the back, if there is one. If there isn’t, that’s probably by design. The bar owner doesn’t want that going on in here. Its not that kind of “joint”. There are the right places for that and most of them have stages and are dimly lit, not finer drinking establishments.


Hold Your Money Out


The bartender is an artist just doing a rather thankless profession, their not your servant so don’t treat them that way. I know it can seem like if you are ready to pay they are more likely to take your order but truth is its just offensive. They get you have money, everyone (except the staff) pays for drinks and they know how to ask for it when they are ready. Holding it out like your waiting them to hop to will just make them water your drink down even more heavily next time around.



Leave A Mess


The bartender is not your mother. They’re not bussers either. Think about it; a bartender is the only position in a place that serves food, makes all the drinks, and takes orders, don’t add cleaning up after your drunk mess another thing on their to do. That being said they can understand that sometimes you have a few too many and make a mess on accident. They’re ok with this just make sure to tip well. Come to think of it tipping well can solve a lot of problems with a bartender.


Hit on the Bartender


This one explains itself. This is never a good idea, ever. A bartender is just trying to do her job, not get asked out by everyone that comes in. Look, its quite simple, if the bartender is interested they will ask you out. They take to people for a living, they know what they are doing.

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Perfect for a First Date

We built First Call to help New Yorkers discover the city’s best bars.  When we started we imagined many use cases for our members, and a recent email from a friend reminded us of one of the best: a first date.

We know first dates can be a lot of things.  But at the very least they shouldn’t cost you anything when they go sour.  We thought you’d enjoy the email below, and realize that with First Call we can’t make the date but we can make sure it won’t cost you.

We’ve copied the email below and changed the names and locations.

I went on my first date with Adam last night.

We went to Frankie’s – his suggestion. He looked very nice – he was wearing a red and blue flannel-like shirt (I’m not going to say flannel) and had combed his hair.

We took a seat at the bar and he ordered a soda water. With lime. So I ordered a soda water. With lime. Apparently he doesn’t drink. At all. Luckily I had met a friend for a wine beforehand and hadn’t eaten anything so I had a tiny bit of an alcohol buzz.

We were facing each other and our legs were touching. Surprisingly, he was very affectionate. Usually, I would love this on a first date but it didn’t really reflect the conversation we were having, in which he was giving me nothing. 

We didn’t have a second drink (read soda water), but were there for almost two hours so I was thirsty and had nothing to do with my hands.

Anyway, we talked for a bit – his friend died last week, he base jumps, he has a communications degree, among other things. He has one brother, one sister, his parents split when he was 16 and he finished high school at community college. 

I bet he could not tell you even half as many things about me.

At about 8.45 (we met at 7pm – at least he is punctual), he said, “my parking is about to run out, let’s go.” Then he walked out and I followed, confused.

Outside Frankies, I said, “thanks for the soda water” but he was already getting into his car. Then he said, “Come on, get in.” And I was like, “what?” And he repeated, “Come on, get in.” I mumbled awkwardly about not getting into cars with strange men and then got in anyway.

I asked him where we were going and he said, “Where do you want to go? We can go somewhere else, or I can drive you home or you can come back with me.”

I ignored the last one and said, “Will you drive me home? You don’t have to do that, blah blah blah, drop me at the bus stop, blah blah blah, ok thanks take the first left.”

When we got to my house, he found a parking space outside my house, which was so unfortunate because there is never any parking anywhere on my street and he went in for the kiss. And I kissed him back to be polite but it was weird. Then I broke it off by saying something hilarious (that he didn’t laugh at because he doesn’t know how to laugh) and then went to open the door but it didn’t open so was like, “Have you locked me in?” but as I said that the door opened and he didn’t laugh so that was definitely the most awkward thing of the night. Then I said, “thanks for the soda water” one last time and closed the door.

End of date. 

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Drinking Cocktails Can Improve Your Social Life

Meeting for after work drinks?  Doing a pub crawl this weekend? Going out on a date for a casual drink? Spending date night at your local wine bar?  These are some of the common social events we hear about around New York but we, at First Call, believe the most important social drinking experience is far too often overlooked: cocktails.

