If this restaurant features unnerving men, a distinct lack of food, and the feeling like something super dangerous is about to go down, then it's best to leave and find the nearest Applebee's. These people had no clue what sort of twisted place they walked into, until it was far too late. Once they realized, it was the biggest struggle to act clueless, so no one would suspect they could rat these men out to the cops or something. How did these unlucky few survive these disturbing dine-ins? Only one way to find out. Content has been edited for clarity.
Bon appetit! Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
Of All The People They Could Have Sat Next To
“I rented my first house with a bunch of friends from university. I know it’s crude to discuss money, but the city we were studying in was pricey. Like, really pricey. The only way we could afford to live there was to find the worst neighborhood we could, on the industrial outskirts of the city, and let me tell you, it was not pretty. It was a proper southern factory village, where everyone sounded like a farmer and most families had about four teeth between them. They’d been forced out of the posh spa-city by an influx of the wealthy upper-middle-classes, and they hadn’t forgotten it. None of the natives would have looked out of place in a medieval witch-hunting mob, and most already had their pitchforks. But we were students, so it was all an adventure. If you’ve ever met English people, you’ll know that the first thing we do when we move to a new place is find the nearest pub. And find it we did. The Red Fleece, not five minutes walk from our front door. On our first night, we made the journey down, ten of us in total, all baby-faced and new, too naive for our own good. Lambs for the slaughter (and no doubt that’s where the pub got its name). As we approached, we could hear a band playing within, their hectic guitar-drum-fiddle melee burbling out from under the door. Live music. Nice. We pushed open the door and stepped inside.
The music screeched to a halt, or perhaps they just came to the end of a song. Every single patron fell silent and swiveled around to stare at us. Like something out of a movie. Even the band were looking. The pub was packed, too, everyone crammed in shoulder-to-shoulder, so approximately one hundred pairs of eyes met ours. There was no room to push through to the bar, and no one seemed willing to move. It was the longest ten seconds of my life. Eventually, after a series of muttered apologies from us and reluctant shuffling from the pub-locals, we found our way to the bar. The barman gave us a look. We retreated from the bar. By unspoken agreement, we made our way to the back of the pub. And there was our first stroke of luck: a rickety, woodworm-pocked table for eight, in a little room to the side. If we pulled up a couple of extra chairs, we could all fit, and not have to bother with the crowd of people that hated us. There was an old guy sitting alone at the table, but surely he’d be happy to shuffle over, there would be plenty of room. We gathered at one end of the table. ‘S’cuse me,’ I said. ‘Is it alright if we sit here?’
The man raised his eyes from his newspaper. He stared. He said nothing. ‘Would it be alright if we sat here? Just at this end. We won’t disturb you.’
The gentleman still said nothing, he didn’t even move, didn’t even rustle his newspaper. I remember his eyes feeling particularly dark, but maybe that was just the darkness of the alcove, or the shadow cast by the flat cap on his head, or the contrast with his pale skin. My friend stepped forward. He didn’t mess around when it came to pubs, and he was itching for a pint. ‘Let us know if you want us to move,’ he said, just this side of amicable, and took a chair. Slowly, we joined him, scraping chairs out from under the table and taking our seats. Behind us, the music started up again. The group spent a few moments giggling nervously, whispering about the strangeness of this place and how much tension we’d created. This was a local pub for local people. There was nothing for us here. We were in the middle of debating whether we should struggle to the bar for a drink or just leave, when the old man’s chair scraped back, and he rose, like smoke, from his seat. Apparently, he hadn’t stopped staring at us. He turned, abandoning his newspaper and Guinness, and drifted away from the table, towards the main room. All the better for us, or so we thought. We spread along the table, and made our minds up to brave the bar. Just as a few of my friends stood, two men entered the side room. They were young, but still older than us, perhaps in their mid twenties. Both had heavy brows and wide shoulders, wearing branded tracksuits and smelling of smoke. They were not subtle about how they looked at us. At their shoulder, the old man from our table.
