You haven’t done Fire Island proper if you haven’t been served a Cherry Bomb from Grove icon Todd!
Bar that I work at: Cherry’s on the Bay
How long I’ve worked there: I can’t believe this is my 14th season working at Cherry Grove. I started in 2008 at the Island Breeze for one season (I also tended bar at the Sand Castle on the Ocean on Wednesdays when their kitchen was closed). The following year, I was asked to join the Ice Palace where I stayed for nine seasons. I decided to have a change after that, and have now been at the amazing Cherry’s on the Bay for four seasons… which is the best move I could’ve made.
What are my shifts: You can find me behind the bar at Cherrys for all the open shifts from 12-8 every day, except Wednesday and Thursday.
What makes this bar great: Once the ferry from Sayville pulls into the Cherry Grove dock, you’re greeted by the red and white striped tent that just puts an instant smile on your face. Working at Cherrys is an absolute wild ride. We have some of the best drag entertainment that you just can’t find anywhere else. Most of the “girls” you see on your TV and hear on various music streaming stations have either worked at Cherrys, or still do today. My friend and Cherrys owner Jacque Piazza likes to say “work it,” which basically means make the customers happy and make them want to come back week after week.
Best drink I make: Our famous blender drinks, such as the Cherry Bomb (not just because it has the name of our bar in it, but it’s stunning to look at and tasty. Cherry’s former bartender Johny Poole always liked to say “people like to eat and drink with their eyes.” Usually someone says “whatever that frozen drink is you just made them, I’ll have the same.”
I love it when customers: tell me it’s their first time on Fire Island. It’s always great to hear how far they have traveled to come visit our amazing beach town that we sometimes like to call “the Isle of Misfit Toys.” I try to tell them the weekly show lineup — which I have to admit I often forget because we have such an amazing full house of entertainment every day.
I hate it when customers: aren’t prepared to pay for the drinks they just got. I mean, did you think the drink was free? And of course, what bartender doesn’t like to hear, “make it strong!” Um, sure baby. I’ll make it so strong that it will make you hug the porcelain throne later tonight.
Craziest thing I’ve seen here: Hmm, where do I begin? That question could fill a whole page! But I would have to say that it would be when a full live orchestra band came from the Pines through the Meat Rack playing music on their way to the Ice Palace for the opening night of the season’s underwear party. It was stunning, crazy, wild and full of excitement.
Other places I’ve worked: Before I worked on Fire Island, I worked at most of the Long Island gay bars which unfortunately are now all gone, such as Sutra, Deliverance, Luxe, Club 608 and the Bunkhouse.
My hometown: I grew up in Port Washington, which is a beautiful waterfront town on the North Shore of Long Island where my parents actually attended the same high school I did. I guess you can say I love being near the water, which is what drew me to working on Fire Island and also drew me to my winter home in East Hampton.
Stuff I do when I’m not bartending: When I’m not behind the bar, you can usually catch me on a barstool on the other side of it. Just kidding! you will most likely find me at an estate sale; I love buying rich people’s junk. I also love being at my cottage on the bay with my man, snuggled on the couch watching some sci-fi series.
Single or Taken: In September my fiancé Peter and I will be celebrating our 22nd year together. We met at the bar I worked at, The Bunkhouse. It was his first time ever in a gay bar, and I just knew I had to snatch him before any of the other Long Island boys did.
Who/what turns me on: for me, a big turn-on is when the Amazon truck pulls in the driveway.
Favorite music: I’m all over the place with the music I like, but most likely it’s anything disco related, or even the standards of the 50s and 60s.
Favorite drag queen: Are you trying to get me in trouble with this question? Well of course it’s all our Cherrys girls. But the queen I admire the most would be China — she’s a Fire Island legend, and at over 90 years old is still putting on those heels and dresses and showing up for all the major events.
My drag name would be: Well, I did drag for many years when I was a teenager into my twenties. I went by the name of Athena, but when I got to Fire Island I was known as “Sirena” because I would be wailing my voice just like a local fire siren. I still get asked to do it, but the vocal chords are no longer what they used to be.
Favorite gogo boy: I’m not really to familiar with them because I don’t go out in Manhattan, and gogo dancing is no longer too big in Cherry Grove. But I would probably have to say Richard JMV. He has come a long way, and is always here for the community.
Favorite DJ: Well hands down that would have to be Twisted Dee. The first club I worked at, she was in the booth. All I can say is that she brings it 100% everywhere she goes, and that bitch gets everywhere.
Other stuff you need to know about me: Come by and say hello to me at Cherrys during the day. If you show up at noon, I’ll most likely call you an alcoholic — but I’ll do it with a smile.
Tip me at: Venmo todd-mcMullen2