This week’s Bokenology takes us to Onieal’s, 343 Park Ave. This cozy pub is a staple in Hoboken as a place for good food and good people. They offer great specials all week long including industry night on Mondays, their fabulous Wine Down Wednesdays, and Football specials during all the games. Part of the appeal is the local crowd who greet fellow regulars like friends. The other main draw is the long-time staff members who are part of the bar’s extended family. One of the friendly staff members bound to make your visit special is the charming Chantal, who in addition to slinging drinks, has a fabulous voice. If you are nice to her she might even sing a bit for you!
DS: How long have you worked in the bar business?
Chantal: I’ve worked here about a year, but I’ve been bartending about seven years.
DS: What is the best part of your job?
Chantal: Hanging out with people – the social aspect of the job.
DS: What has it taught you?
Chantal: People can be really sneaky! I’ve seen some really shady shit. A lot of cheating. People cheating on their significant other. It’s really sad.
DS: What is the most life affirming thing you’ve ever witnessed?
Chantal: I remember a waitress here was saying she couldn’t make her rent. And a regular felt really bad for her and tipped her the rent. He was really generous.
DS: What is the best night here?
Chantal: Friday nights have always been good here, but to be honest I’ve always loved Wine Down Wednesdays.
DS: What is the best drink you make?
Chantal: I make a really good margarita.
DS: What do you drink on a night off?
Chantal: A glass of Sauvignon Blanc. And shots of Jameson!
DS: What is the strangest thing you’ve ever witnessed?
Chantal: I watched a girl chuck a pint glass at another bartender. It’s a pretty strange thing to see coming from a grown woman.
DS: What is the strangest drink someone ever ordered?
Chantal: A guy ordered a grasshopper and I still don’t know what’s in it. I told him to have a shot of Jameson!
DS: Was he old?
Chantal: No, he was 25 and he still ordered it.
DS: What advice would you give a 21 year-old going out in Hoboken?
Chantal: Stay away from the sweet drinks! Don’t order something that you don’t know what it is. Be ready to order when the bartender comes over. And don’t say hey! Be nice to us!
Photos by Krista Kelly.