It wasn’t like they were trying to look intimidating, but they weren’t cracking their knuckles or swinging a crowbar or something. In fact, they were chatting amongst themselves, and I think I even saw them laugh. But they didn’t take their gazes off us for longer than a few seconds. We weren’t meant to be there. The music crashed on. The young men talked, while the old man stared. One of my friends pointed to a back door. We gathered our things pretty sharpish, and headed for the blessed exit. We had to climb over a wall to escape the smoking area, but the smokers seemed glad to see us go, so they didn’t say anything. We laughed about it on the way home. We never felt in danger, just awkward, and baffled by the strangeness of it all. Who the heck was that guy at our table, and why the heck did everyone want us out of there? We found out a few months later. Apparently, that pub was owned by the Ukrainian mafia. The table we found? That was where they sat. There was a student pub down the road that had a much calmer atmosphere, and they served cheap, 15% proof cider. I spent my second night in that village throwing up in their toilet and trying not to fall over. It wasn’t as close or convenient as the Red Fleece, but even when wasted, it was far less trippy.”
It Took Him Forever To Finally Catch On
“Ever since I was little, when we went to the local mall in a suburb North of Pittsburgh, we would take the same back roads to avoid the mall traffic. We always passed a small local mall with four stores in it. It was there forever. One of the store was what looked like a little mom and pop owned Italian pizza joint. We always passed it and never ate there. It was just a place along the way, and why stop there when we could eat at the mall? The mall was a big treat back in the day. Well, fast-forward and now I’m in my late 30s. I’m headed to the mall and feeling hungry, but don’t want the usual places or fast food. I think, ‘Hey, I’ll see if that little pizza place is still there, I’ve always been kinda curious about it.’ I go to the little strip mall, and sure enough, it’s there. The three stores around it have changed, but it’s still there. Great! I go in and it’s a dive. Not dirty, just old and worn down. So what, sometimes the best places are the ones that have been around forever. They must be doing something right, they’ve been here for ages! I start picturing in my mind the little old lady who will come out from the kitchen to the counter to take my order and give it to her husband in the back. Well, in case you haven’t guessed it by now, yes, I’m naive as can be. Luckily I’m also 6’4” and over 300 lbs. That has saved my butt several times and will do so today.
I walk up to the counter and it doesn’t dawn on me that anything is strange, since it’s lunchtime and NOBODY is in the place. There’s maybe three booths and the counter with a sign above the kitchen window with pizza and a few other food items, and prices with sides and drinks. I go to the counter and I don’t hear anyone in the back. Nobody. No one minding the counter, no one in the back moving around making food. NOTHING. Hmm, must have missed the lunch rush. So I knock politely on the counter and yell out, ‘Hello! You guys open?’
I hear a door from back in the kitchen open with a bang against a wall. And footsteps were jogging towards the swinging door leading out to me standing in the front. I hear a hand hit the door and it swings out with a guy about 5’10”, stocky and sweaty, comes through. He has a startled look on his face upon seeing me. ‘What do you want?!’ he asks me in a restrained and confused voice.
I tell him, ‘Sorry to bother you, are you open still? I just wanted a quick sandwich or something!’
Yeah, I still don’t get it. He looks even more confused now. ‘Hold on.’ He goes back into the kitchen. I hear him yelling something in a language I don’t know. Italian? Greek? I’m so bad at these things. It reminds me of every Chinese restaurant you go to when they talk to each other and they always sound so mad. I guess it’s just me thinking everyone who speaks a different language than me is upset. Another guy comes from the back. Same build. He looks a little intimidated at first, but he quickly hides it. I get this look all the time in public. I’m used to it. I really don’t give it a second thought anymore. I get it. I’m big and scary looking. Sorry.
‘What can I do for you?’
I look up at the sign and ask, ‘Can I get a personal pizza with mushrooms and sausage?’
‘No, our pizza oven is down.’
‘Okay, How about an Italian hoagie?’
He looks at me and blinks. ‘We’re outta the ham and baloney.’
