Sometimes a bartender takes it to the next level. The bartender in question here is named Albert Trummer, and he was the mastermind behind Apothéke, a Manhattan bar recently mired in scandal and intrigue. Transplanted from Austria in the ‘90s, Trummer has been working in New York for over ten years and quickly gained a reputation as a mixological savant. What sets Albert apart from the rest?
Albert Trummer developed a taste for pyrotechnics in 2001 while working at the restaurant, Town, where he would reportedly ignite absinthe on the granite bar. When he went in with partners Heather and Christopher Tierney (brother and sister) to open Apothéke, fire was most definitely on the menu. But then things went awry.
Apparently no one on the Apothéke management team went to the trouble of acquiring an open-flame permit, rendering the enthusiastic combustions a violation of New York City fire code. In May, Trummer was issued various violations following an undercover investigation by the fire marshal. Then, in June, he was actually arrested by the marshals after reportedly sprinkling a bevy of alcoholic beverages on the bar and igniting them in a swath of flame six feet wide and three feet tall.
On top of all this, Trummer has been involved in a heated trademark and business dispute with the Tierney siblings. A conflict which has resulted in civil lawsuits from both sides. The Tierney’s have accused him of “repeated, unlawful and dangerous actions and conduct.” And Albert has filed his own suite against Christopher for allegedly tackling him, “causing him to be smashed violently into the stairs, causing damage to his legs, knees, ankles and feet” and then trapping him in a storeroom, “shouting various threats and demands.” Mr. Tierney now faces potential jail time.
But it doesn’t end there. In October, the police were again called to the bar—this time by Heather Tierney herself. She claims that Trummer was continuing to lighting booze on fire, something he adamantly denies. He was again arrested and now, too, faces possible jail time on charges of reckless endangerment and arson. She claims, of course, that this has nothing to do with her and her brother trying to wrest control of the business from poor Albert, rather that it has everything to do with the safety of the customers.
Whatever the truth may be, this outrageous tale resulted in Trummer being banned, by court order, from his own bar. Effectively on the fire marshal’s radar, Trummer is now putting the finishing touches on a new venture, Theater bar, where he looks to celebrate the theatrics of cocktailing—albeit this time without a box of matches. We salute this stalwart Enthusiast for his resoluteness against adversity and if his case does end up going to trial, we hope you’ll stand up with us and say,
Free Albert Trummer!