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My Date with The Bed-Stuy Dapper

Meet Vito

Location: Bedstuy, Brooklyn

Origin: Gainesville, FL

Occupation: Bartender at VON

Hobbies: Shakin’ cocktails, strumming guitars, and soon to be farming.

How We Met: Vito gets me drunk at VON for a living.

Interesting Facts: Vito used to bartend at The Dressler and is in this awesome music video “Oh Baby I Like It Raw- Thanksgiving.”

Do or Dine

Vito planned a swanky yet simple evening for us in Bed-Stuy including dinner, drinks, and then back to his place for a jam session. I suggested we try “jamming-out” on a second date, but you can’t blame a guy for trying. Do or Dine, Bed-Stuy’s hippest diner, was just perfect with it’s charming retro-discotheque ambiance, for Vito was dressed sharp and fully accessorized with a handsome Fedora (“Attention to Detail” bonus points). Upon meeting at the bar, in one swift gesture, Vito slid my bar stool close to his while ordering me a drink (“My Man” bonus points). Vito is so charming that the bar sent us both a glass of Cognac, coated in pine cordial and garnished with an orange twist (bonus points). When dining out, I just love to share a meal and try as much on the menu as possible. However, Vito earned himself some major “Food Incompatibility” deduction points for not eating pork or fois gras, thus eliminating the two most exciting menu choices (E666’s deviled eggs and the Foie Gras Doughnut). I often photograph drunk people, and Vito’s job is keeping his customers wet, so, while sipping our Cognacs, (ironically enough), we bonded over our mutual fascination with  the damaging effects of alcohol culture. We swapped drunken tales garnered during our “research,” and laughed at the hypocrisy of our very own participation in them. We were having great conversations, and by the time my Chicken and Woffals arrived, I had already forgiven Vito for not ordering the Fois Gras Doughnut.

Do Play with your Utensils

The Hat Makes The (Wo)Man.

Loving that Cognac

Bon Appetit!

One Last Shag…

Vito and I really let our hair down at One Last Shag… and ordered a couple of hot toddys. Unfortunately, I was coming down with a cold, but was determined not to disappoint Vito and spoil our evening with my dumb ailments. We warmed-up over our hot, steaming glasses while Vito told me about his family farm in Florida. He’s been researching a lot about agriculture and he is on his way to becoming a bonafide farmer. I am not sure what it is about Vito, but apparently people love to give him gifts. While at the bar, a couple next to us decided to adorn us with Pre-Valentine’s presents. I got a snoopy lip balm (for making-out later) and Vito was given a Star Wars yo-yo. Damn if he hasn’t charmed all of Bed-Stuy AND the East Village. Inspired by our new gifts, Vito and I hijacked One Last Shag and photographed each other in every kitschy nook and corner of the bar, while the puzzled bar staff watched skeptically. What I really like about Vito is that not only is he cool, but he’s really kool, and doesn’t mind getting silly (a.k.a. sitting on the linoleum floor for a photograph), and having fun. As our glasses began to cool, it was a sure sign that our evening was winding down. Being the courteous gentlemen he is, Vito offered to walk me home so as to protect me from the night (“Chivalry” bonus points).

Bed-Stuy Dapper

Linoleum Floor Photo-Opp

“You Must Accept Our Gifts!”

Gifts Accepted.

Vito Loves Plants.

Demonstrating Domestic Street Skills

The Conclusion

Pros: Has great attention to detail, is a smooth operator and is super laid back.

Cons: Doesn’t eat bacon (or fois gras), is moving to Florida next month, and has bar hours.

Vito is a classy guy who knows how to treat a lady AND how to make her a proper drink. Raised-up as a good old southern boy, Vito has excellent manners and exercises just the right touch of chivalry, without being overbearing or too polite. Unfortunately, just as I am getting to know Vito, he will soon be relocating to sunny Florida to start his new life. However, we do have one last hurrah planned in Bed-stuy at Sud, a small Italian wine bar where we plan to share a cheese plate, listen to Pavarotti and perhaps… even a jam session.


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