‘Oh man! Okay, how about a meatball?’
‘Wait here, lemme see.’
He goes in the back. The two guys are now yelling at each other half in the mystery language, half English. I can catch a bunch of ‘I don’t know how,’ and, ‘I don’t ‘What do you want,’ and the like. He comes back out. ‘Yeah, okay, we got that.’
‘Great, how about a side of Onion Rings?’
‘No, freezer’s out. That’s why no-one’s here. We don’t gotta lot of stuff.’
‘Oh, sorry. Hey, listen, I don’t want to start things up if it’s a hassle.’
‘No, No,’ he smiles for the first time. ‘We can fix you up. It’ll just take a few minutes.’
“Okay, great. Just the meatball and Dr. Pepper.’
‘Sorry, that’s busted too. We’re kinda getting rid of the old stuff and putting in new, y’know?, How ’bout a can of Coke?’
‘Oh, I didn’t see a cooler.’
‘It’s in the back, no problem. Have a seat. It’ll just be a few.’
He goes back through the swinging door. There is more yelling and now the banging of pots and pans After sitting there for fifteen minutes with no one else in view, I start thinking how funny this all is. Just my luck. The one day I decide to give this hole-in-the-wall place a chance after all these years, and everything is going wrong for these poor guys. And then the light bulb goes off in my head. Oh, no! Well, I’m already in for the full ride. I paid my money and waited this long, if I get up to leave, surely that will be suspicious on my part. Lord only knows what they were doing in the other room when I bumbled in, and surely they have some kind of weapons for protection. Twenty minutes later, the first guy comes out with a brown paper bag, with a small hoagie wrapped up in foil and a Coke. He’s looking at me like I’m out of my mind for having the nerve to stay and make him cook. He puts it on the counter and leaves. So, almost thirty minutes after ordering, I take my bag and walk out the door, trying to be as calm and foolish looking as I did when I walked in and the whole time I was there. After I was out the door and walking to my car, I hold up the bag next to my face and mouth the words, ‘It’s just a Hoagie! I didn’t know officers, sorry!’ Just in case I’m on any surveillance video. I never went back. That place stayed around for a few more years before changing to something else. Like I said, thank God I’m a big guy.”
Who Are They Preparing Back There?
My husband, kids, and I were all thirsty, so I told the husband to pull into the nearby shopping center. We were traveling in the New Jersey area. The sign said something like ‘Italian Family Market’. Most of the shops had tinted windows, so it didn’t bother me that it appeared dark inside. The sign said it was open, so I went in. It was very dark inside, with minimal lighting. The shelves were pretty empty. I remember seeing a bin with a sign on it that read ‘hard rolls’. There were a few of them sitting them, uncovered. I poked one, and it instantly crumbled. I walked around until I found the cooler in the back, near the meat cutting counter. As I was walking, I noticed that everything by that table seemed to be drenched in blood. I mean, it was on EVERYTHING, including walls, counters, equipment, and the floor. There was one guy back there, lackadaisically wiping things down.
I picked up four beverages and quickly walked back to the front of the store. A man approached me, with a fine sheen of sweat coating his face, despite the air conditioning. He asked me if I found everything alright. I put on this bubble, air-headed attitude so I wouldn’t arouse suspicion. I chatted on and on about how hot it was outside, how thirsty the kids and I were, how nice it was to find this place so close to the road, and that we were heading to the shore to visit the in-laws. He nodded, sort of hurried me up, and then he walked me to the door. I think he locked the door after me, but I’m not quite sure. I am convinced to this day that the shop was a front for mafia hits, and that some guy had just been iced in the meat cutting area. When I went out to the car, I tried to act nonchalant. I kissed my husband, opened all the drinks for everyone, and then I quickly drank mine as we drove away. Then I told my husband what I had witnessed. He was very freaked out. The next week later, when we were driving back the way that we came, the place had been completely shut down.”
Maybe Would Recommend?
