Kendra is a bartender and cartoonist living in Brooklyn. She loves whiskey and drawing the crazy stuff people do in bars. You can check out more of her cartoons at thedrawnoutdays.com
I think letting non-customers use the bathroom is, if not part of my job, then a nice civic good that bars can easily do. Like pouring the odd glass of water for a non-customer, or giving directions to someone lost, or offering the postal carrier a Coke when they come in to drop the mail. It’s a small force-for-good things we as bars can do in our communities. I’ve never told someone they couldn’t use our restroom because they didn’t buy anything.
BUT, it’s still a courtesy and should be treated as such. It’s frustrating when people sneak into our bathroom. There is no need for sneaking. I can’t tell you how many times there’s only been a few people in the bar and someone comes in to use the restroom and crosses the whole length of the room staring at their toes or nonchalantly glancing at the blank far wall, and tries to do the same on the way out, as if they don’t know both regulars and I are staring at them. Just because you don’t make eye contact, doesn’t mean I’m not there.