Often sitting on the “special menu” that gets overlooked by the casual drinker, cocktails are a great way to start a night and a conversation.  We deeply believe that everyone should try something new at least one time per night out and exploring the cocktail menu is often the most fun way to go.  The best events that can happen when you start with the cocktail menu:

East Village Wine and Liquors (5)

  • Spark a conversation with a friendly bartender.

Bartenders or mixologists, as they have come to be known, love to talk about and share their concoctions.  All of the bartenders at our First Call partners have expressed the satisfaction they get out of sharing the art of their craft with their customers.  And isn’t always fun to learn something new?

  •  Impress a date

Who doesn’t like someone that is adventurous?  It doesn’t get more adventurous at a bar than trying one of the bars specials off of the cocktail menu.  Stop ordering that same beer or glass of wine and get out of your comfort zone a little — show your interesting side.

  • Bond with new friends over your discoveries

Blog Graphic-Something new (1)

The world of people who appreciate and love cocktails is a passionate one.  The First Call team knows all about it.  They’re a social group who, obviously, like to go out and appreciate the cocktails they try.  It’s a fun group to join, even if it is intimidating at first.

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Why You’ve Been Going Out To The Wrong Bars

Everyone always feels like his or her nightlife could use a fresh jolt. It seems like it’s always the same thing and having a new experience in New York City is difficult for New Yorkers. We talk with friends from other towns who say “New York City must have so many different bars, you must never do the same thing twice.” Ah, little do they know the plight of a night out for New Yorkers. We like to stick to the familiar just like anywhere else; we tend to get repetitive with our nightlife choices. Well, First Call decided to look into why that is and why we feel this way. It took a lot of cocktails and exploring but here is why we you’re going to the wrong bars.

You’re Lazy/Doing What’s Convenient1

Look, we love spending a day chilling out on the couch watching Netflix reruns of Friends or The West Wing as much as any of you. Being lazy is an art form that we love to excel at, however it’s the wrong approach to your nightlife. If the corner seat at the bar on your block has started to mold to your butt that’s probably why you feel like you’re going to the wrong bars. You are!

Going to the same place day after day will of course make you feel like you’re in a rut. We know it’s easy and familiar but isn’t the point of a night out to get out of your comfort zone? You want to meet new people right? How do you plan to do that if you just keep going to the same places? Check out one of the over 50 venues we have on First Call and start exploring. We’ve done the work filtering out the whack bars for you so trust us. You’ll feel better in no time.


Your Friend(s) Always Tell You Where To Go 

We’re guilty of this as much as the next guy. We want to fit in. We want to be liked, so we just end up going along for the ride. Our “in the scene” friend frequently picks the bars and tells us where to go. They seem to know what they are talking about so they must be picking the good bars, right? Wrong!

Your friends are just like you, they may study different nightlife options more but they still want to make sure they stay in their comfort zone. It might not be the bar on the corner but it’s still just the new version of the last place they went to. Look, just because a place is hip or new doesn’t mean you’ll meet new people, it’s actually the contrary. The people that tend to go to those places move in herds, going from one “it” bar to the next so it ends up being the same crowd. In order to really start feeling like you are going to the right bars you’ve got the find the hidden gems. Luckily, First Call is here to the rescue. Our app was designed to help you do exactly that; try someplace new and get a free drink in the process. It will do wonders for the rut you might feel like you’re in.

There are several more reasons you’re going to the wrong bars but this is meant to be a quick read so we’ll boil it down to what they all have in common: familiarity. That’s right, doing what you know is the reason you’re going to the wrong bars, nothing else. In order to feel like you’re really going to new places and experiencing all of New York City you’ve got to do away with the familiar and step out of your comfort zone. Try a new First Call bar this weekend; we won’t let you down. And if you just sign up your first week is on us so save some money as well.

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First Call’s How to Start a Night of Drinking

The team at First Call have spent countless hours debating the best way to start a night of drinking.  Like many of you (as evidenced by this particularly humorous Reddit forum),  we’ve pondered over what makes a good first drink and what makes a good first stop to start a great evening’s journey.  In fact, we’ve thought about it so much that we’ve made it the mission of our company to help you solve this problem!   While you’ll have to join us as a First Call member to take the guesswork out of where to go, we’d like to share some of our favorite tips to making sure every evening out is a great one — or at least an adventure. Besides, we all live in New York for a reason.