“Here’s the thing, I always go to Mexico to visit my family, and every time you would see the people from the Cartel, they would be dressed like military and be holding weapons in their trucks. One day, we decided to go to the city because I had told my cousins that we should catch up over lunch. My cousins love seafood, so whenever we went to the center of the city, there was an elegant seafood restaurant that I had never been to before. We decided to eat there. We park the car, go inside the restaurant, and everyone turns around and stares at us as we do. Then I realized that all of them were properly dressed in tuxedos, and almost every other guy had two or three women with him. Here we are: six dudes dressed in plain clothes, so obviously we are going to stand out. This place was really elegant on the inside, so we felt really out of place. To be honest, we were really high, so we quickly stopped caring and got to talking with each other. The oldest of my cousins used to work for the Cartel, so he even recognized a couple of faces in there. We had already ordered our food, and pretty soon someone from the bar came over to give my cousin a huge. A few more commanders came over to greet my cousin, who tell him, ‘Yo, this place is run by the Cartel, everyone you see here is high rank.’
That’s when I felt something in my stomach. Whenever you’re around high-ranking people, it is a whole different ball game. If someone decides that you aren’t leaving, guess what? You aren’t leaving. Luckily, we were with my cousin, and he knew a couple of people in there. They respected him, even though he didn’t work for them anymore. We finished eating and stayed talking, and a few more Cartel people came over and sat with us once we finished eating. We were all talking and laughing. They told us to come back whenever we wanted to. I am guessing that it’s rare for them to see outside people, since the majority of them couldn’t afford to eat at this place often. The food was actually really good, we left a big tip, and we left. The guys turned out to be pretty cheerful, and I had a shockingly good time there. I don’t know if I would recommend it for everyone, though.”
We Need To Find The Little Prince
“I think I ended up in a Russian Mafia front when I was a Mormon missionary.
About three years ago, I was a Mormon missionary in central Germany. At the time, I was living in a south-western city called Karlsruhe. We were just beginning to phase out all the old paper records. Since missionaries move every couple of months, these records helped us keep up with what areas have been visited and what has been done. We were transferring all the records from paper into our tablets, and making a note of any areas that haven’t been visited, or anyone in particular who had requested something that hadn’t received it yet, such as a visit, a lesson, a Book of Mormon, yard work, firewood chopping, or English lessons. These records were notoriously bad. Names were put in inaccurately, records were illegible, and timelines were wonky. If you have had Mormon missionaries show up at your house more than once after you already told them to get lost, it’s most likely not because they’re trying to upset you. Trust me, none of us wanted to upset anyone else. Plus, getting cussed out every day is no fun. It was mostly just bad record keeping from lazy 19-year-olds. One of these records had a Russian name (We’ll say Igor) and then ‘The Little Prince’ next to it. The only address was a pizza shop in a town called Baden-Baden, and the only notes were, ‘Couldn’t find, wanted book.’ We didn’t have much to do that night, so we decided to grab a book in Russian and head up to Baden-Baden to check it out and try to get rid of some of the clutter.
When we got to town, we got on a bus to take us near the pizza place. The neighborhoods visibly changed the farther we drove. The signs on the nearby stores were in Russian now. We got close enough to the restaurant to walk the rest of the way, and decided to check out the nearby apartments to see if his name was on any of the mailbox. Without luck, we finally went to the shop. Worst case scenario, we thought, is that he won’t be there and we’ll just get pizza for dinner. It was a deceivingly nice pizza place. From the outside, it was pretty decent looking. But once inside, we realized we better think of a backup for dinner, because this pizza was definitely out of our price range. Everyone was dressed up. All the men were extremely neatly dressed, and very mature looking. There wasn’t a face under 30. All the women were young and gorgeous. Luckily, we didn’t stick out too much. I was in a blue suit, but I’m a big guy, and I look a lot older than I am. The missionary with me wasn’t very big, but had a very mature face. We stood at the door for a minute, and noticed that no one was coming up to seat people. We were the only ones waiting for a seat, after all, maybe give it another minute. Just then, three more men in suits walked in the front door. I told them to go ahead and go first in whatever Russian I could manage. They ignored me and walked right to the back of the restaurant and through a set of double doors.
