Eugene Law is the Corporate Executive Sous Chef for The Paige Restaurant Group
I actually quit my job to go on a month journey in Morocco. It was the fist time in my life I quit just to do something fun, so I got a 86 tattoo to commemorate that.
86 is a term used in restaurants meaning, finished, run out of, all gone, remove, end usage.
It can be use for a wide verity as in:
-86 burger (we are out of burger)
-The salad guy was 86’d (he got fired)
-86 the last order (cancel the last order)
-86 that fish, its from last night ( get rid of that fish)
As urban legend has it the term 86 came about during the prohibition. Chumley’s, a famous and OLD New York speakeasy, is located at 86 Bedford St. During Prohibition, an entrance through an interior adjoining courtyard was used, as it provided privacy and discretion for customers.
As was (and is) a New York tradition, the cops were on the payroll of the bar and would give a ring to the bar that they were coming for a raid. The bartender would then give the command “86 everybody!”, which meant that everyone should hightail it out the 86 Bedford entrance because the cops were coming in through the courtyard door.