So, how do you decide where to go first?  Is it where your friends already are? Wherever is closest to your office? (It’s been quite a hard week after all).  Or the place on the corner next to your apartment?

Ambrose's lobster is some of the best in the city.
Ambrose’s lobster is some of the best in the city.

While there are many answers (and a lot of wrong ones) for all different situations, First Call believes the best rules to live by are simple: it serves food and the bartenders serve with a smile. Remember, it’s (hopefully) still early in the night and the biggest rookie mistake can be drinking too much too fast — especially on an empty stomach!   Many a great night has been lost (or forgotten) before it began.


A lot of guys will stay that a great night out starts with a beer.  While the First Call team loves a good beer (especially of the microbrewery kind) we believe the aperitif often gets too overlooked.  We could learn some from our European counterparts across the Atlantic.  A light and refreshing way to start an evening, and something that won’t fill you up quite like a beer.  Try a Campari with a dash of soda or a Dubbonet if you’d like to go out of your comfort zone.


And if you are feeling a little down.  First Call recommends an Espresso Martini.   It’s a good way to kick up the night in both directions.

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Fall’s Hottest Outfits for A Night Out

It’s always important to look good when you head out for the night. Here is the First Call guide to what to wear this fall when hitting the town.


Dress your best when headed out to a lounge.  This is the place to see and be seen.

emily rataj balmain
Emily Ratajkowski’s sparkly stunner is sure to shine in NYC lounges.
Channing Tatum's suit and tie show the world he is a man of sophistication.
Channing Tatum’s suit and tie clearly show his appreciation for the finer things in life.

Neighborhood Bar

If a casual night out is more appealing, you’re outfit can certainly reflect your mood.

bar outfit
Black on black on black is perfect for any setting this Fall.
Chris Evans' henley shirt with slacks fit right in at any neighborhood bar.
Chris Evans’ henley shirt with slacks fit right in at any neighborhood bar.

Sports Bar

When catching game, be sure to play up your outfit to show your support.  It’s a great ice breaker at sports bar.  If you’re not a sports fan, you can still wear the team’s colors to show your buddies moral support.

Sofia Vergara's Giants jersey is the perfect choice on football Sunday.
Sofia Vergara’s Giants jersey is the perfect choice on football Sunday.
Seahawks superfan Chris Pratt showed his support for the Patriots after losing a bet to Chris Evans.
Seahawks superfan Chris Pratt showed his support for the Patriots after losing a bet to Chris Evans.

Cocktail Bar

Cocktail Bars are where New Yorkers go to enjoy some pre or post-dinner conversation.  While one doesn’t have to dress up as much as a lounge, it’s still nice to spruce up your outfit with great details.

Priyanka Chopra, star of the hit show Quantico, pulls off this look effortlessly with the details and bolero.
Priyanka Chopra, star of the hit show Quantico, pulls off this look effortlessly with the details and bolero.
Chris Hemsworth blue blazer and black t-shirt adds instant style to any night out.
Chris Hemsworth blue blazer and black t-shirt adds instant style to any night out.

Wine Bar

Pulling off the perfect look for a visit to wine bar requires a sophisticated yet effortless look.

Christy Tiegen's casual and effortless looks is perfect when visiting a wine bar.
Christy Tiegen’s casual and effortless looks is perfect when visiting a wine bar.
Model David Gandy's sweater and blazer are the perfect combo when sipping wine and champagne.
Model David Gandy’s sweater and blazer are the perfect combo when sipping wine and champagne.

Beer Hall

Beer halls offer a wide array of world class beers.  While a casual outfit will work, be sure to play up your outfit with great accessories like a watch or handbag.

Kate Hudson's chambray button-up shirt with a camel handbag is the perfect choice for a beer hall.
Kate Hudson’s chambray button-up shirt with a camel handbag is the perfect choice for a beer hall.
Bradley Cooper's scarf and jacket is a great relaxed look on the weekends.
Bradley Cooper’s scarf and jacket is a great relaxed look for the weekends.


