Pain of Beefcake

Christina, Janelle, and Lissandra were doing what a lot of young women do on Saturday nights in Fort Lauderdale: some casual bar-hopping on Himmarshee. They were dressed conservatively, Christina says — jeans, V-necks, sweaters: "Nothing too revealing. We weren't all skanked out." They had drinks at Capone's and were on their way to Art Bar when a sidewalk promoter offered them free cocktails at Voodoo Lounge.

At the Voodoo bar, though, after being served their complimentary drinks, a beefy young bartender said that would be three bucks each. Cash only. The girls had only credit cards. Christina says the bartender started dumping their drinks.

Now, Janelle, it seems, is a bit of a loose cannon who doesn't take well to the old bait and switch. She pulled back the drink that had been set up before her and threw it in the bartender's face.

Ooh. What now? Christina says the bartender had a brief Hulk moment, hopped over the counter, and grabbed her by the neck, dragging her out of the club. Same for the other two. It was an extraordinarily rough man-on-woman eviction, leaving all three feeling battered and bruised, Christina says. She adds that they were too shaken to think about filing a police report.

"He didn't attack us from the front; he attacked us from behind," Christina laments.

OK, Janelle's behavior was "immature and wrong." But bartender dude went over the top. You feelin' some 'roid rage, Sluggo?

A few days later, Tailpipe found the accused drinkslinger (the women had identified him from a Voodoo Lounge MySpace entry) pouring Jägermeister shots for a couple of scantily clad femmes. The bartender wore a porkpie hat, tilted just like Justin T. does it, and a black tank with the word Voodoo glittering across his pectorals. Yeah, he said, he was the bartender who got a cocktail in the face a few nights prior. And, yes, he admitted to jumping over the bar. But that's where the similarities in the two tales end. Bartender dude insists he merely asked the offending young lady to leave. "I didn't touch her," he professed.

Then he abruptly abandoned the bar. Thumping electronica filled the near-empty space. A senior citizen grooved by himself on the dance floor. A young man in a suit appeared and asked Tailpipe to vacate the premises. Outside, Voodoo brass — three baby-faced men with ear pieces and blank facial expressions — attested to having surveillance footage that contradicts the young ladies' story.

Ah, a piece of incontrovertible evidence. Let's take a look, the 'Pipe said. Well, they had yet to actually watch the footage.

The 'Pipe headed back to his neighborhood bar, where the beer is skunky but everybody knows your name.

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Edmund Newton