TCQ&A: Puffy’s Brendan O’Shea

Photographer Claudine Williams has, as a passion project, shot a few of our local hosts at neighborhood watering holes. When I spotted the shots on Claudine’s Instagram, I asked if I could run them with an adaptation of the TCQ&A. And I am so glad I did.

The first edition was from Odeon maître d’ Roya Shanks. And this from Brendan O’Shea, a constant at Puffy’s who caught Claudine’s eye thanks to his careful attention to style.

1. What brought you to Tribeca?
I’ve worked as a bartender at Puffy’s Tavern for about four years now. I was introduced to Charlie Garriga through a mutual friend — we instantly bonded over our mutual love of punk, hardcore and Depeche Mode. We’re both rock ‘n’ roll encyclopedias.

2. Where do you live? Married? Partnered? Kids?
I lived alone [in the East Village] until last September when my mini dachshund puppy came to join me. His name is Vito! Like The Godfather, haha.

3. If this is your night job, do you have a day job?
My passion project is selling vintage clothing. It combines my love of music, clothing and nostalgia.

4. What are you known for on the job?
I’m known for my dry sense of humor, wisecracks and good tunes.

5. What’s your order here?
My favorite order at Puffy’s is either a Tre panini or a Soprano. You can’t go wrong with either.

6. For special occasions, I go to:
Raoul’s in Soho or Deluxe Green Bo in Chinatown. Like my clothing style, I like a variety of high and low.

7. What’s the most satisfying part of what you do?
Getting to hangout all night, meet new people, make them laugh, and turn young people on to music they normally wouldn’t hear in a Tribeca bar.

8. What’s your best celebrity sighting? (feel free to interpret “celebrity” any way you like)
Fran Liebowitz or Parker Posey — two iconic New York institutions with impeccable style and even better senses of humor. Oh, and one time me and my friend were sitting on these benches on Irvington and York and we saw this woman with Jean Paul Gautier shirt. As she walked by us, we realized it was Bjork.

9. Where else do you eat/drink/shop around here?
I’ve recently been turned onto the ham and butter sandwich at Frenchette Bakery on Church. They’re addicting — perfect when you gotta snack on the go. My friend Rachel owns Lola on Harrison — my favorite place to buy all the beautiful ladies in my life a special something. Otherwise my go-tos around the city are the East Village Vintage Collective (12th Street), The Cast (Orchard Street), Ellen (Ludlow Street) and Metropolis (Broadway).

10. What do you love (or hate) about Tribeca?
What I love about Tribeca is the longtime residents — I’m a total sucker for a Mud Club anecdote or a Lou Reed run-in. I wish I was here in the ’80s (my favorite movie is Scorsese’s “After Hours”, so I love hearing all the tall tales of when Tribeca was a desolate bohemian paradise.



  1. Brendan is a great bartender and personality at Puffy’s! One of my favorite places to go in Tribeca! All the bartenders are terrific and the Jukebox brings me back to a time that no longer exist. When the melting pot of working class, artist, Bohemian types lived down here and the occasional movie star that no one paid attention to. See you this weekend Brendan!

  2. One of the very best in the city. Always up for a chat and a good laugh. Love you Brendan. ❤️

  3. Brendan is everything beautiful… !

  4. Brendan is a superstar! Puffy’s is the heartbeat of Tribeca. Thanks for the shoutout!

  5. Way to go B . Maybe one of these days Charlie will buy me a beer ( still waiting ) . Now let’s make sure the jerk upstairs gets major jail time .

  6. This guy has an ATTITUDE! Takes no shit. I like that. Reminds me of when new york was cool.