When visiting a quirky and kitschy bar, feel free to think outside of the box with your outfit.

Gigi Hadid's bright red motorcycle jacket is right at home in a quirky bar.
Gigi Hadid’s bright red motorcycle jacket is right at home in a quirky bar.
Kick up your style with a quirky military jacket like Chris Martin of Coldplay.
Kick up your style with a quirky military jacket like Chris Martin of Coldplay.

Happy Hour

Who doesn’t love happy hour with half-priced appetizers, co-workers letting loose, and a quick pre-game mood.  Be sure to take your look from office neat to going out chic.

Victoria Beckham's outfit is perfect for a work to evening look.
Victoria Beckham’s outfit is perfect for a work to evening look.
Ryan Reynolds rolled up sleeves and skinny tie declares the 9 to 5 is over and the night is young.
Ryan Reynolds rolled up sleeves and skinny tie declares the 9 to 5 is over and the night is young.


The weekend is almost over and it’s time to recover.  Opt for a casual look that will make you look good, even if you don’t feel it.  For women, leggings, a pleated skirt, and sweater are the perfect outfit for a Sunday Funday.

Taylor's yellow pleated skirt is the perfect outfit for sipping mimosas with friends during brunch.
Taylor’s yellow pleated skirt is the perfect outfit for sipping mimosas with friends during brunch.
Jake Gyllenhaal's casual yet cool sweater over a colored shirt sets the perfect tone when wrapping up the weekend.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s casual yet cool sweater over a colored shirt sets the perfect tone when wrapping up the weekend.
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First Call App Launches in New York City

Discover Your New Nightlife

We started First Call with a social mission: to create a community of bar hopping explorers who seek out the best places that their city has to offer.

Today, First Call is officially out of beta and available for download via the App Store. First Call is a subscription service where members pay $10 per week for access to a complimentary first drink at any bar in our network.

We’re currently in invite-only mode  but in celebration of our launch, we’re offering the 50 lucky redeemers the ability for a week free via the invite code fc50.

Deciding where to go at night is never easy.

Deciding where to go has always been a hassle: with so many options it can seem daunting to try new places. Whether it’s meeting a friend after work, watching a game or for a special date – the process is always more timing consuming than it should be. As a result, we often stick to what we know.

First Call is here to save you time and money and bar discovery process easier.

Try something new.

We want to eliminate the risk of trying something new by making it more accessible. You never know if you will like a new drink or bar without giving it a try. We facilitate that curiosity.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download First Call’s iPhone App
  2. Subscribe for a membership.
  3. Select a bar and click “Get Your First Call.”
  4. Show your phone to your server to enter in the First Call code.
  5. Enjoy your drink! And don’t forget to tip for good service.

You’ll be allowed to go to a new venue every two hours and each venue one time per day. We’ll tell you when the timer is up!

If you’re too late on the invite code, don’t worry!  Download the First Call app and you can get added to the waitlist.

Start Exploring.

– The First Call Team


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A Subway Series To Decide the Best Sports Bar

The potential for a Subway Series between the New York Mets and New York Yankees is upon us again.  We, at the First Call app, don’t have to tell you what you already know — it’s the first time in 9 years our two beloved baseball teams have been in October series at the same time.   But did you know that this is only the fourth time both teams have made the playoffs in the same year (after 1999, the real 2000 Subway Series, and 2006)?

In honor of the Subway Series rivalry, First Call has two of the best Beer Bars in Manhattan and Queens for you enjoy October (and pretend like it’s still summer at the ballpark),

For the Yankees Fan

Village Pourhouse

64 3rd Avenue, Manhattan

Sports Bar
Village Pourhouse

Our Manhattan representative for this Subway Series of Best Sports Bars is none other than the legendary Village Pourhouse.

With four distinct rooms, the Village Pourhouse is a great place for a Yankee’s fan to watch a game with a group of friends or make new ones along the way.  The beer is the specialty and the atmosphere during a game is so legendary that the readers of Thrillist once named this bar the “Best Sports Bar in America.”

Sports Bar
Redlight Room — Village Pourhouse

With tons of beers on tap and over 20 TVs around the bar, you’re sure to have a good time watching the game here.  Just make sure you’re rooting for the home team.

