Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hasn't ever been quiet about her bartending career. Before she was a public servant, AOC worked at Coffee Shop, a restaurant and bar in Manhattan that recently closed its doors for good. But just because the former hotspot is shuttered doesn't mean that there aren't stories to tell. According to Jezebel, Ocasio-Cortez quit her job at Coffee Shop (and Flats Fix, a Mexican restaurant where she worked that was owned and operated by the same team) when the owner and manager, Charles Milite, doled out prime tables based on how good-looking he thought the servers were.
"The manager would then rank all the staff by how attractive he found them, and give the servers he deemed to hottest the best table sections that afternoon," the Jezebel report reads. The statement was confirmed by AOC herself and one of her colleagues. The story surfaced thanks to reporter Ryan Grim, whose forthcoming book, We've Got People, features interviews with Ocasio-Cortez's former coworkers.
"She was always working towards something," a barback told Grim. The story goes like this: AOC quit her job after being subjected to the line-up and only returned to her position at both restaurants after "pleading" from management and the promise that the whole system of ranking servers by their looks would stop.
Milite blamed rising minimum wage when he closed up last year. In a strategic move to bring attention to the Raise the Wage Act, AOC is actually getting right back into her serving shoes. Tomorrow, she'll be behind the bar at a Queens restaurant to abolish the lower minimum wage for tipped workers.
"The restaurant industry's two-tiered wage system is broken," the campaign slogan reads. "We can fix it."
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