Image source: SideBAR
We recently watched this video about the efforts by Michael Sinensky to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. He is a young entrepreneur (he boasts of the “candy and school supplies rings” he led in his youth) and Rockaway native who is the owner of a number of very successful watering holes around the city, including Manhattan’s Village Pourhouse (voted Best Beer Bar in NYC by TONY), Vintage Irving, Hudson Terrace (voted best rooftop bar in NYC by New York Mag), and SideBAR, among others. And it’s what he’s doing at SideBAR that has brought him some recent attention – he’s offering lucrative Friday night shifts to displaced Rockaway bartenders put out of work by Hurricane Sandy.
About the fallout from the storm he says:
“You know, this is not in Haiti, this is not in New Orleans, this is here in New York City – you know, Rockaway is considered New York City, Brooklyn is New York City, Staten Island is New York City, and it just seems like everyone has forgotten about this already. It’s going to take people at least four months to open up businesses, and I have ten places now and I just figured it’s very easy for me to allow people in my industry who don’t have a job because of the storm to just jump behind the bar at one of my places and earn some extra money and keeping their tips.”
He was a little worried at first at what his staff would say when he proposed this scenario to them – asking them give up a Friday shift to a Rockaway bartender. But he says they were happy to help out in this way, and welcomed the chance to assist. The staff has also been giving a portion of their tips to Friends of Rockaway, a charity Sinensky helped set up after Hurricane Sandy hit.
He also plans to open up all 10 of his venues on Friday nights to displaced Rockaway bartenders for the next three months.