Rocky McBride’s

27-01 23rd Avenue, Astoria

Not to be outdone like the Mets in the 2000 Subway Series (sorry, had to try that one), Rocky McBride’s is a Sports Bar that has a legendary reputation that is all of its own.

Sports Bar
Rocky McBride’s

With over 15 TVs, many beers on tap and a tagline of “More than just a Neighborhood Bar,”  Rocky McBride’s works heard and does separate itself from the pack of other Mets’ bars in the area.  The crowd can get full but in a good way.  Everyone is there to have a good time, and they’ll see to that you will too.

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What Cocktails To Drink During Hurricane Joaquin

Hurricane Joaquin is upon us, or is it? Seems like the meteorologist have no idea what’s going on this weekend but they are preparing us for the worst. We here at First Call still remember the great blizzard of 2015 that wasn’t so we are rather skeptical. Even if there is torrential rain we are still drinking some cocktails and will even brave the streets to hit up some of our favorite First Call bars in NYC. We are nightlife enthusiasts and nothing can stop us. Here are some of our favorites we will be drinking this weekend.



Scotch Straight Up

We know its not very “creative” but its simple and it’s a classic. When the going gets tough its time to whip out the out stand by, a nice glass of scotch. As our father’s told us it puts hair on our chest, which we will need if it gets any colder outside. It’s a great First Call since it helps warm you up and jump start you evening of indulgence. We’d say just about every First Call venue offers scotch but we’d have to think that Huckleberry Bar is our favorite spot to indulge. The upscale atmosphere fits with our nice neat scotch.



Irish Coffee

Our favorite warm and also pre noon acceptable beverage is Irish in every sense of the word. To make the crappy weather a little more bearable we like to throw some baileys in our morning coffee. Irish Coffee’s were basically designed to be a First Call since you drink them to get the day started but when the skies go grey we like to continue drinking them all day. Heck, we started this morning since we know its going to be a long weekend. One of the best bars in the Financial District to get an Irish Coffee is also a First Call chosen venue, The Beekman Pub. It’s been there forever and is as Irish as can be.



A lot of anything

Ok, so this isn’t exactly a drink but rather an embrace of everything. When you are stuck inside all weekend and the Mayor’s office is warning of power outages we say just drink what you can. We may all be stuck but at least we can make ourselves feel better while doing it. Pretty much any cocktail is acceptable when the weathers bad as long as its strong and is immediately followed with another one. Crappy weather doesn’t call for light nights but rather a full embrace. As Sheryl Sandberg might say, we might as well lean in. Embrace the suck and stay safe this weekend.



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Why Going Out in the Rain Can Be More Fun

Saying goodbye to the end of Summer is tough. When the weather turns to constant downpour it can get even tougher. We at the First Call app know that you’ll ideally want to go out more to soak up the final moments of Sun but this week has been nothing but brutal.  Going out is not meant to be so difficult as it can seem in New York when the water doesn’t stop coming down.   We’ve put together a First Call “umbrella” to help you navigate this week and try to look on the brighter side – as hard as that may be — of what’s good about a little bad weather.

Going Out in Rain New York


Nothing looks worse than going out in a situation like the above. We’ve all been there — can’t find a cab,  Uber is on surge pricing, forget the umbrella at home — and we all don’t know what to do.  We’ve seen too many people outside the First Call office getting angry on the streets, or ruining their favorite shoes.   That’s why the best place to spend this weather isn’t on the streets — but in some of our favorite New York bars.  There are many benefits to the bad weather for those of you that are brave enough to go out:

No Lines

No line going out

Most New Yorkers these days like to “Netflix and chill” on days like these.  Not the team at First Call.  While we can’t blame them, it makes it great to go out because it can be so much easier to get into some of our favorite bars.

Cozy Up Over Some Drinks

maya 2

There’s nothing like getting a booth all to yourself.  In the everyday craziness of the city, it can be hard to get your own space and we forget just how great that can be.  There’s nothing as sweet as relaxing with a few friends on a rainy day over some warm cocktails.

There you have it. Avoid the crazy walk home or the expensive Uber ride and tuck into your favorite bar for a few hours.  It’s a good way to turn a gray day grayer.

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