Anyone notice the new uniforms, and the new signage on the carts, for the beer guys in Grand Central?
Until recently, they wore light blue polo shirts. I assume they wore some sort of pants as well, but their legs are typically obscured by their beer carts.
The new uni’s feature a seasonal jacket similar to one worn by a ’50s bellhop. The “bartenders,” as they are officially known, bear a badge stating “Trackside Commissary.”
A Metro-North spokesperson said both the carts and the uniforms are an effort on the part of the railroad to “update the operation of its commissary.” The concept of the commissary, says Marjorie Anders, is a railroad tradition. Commissaries kept rail cars stocked with food, and drink.
GCT’s 20 carts, and 20 bartenders, were updated January 17. “The uniforms are smart looking,” says Anders.
The carts are testing healthier dining options, adds Anders, including granola bars and protein bars and trail mix. There may be some new brews in the mix too.
The carts have new lights and display cases. “I think they look spiffier,” says Anders.
Budweiser and Coca Cola are the sponsors, but the product offerings are not limited to those vendors.
So far, commuters seem to like the new garb. “We saw an uptick in sales the first week [of the rebranding],” says MNR’s Anders.
The bartenders themselves may not be quite as enthused. I asked one about it while buying a Bud tallboy last week, and he rolled his eyes. A conductor pal tells me he ribs the beer guys for their “Nehru jackets” by asking them which Beatle they’re pretending to be.