Realizing no one else seems to need a server, we walk directly up to the bar and I call one of the bartenders over. He can tell I’m American and greets me in English, so I don’t have to wing it in Russian. I ask him if Igor is here. ‘Who?’ he asks.
‘Igor, he gave us this place as his address, we just wanted to drop something off for him.’
He said he didn’t know what we were talking about, and he started to walk off. Right then, my companion has the genius idea of saying, ‘We’re looking for the little prince.’
You could hear a pin drop. About twenty people nearby went dead silent and just stared at us. The bartender stared for a moment, and then head motioned us back with him to the double doors. I flashed my companion a look to know exactly how I felt about him right then, and then we followed. The first thing I noticed was a nearby table with some guys drinking and laughing really loud. A weapon was sitting on the table next to the shot glasses. There were some other tables, low playing music, a lot of really pretty women, and a really big bald guy sitting in a booth with women under both arms, laughing and talking to them. The bartender gestured and we walked up. He just looked at us. My companion looked at me, letting me know that since he was kind enough to get us into this, he expected me to get us out. My heart was going a million miles an hour. One of the girls asked what I wanted. ‘We heard Igor wanted something delivered a while ago, so we just wanted to bring it by.’
I set the book down on the table. One of the girls handed the book to him and he just waved for her to leave it on the table. He just looked at us for a couple seconds until I said, ‘We’ve got to get going now, thank you for your time,’ and we turned around.
‘Do you want to hear a quick message abo-‘ My companion blurted out. I just grabbed his arm and pulled him out with me, through the double doors and right out of the restaurant lol. He was like, ‘What was that all about?! We could’ve had a lesson!!’
I said, ‘Yeah, next time you want to try to have a come to Jesus moment with a Mob boss, get one of the other guys to trade me places for the day!’
His eyes got huge. ‘Wait, are you, wait, they, WHAT?’
‘Oh my lord,’ I said as I rolled my eyes and walked back down the street rubbing my temples. He just followed along next to me. ‘Are you for real??? No way dude, yeah right! Like the godfather!? Yeah right man, good one! Hahahaha!’ all the way home.”
Suddenly, The Weapon Was Right In Her Face
“So back when I was a kid, thirty some years ago, my mother’s boyfriend was a weird and kinda wild guy. He knew lots of people all over and always seemed to make shady but interesting friends. We lived in the Colorado River area, but we took several trips up to the historic Arizona mining town, Oatman. They had wild west battles in the street and lots of tourist trap stuff going on. We visited several times a year from when I was like eight or ten. Fast-forward a few years, and my mom had broken up with her boyfriend and had a new boyfriend. We decided to visit Oatman again like the old times. We went to one of the saloons there. We entered a bar that was full of all kinds of old antiques and stuff, but they didn’t really serve very many drinks. My mom and her ex used to go there every time we went to the city. My mom walked up to the bar and said, ‘Hey remember me?’ and moments later she and her new boyfriend had a weapon right in their face. It turned out, or so we were told by the weapon wielding bartender, that my mom’s ex was a narc. He had sold a bunch of people out to the police for something unnamed. We almost got shot because of something none of us knew about. Who knows what they were up to, but apparently it was enough to pull out a weapon and threaten to shoot someone in cold blood right then and there in retaliation. We never went back to Oatman.”
Who Was The Mysterious Smoking Man?
“My wife and I were visiting Chinatown in New York City. We had a great time shopping in the stores, and she bought some jewelry and art pieces. We saw a dragon dance that they had for the tourists, and we decided to end the day with a dinner at some restaurant there. Since we had been walking around all day, we ended up in some of the backstreets, where the English signs had completely vanished. We chose some tiny restaurant at random, since everything around us looked so good. Inside, there was absolutely nobody there, except for a group of men playing mahjong, with piles of cash on the table. Every one of them were inhaling smoke, directly under a ‘NO SMOKING’ sign. Now we weren’t dumb, but we had already sat down and had waited a few minutes before thinking that maybe we should leave, especially when one of the men got up form the game and shuffled over to us, possibly to kick us out. Instead, he asked us what we wanted to drink. We asked if they had a menu or could suggest a meal for us. He took a long drag of smoke, and he waved reassuringly at us.
