So long as events are held with open bars, there’s no reason to purchase a cocktail in this town with your own hard-earned cash. One of the most elegant and consistent locations for freebies is the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel. The place is booked 365 with weddings, fund-raisers, and bar mitzvahs. In addition, the staff is quite liberal in terms of allowing people to mill around, so long as you dress nice and smile. The best way to mooch drinks at the Four Seasons is to enter from the side entrance (on Seneca) and scan the “Today’s Events” kiosk in the main lobby upon arrival. On my most recent visit, I chose the Abbott Laboratories Bipolar Disorder Consultants reception. A full tummy and a half bottle of Dewar’s later, I headed off into the night, knowing I’d gotten my money’s worth and that Abbott Labs is doing everything in their power to make people suffering from bipolar disorder a little more comfortable.
The easiest way to avoid trouble is to take the initiative and ask all the questions. People love talking about themselves and their jobs, and once you’ve milked them for crucial info, you’re fully equipped to repeat those tidbits in the next random conversation. (“Nice to meet you, Earl. Say, it’s a shame about losing that munitions contract. Think Chuck Heston’ll put in a few words for us?”) If someone ever questions you about your motives, say you’re looking for the bathroom, go there, and regroup. Chances are you won’t run into the same person twice—the Spanish Ballroom seats 350. Finally, if you’re not into crashing parties or lying your ass off, just sit down in the Georgian Terrace bar off the lobby, order to your heart’s content, and sign it to “the room.” 411 University, 621-1700. Hotel bars close at 1am Mon-Thu, 2am Fri-Sat.
I walked into a bar the other day and ordered a double.
The bartender brought out a guy who looked just like me.