Last call: the rituals, romance, and reality behind the night's final drink

Feb 14, 2020

We don’t know if there are any songs written about when a bar opens for the night, but there are plenty of them dedicated to the moment before it closes. "Last call" isn’t just a public service announcement, it isn’t just a call to action - buy another drink or get outta here - it’s a ritual, it’s an intimacy, it’s the moment the night changes. Writer Brad Thomas Parsons staked out at dozens of bars across the country to write his new book, Last Call: Bartenders on Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time. He spoke with Francis Lam about what he saw after so many late nights.

Brad Thomas Parsons is the author of Last Call. Photo: Ed Anderson