My wife and I looked at each other. Maybe this was going to be the day that it all ended? At least we have each other until our very last moments. We held hands across the table and waited to see what would happen next. The men paid us no attention and just kept on playing their game. Nobody else ever entered from the busy street. About fifteen minutes later, the smoking man came towards us with a massive tray of dim sum. It was way more than two people could possibly eat at once. It was the most delicious thing we have ever eaten at any restaurant. If we were going to be kidnapped, robbed, or murdered, then at least we got a super yummy last meal out of it. We finished what we could, and we were ready to leave. The smoking man saw this, got up, and took our dishes. I asked him for the check, and he made a face, as if this was a huge imposition. He found a scrap of paper, wrote ‘7’ on it, and he showed it to us. I thought that maybe he meant $70, because I would have happily paid that much for such a grand meal. Maybe it was a Chinese character that just looked like an Arabic numeral 7? Nope, he just wanted seven dollars. I have a $20 bill and gave it to him. He pulled out a massive giant wad of money from his pocket to make change. I hastily indicated that he could keep the change, so we could leave faster. We thanked him and hustled out of there at once, wondering just what we had gotten ourselves into. We got out of there alive, not robbed, and we made it home without incident. The food wasn’t poisoned, and we didn’t get sick from any of it. Absolutely no consequences from this! One of our friends went to the address a few months later, and there was a sign saying that it had been shut down by the health department. The place was empty. To this day, I have no idea what that was about, and we have never had such delicious dim sum anywhere else since.”
Peculiar, Threatening Smells
“I was visiting my folks in Mission, Texas, where they were retired. This town is insanely close to the Mexico border. I am a huge fan of real Mexican food, and I will go to any Mexican restaurant at any time. By my second week of the visit, I was craving Mexican food. I should be able to find an authentic place no problem, right? Half of the people who lived and worked in town were Mexican, many of them commuting daily across the border to run their shops or work at the hospitals or nursing homes. It was a true working-class town with a lot of retirement villages. As it turned out, finding a Mexican restaurant was not so easy. I couldn’t even find any food trucks! Maybe because the Mexican people who commuted every day and worked there preferred fast food for an inexpensive lunch. Or maybe all the retired folks couldn’t handle the spices. It was a mystery that I still have never solved. But it wasn’t as perplexing as the mystery I was about to walk into.
I found this little Mexican bar that included the word ‘restaurant’ in the name. So I turned into their parking lot. I was hungrily anticipating maybe a cilantro salsa and something with lots of avocado slices. It was about one in the afternoon, so there weren’t very many cars in the parking lot. I guess everyone had gone back to work? Maybe I had good timing. I opened the door, letting my eyes adjust from the blinding sunlight outside to the nearly pitch-black interior. When I could see again, I was looking at a room of empty tables, next to a bar with about eight stools. On each of these stools sat a Mexican man, all between thirty and forty years old, all dresses in some sort of work uniform. They all had a pretty muscular build. they looked like something out of an old Clint Eastwood of John Wayne movie shot in Mexico, only with blue jeans instead of period costumes. The place was eerily silent. No music, no smell of food, and no chatter. It was as if they had all fallen silent when the door had opened. As a group, they were all looking at me, each head turned toward the door, expressionless. Or maybe, they were all suspicious. There wasn’t another woman in the place either. Not only did the place NOT smell like food, it didn’t smell like drinks either. Come to think of it, there wasn’t even a row of tap handles like you would normally see in a normal bar. All the bottles looked identical, though.
The whole place smelled unused. The black and white television over the bar was this sort of old, boxy kind. Although it was turned on, the sound was muted. If I recall correctly, this place had none of the things that you would have expected. I have thought about this mystery often. The closest I can come to figuring it out was that all of these men were quietly waiting for order to go somewhere and do something, and the bar was definitely a front. Once I walked in, all of their eyes were still on me. Not one man moved, not even to lift a bottle. I stood there a few more seconds, trying to figure this scene out. I decided to turn around and scramble out of there as fast as I could. I have literally no idea what I walked into. But I knew well enough to leave.”
Friendly Neighborhood Mobster
“So this sort of thing happened at a bar near my friend’s apartment in Brooklyn Heights. It was a rundown place, and the jukebox playlist looked like the soundtrack from ‘Goodfellas’. The neighborhood had a terrible past as a mob enclave, but it had long since been settled by artists and Wall Street workers, who were willing to pay premium rents. We occasionally saw some loud, incongruous characters at the bar. I guessed that they must have been keeping an eye on us, but we all didn’t think too much about it. One night, we met the owner. His last name was the giveaway. He was the nephew of an esteemed mafia figure from the Gambino family, a guy who many people have blamed for starting the mafia wars in the 1970s. His uncle was later on a victim of that war. I’ll just call him Vinnie here. Vinnie struck me as a mixture of Tony Soprano and Rodney Dangerfield, in physicality and performance. He was a blue-collar mobster. He was a self-deprecating joke, but there was something in his eyes that told me there was more going on with him. I got the sense that he wasn’t just the proprietor of a B-rated bar, and that he was someone you absolutely never wanted to mess with. I found myself at that bar at least twice a week. The owner was suspicious at first, thinking that we all might be police or something. But one day, he realizes that we weren’t and became much more cheerful. I found out later on that someone had been calling around about me. My boss said that he had gotten a strange call from my uncle, to see how I was doing at work. I figured that the ‘uncle’ was Vinnie, because my real uncle was eighty years old and had no idea where I worked.
Whenever Vinnie’s crew rolled in, he would nod at us to leave the bar and take a table across the room. We were familiar with the routine. He would send us over a few drinks to keep us busy. Then the jukebox would blast a lot of Dean Martin, and this group of people would huddle at the end of the bar. I met some of them later, and they had some pretty major reputations. There was a rumor that one of them went to do collections at a local disco club and got stabbed seventeen times. He still choked out his assailant. He was so large that the blade never touched an organ. Over time, Vinnie and I got to be friends, or as friendly as you could get when you weren’t a part of his official crew. I grew to like him. He was a smart guy. Under a different upbringing, he could have been successful at almost anything. We were billiard partners and we even had each other’s cell phone numbers. He would call me occasionally when he went away for a vacation in Florida to check something at the bar for him. I would sometimes take his dog for a walk. I drank for free, and Vinnie gave me a case of my favorite drink for Christmas. I wonder what restaurant he had stolen it from.
I knew that he housed a ton of contraband in his basement of the bar. There were racks of expensive Armani jackets, cases of high-end drinks that he never sold at the bar, as well as tons of power tools and televisions in their original boxes. I never asked about any of this, and he never offered to tell me about any of this. Despite all of this, I almost bought the bar from him. My partner and I were looking for a possible steakhouse location in the Heights, and his place was almost perfect. We even got to the final stages of negotiations, but I thought better of it finally. I realized that even if we bought the place, Vinnie and his crew would still be hanging out there. I liked them all. But most people found them intimidating. I have run into Vinnie a few times in the years since, but I think he officially retired to Boca. A Japanese restaurant sits where the bar used to be. No word on what happened with all of those hidden items downstairs.”
How To Handle The Mob, As Told By An Expert
“This sort of thing happens at any shady looking village bar in Eastern Europe, specifically the Balkans, which I have unfortunately experienced. In the Balkans, there are places where you can get killed just for walking inside and looking like an outsider. The people inside have no sense of civility. They rarely have contact with the outside world, and they feel so inferior to city people that seeing an outsider sparks something crazy inside their brain. They feel the need to prove themselves superior by demonstrating their physical superiority. I have witnessed people pulling out AK-47s, swords, hand grenades, axes, sickles, shovels, and actual pitchforks. It’s not just the weapons. These people are agricultural workers. These people are poor, uneducated, sometimes illiterate. They spent their youth drinking, fighting, and working the fields. They develop hard constitutions and callous hands. This type of physical labor, in particular in the Balkans, in mountainous terrain, having to fend for sheep and goats and cattle and whatnot up and down a 70-degree angle, in 40-degree Celsius heat, picking potatoes, grapes, watermelons with their bare hands, is more worth than anything you’ll get in the gym. Their skin is dry and hard from the sun, pesticides and dirt. Their constitution is hard from a diet of hard drinking, meats, salads, bread, milk and cheese. Also don’t forget mosquitoes. They don’t feel them.
These villagers are crazy. There is a general lack of law and order, and people are more prone to violence. They also have to deal with dangerous wild animals. Wolves, bears, foxes, mountain lions, lynxes, snakes, pythons, boa constrictors, hornets, and bees are all very real threats. The current economic situation has driven thousands of these people to crime. So it isn’t unusual to see someone driving an expensive car or wearing nice clothing. They are trying to flaunt their wealth and look like the stereotypical gangster. But the city gangsters are different from the rural gangster types. Both in good and bad ways. The city gangsters have tons more money, connections and people know their name as a brand in the city. The rural gangsters might not have much of this, but they are not afraid of anyone more famous. They can become especially vicious. Also, to those who say the mafia is dead or exclusive, you obviously haven’t been to parts of Russia, Ukraine or the Balkans. The mafia there right now is more alive than it ever was in the US or Italy, and it scares the living you know what out of US authorities, because they have almost succeeded at eradicating the mafia culture in the US and Canada. The problem is just that: the ‘mafia’ is not a singular organization. The ‘mafia’ is a mentality, it’s a way of doing, thinking, and speaking that anyone can adopt. It’s a way of perceiving the world and acting upon it. It’s a thought process or series of thoughts with regard to an action or reaction. This is why it transcends ethnicity and race. You will see mafia types among the indigenous South Americans, among white populations in North America (Italians/Irish), among the English, in Italy, the Balkans, among Slavs, among Arabs and Persians, among Chinese and Japanese, and Africans.
My first experience in a place like this was when I was six years old. One encounter happened in a pizzeria, and another was in a large restaurant. The pizzeria was a very typical mob hangout type of place. The owner was a big, bald muscular guy with an earring, and his waitress was a hot young girl. The atmosphere was much more intimate than the restaurant. It was darkly lit, with quiet music playing in the background, more candles, and more leather sofas around round tables. It was in a more intimate location, but I wanted a different type of pizza that they didn’t serve at this place. After begging, I made my father take me. In the larger restaurant in particular, we were sitting down and having a meal with my father, and he wanted to avoid this place, as wasted gangsters came here all the time goofing around and scaring people. One was waving a weapon around while drums beat as part of a song playing loudly on the speakers inside the restaurant. He threw a bottle across the room and it broke on the floor. I got scared. He was so wasted that he didn’t realize I was there. After the waiters who had to clean up the broken bottle off the floor scolded him, I realized that he was the actual owner of the restaurant. They apologized to me and my dad, who they knew from growing up together as kids. He actually calmed himself down quite a bit after this, and they turned off the music. Then they paid for our food too. That was in Macedonia.
As far as New York or New Jersey goes, you have to be either a tourist, an idiot, or both to walk into a place that obviously looks like people don’t want you to walk inside it. Either that or if it looks like any normal place, being a front it needs to operate like one, so even though they might be having a discussion about killing someone, they would be vigilant when you walk in. If they mind that you’re inside, yet it’s like a regular restaurant, with glass windows instead of just a door, and there’s a big flashing open sign, then they shouldn’t really mind that you happen to walk inside.”